Oscar-winning composer, orchestrator and musician Ennio Morricone has passed away, aged 91.
According to Italian news agency Ansa, he died earlier today in Rome following complications from a fall last week in which he broke his femur.
During the course of his prolific career that spanned over 70 years, the revered Italian composer, also known as ‘The Maestro,’ scored more than 500 films, including the famous trilogy of Clint Eastwood-starring and Sergio Leone-directed ‘spaghetti’ westerns in the 1960s: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Having received an honorary life achievement Oscar in 2007, he went on to win an Academy Award in 2016 for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.
Other Morricone’s best known works are Days of Heaven, The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy, Once Upon a Time in America, Come Maddalena, The Thing and Cinema Paradiso.
In a statement, his lawyer Giorgio Assumma said Morricone “died at dawn on 6 July in Rome with the comfort of faith. He preserved until the final moment full lucidity and great dignity.
“He said goodbye to his beloved wife Maria, who accompanied him with dedication in every moment of his human and professional life and was close to him until his final breath, and thanked his children and grandchildren for the love and care they have given him. He gave a touching remembrance to his audience, whose affectionate support always enabled him to draw strength for his creativity.”
Hans Zimmer told BBC Breakfast this morning that Morricone was “one of a kind” and “an icon”.
“His music was always outstanding and done with great emotional fortitude and great intellectual thought,” he continued.
Listen to Morricone’s theme music from the 1966 Sergio Leone film ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly‘ below.