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Iconic film composer Ennio Morricone dies aged 91


Ennio Morricone
Italian composer Ennio Morricone has died aged 91 (Picture: AP)

Italian composer Ennio Morricone, the man behind the iconic score of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, has died at the age of 91.

Morricone is best known for writing the music for hit movies and Spaghetti Westerns, including the 1966 Clint Eastwood epic, as well as The Mission and Cinema Paradiso.

His lawyer Giorgio Assumma confirmed the sad news to Associated Press on Monday.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Morricone died in Rome following complications from a fall last week in which he broke his femur.

The Oscar winner, who took home the Academy Award in 2016 for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s 2015 film The Hateful Eight, had scored over 400 films over his career.

When accepting his Oscar, Morricone told the audience: ‘There is no great music without a great film that inspires it.’

The composer was also was nominated for Oscars for his original scores for Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978), Roland Joffe’s The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables (1987), Barry Levinson’s Bugsy (1991) and Giuseppe Tornatore’s Malena (2000) and earned an Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2007.


FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2007 file photo, Italian composer Ennio Morricone, left, accepts an honorary Oscar for his contributions to the art of film music as director Clint Eastwood looks on during the 79th Academy Awards telecast in Los Angeles. Morricone, who created the coyote-howl theme for the iconic Spaghetti Western ???The Good, the Bad and the Ugly??? and the soundtracks such classic Hollywood gangster movies as ???The Untouchables,??? died Monday, July 6, 2020 in a Rome hospital at the age of 91. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file)
Alongside Clint Eastwood at the 79th Academy Awards in 2007 (Picture: AP)

He first rose to prominence working alongside director Sergio Leone on A Fistful of Dollars, before going on to score six films for the filmmaker, including the legendary The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, and Once Upon A Time In America.

Morricone’s scores were so ‘indispensable’, according to Leone, that he would have him write the music before shooting, with the filmmaker’s shots influenced by the composer’s contributions.


Ennio Morricone
His works heavily influenced filmmakers (PIcture: AP)

In Hollywood he would also work alongside Don Siegel, Mike Nichols, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, Oliver Stone, Warren Beatty, and John Carpenter.

While his European collaborators counted Bernardo Bertolucci, Roland Joffé, Roman Polanski and Henry Veneuil.

Born in Rome in 1928, he would go on to join the city’s conservatory at the age of 12, studying trumpet, choral music and composition.

He later joined the orchestra of the prestigious Academy of Santa Cecilia.


 Ennio Morricone, left, and director Quentin Tarantino
He won an Oscar for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight (PIcture: AP)

Morricone’s work won him three Grammys, three Golden Globes, six Baftas, 10 David di Donatellows, and two European Film Awards

His work was prolific in Hollywood and respected by fellow composers, with Danny Elfman saying in a 1999 Los Angeles Times interview: ‘Anyone who’s ever written any kind of romantic score has been influenced by him.’

Following the news of Morricone’s death, Italian health minister Roberto Speranza tweeted: ‘Adieu maestro, and thank you for the emotions you gave us.’

Edgar Wright added: ‘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.’



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