Ennio Morricone, the Italian film composer whose symphonic scores spanned across all genres, including spaghetti westerns, romance and thrillers, has died aged 91.
Morricone died early Monday in a Rome hospital after suffering complications from a fall that caused a hip fracture, his lawyer Giorgio Assumma told Italian news agency ANSA, per Variety.
The musical maestro composed more than 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as over 100 classical works. He first rose to prominence in the 1960s while collaborating with director Sergio Leone on his spaghetti westerns. Together, they created timeless masterpieces, with Morricone’s score to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly still considered to be one of the most influential soundtracks in history.
Over his long-spanning career, Morricone was nominated six times for Oscars in the Best Original Score category for his work on Days of Heaven, The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy, Malena, and The Hateful Eight. In 2007, he was presented with the Academy Honorary Award in recognition of “his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.”
In 2016, he received his first competitive Academy Award for his score to Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight, for which he composed 50 minutes of original music. His additional achievements include three Grammy Awards, three Golden Globes, and six BAFTA Awards, amongst many other accolades that he was awarded for his glittering filmography, which includes over 70 award-winning films.
Shortly after the sad news of Morricone’s death broke, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte tweeted: “We will always remember, with infinite gratitude, the artistic genius of the Maestro Ennio Morricone. It made us dream, feel excited, reflect, writing memorable notes that will remain indelible in the history of music and cinema.”
As a further tribute in memory of the prolific composer, director Edgar Wright wrote on Twitter: “Where to even begin with iconic composer Ennio Morricone? He could make an average movie into a must see, a good movie into art, and a great movie into legend. He hasn’t been off my stereo my entire life. What a legacy of work he leaves behind. RIP.”
Adele Ankers is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist. You can reach her on Twitter.