Italian composer Ennio Morricone, whose career in film spanned six decades and hundreds of films has passed away at age 91.
Morricone’s lawyer Giorgio Assumma announced the Oscar-winner’s death in a statement on Monday. Morricone died in Rome in the early morning hours of July 6 “with the comfort of faith.” Assumma also said that Marricone was “preserved until the final moment full lucidity and great dignity.” The composer passed away following complications from a broken femur he suffered last week.
“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.”
Ennio Morricone, the man who changed the sound of cinema, has passed. By employing unorthodox instruments like Jew’s harps, harmonicas, church organs, whistles, trumpets and a growing operatic chorus Morricone defined genres and influenced editing to become more musical. Maestro. pic.twitter.com/veK47o1h2f— Reconsidering Cinema (@coenesqued) July 6, 2020
Morricone, who was born in Rome on Nov. 10, 1928, leaves behind a stunning portfolio and legacy. Known as “The Maestro,” he composed the scores to over 500 films. Some of his most famous works were attached to the films of his childhood friend, director Sergio Leone. Notable collaborations between the two include A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968).
But Morricone’s career covered all genres of film and many other notable filmmakers. He also wrote the music for movies like The Battle of Algiers (1966), La Cage aux Folles (1978), The Thing (1982), In the Line of Fire (1993), and Bulworth (1998).
He also received Oscar nominations in 1979 (Days of Heaven), 1987 (The Mission), 1988 (The Untouchables), 1992 (Bugsy), and 2001 (Malèna), and the composer earned an honorary Oscar from the Academy in 2007. But in 2016 he finally took home the golden statue in a competitive category for The Hateful Eight. It was only film he scored for Quentin Tarantino, though the director had used Morricone’s pre-created music in Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds, and the two Kill Bill movies prior.
And yet, the greatest testament to his brilliance might be all of the movies not listed here. From romance and sci-fi, to Westerns and horror, few in the film industry have ever left behind a collection of work like Ennio Morricone.
Featured Image: Ennio Morricone/YouTube