Tom Savini has paid tribute to his friend George A. Romero following the news of his death, describing the filmmaker as a ''light that has gone out and can't be replaced''.

The 70-year-old special effects expert enjoyed a long-running working relationship with the horror master collaborating on nine movies, including 'Martin', 'Dawn of the Dead', 'Creepshow', 'Day of the Dead','Creepshow 2' and 'Monkey shines'.

Savini has been left devastated by the loss of the director, who died on Sunday (16.07.17) at the age of 77 following a ''brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer'', and took to Twitter to tell his followers that he will always cherish their 50-year friendship.

The gore master tweeted: ''Goodbye George A Romero. We laughed through 50 years and 9 films. I will miss him. There is a light that has gone out and can't be replaced. (sic)''

Savini's tribute is just one of many that have been made in honour of the late great Romero since he passed away.

'Guardians of the Galaxy' filmmaker James Gunn - who worked on the screenplay for Zack Snyder's 2004 remake of Romero's 'Dawn of the Dead' - took to Facebook to thank the director for making the movies which inspired his career.

Gunn posted: ''I just heard George Romero has passed away. Seeing Night of the Living Dead as a child not only scared the living hell out of me, and made me forever jump at creepy children, but it was so incredibly DIY I realized movies were not something that belonged solely to the elites with multiple millions of dollars but could also be created by US, the people who simply loved them, who lived in Missouri, as I did, or Pennsylvania, as you did, or anywhere. I picked up an eight millimeter camera, mixed some Karo syrup with some red food dye to make blood, and began making movies - specifically, having my one brother eat my other brother onscreen, alive. I was eleven. That was the first moment of my film career, and it was spurned on because of you. Dawn of the Dead showed me how social commentary could take place in a genre film; the poster for the movie graced my wall throughout my high school years, and is one of the reasons I took the gig writing the remake.

''Thank you, George, for being a part of my life for a long, long time, in so many different ways. Rest in Peace. (sic)''

Horror author Stephen King - who worked with Romero twice on 1982's 'Creepshow' and his 1993 big screen adaptation of his author 'The Dark Half' - tweeted: ''Sad to hear my favorite collaborator - and good old friend - George Romero has died. George, there will never be another like you. (sic)''

Former Marvel Cinematic Universe writer and director Joss Whedon - who created the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' series and wrote the acclaimed 2012 horror movie 'Cabin in the Woods' - also logged on to his Twitter account to say: ''No one mined the zombie metaphor like Romero. (After he invented it.) No one has come close. RIP & thank you to a Great Film Artist. (sic)''

And Max Landis - who is currently remaking his father John Landis' 1982 creature feature classic 'An American Werewolf in London' - praised Romero for being the pioneer of shared universe films.

He wrote on Twitter: ''George Romero was an icon who created a cinematic universe of loosely affiliated sequels forty years before that was a thing RIP to a genius (sic)''

A statement released by his manager Chris Roe revealed that Romero passed away at home ''listening to the score of 'The Quiet Man,' one of his all-time favourite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero at his side''.