R.I.P.: Night of the Living Dead sheriff George Kosana has passed away

George Kosana Night of the Living Dead I have mentioned several times that George A. Romero's 1968 classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is one of my all-time favorite films and likely the movie I have watched more than any other. It's cinematic comfort to me, something I can put on and watch at any time. However, there can be a sad edge to these viewings at times. The further we get away from its initial release, the more people we lose who were involved with the making of the film. While NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD remains awe-inspiring nearly fifty years on, it's a bummer to realize that so many people on the screen are no longer with us.

Yesterday, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD co-creator John Russo shared the news on his Facebook account that we have lost another of the film's stars. George Kosana, who played Sheriff McClelland, has passed away after what Russo describes as "a long battle with various illnesses".

McClelland wasn't one of the main characters in NIGHT, but he was an unforgettable one. His presence on the TV screen in news reports gave hope to the leads, trapped in a farmhouse, that some progress was being made in the fight against the zombie outbreak spreading across the Pennsylvania countryside. McClelland, fellow police officers, and volunteers were out there whittling down the horde. While being interviewed about the zombie-killing efforts, McClelland offered information on how to deal with the living dead and dropped one of the film's most memorable lines - a line I would say is one of the greatest in horror history.

Asked by a reporter if the living dead are "slow moving", McClelland replies: "Yeah, they're dead, they're all messed up."

The reporter in that scene was played by Bill "Chilly Billy" Cardille, who passed away last summer.

Kosana didn't appear in many films, but he earned a place in movie history with his part in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. In recent years, Kosana made the horror convention rounds and could often be heard saying "I was the sheriff." He still is, and always will be.

Rest in peace, sir.

Extra Tidbit: Our sincere condolences go out to George Kosana's friends, family, and fans.
Source: John Russo



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