Rome / Oscar-winning movie score composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91, Italian news agency Ansa reported on Monday.
The Italian musician was known for creating the soundtrack to several Spaghetti Westerns including The Good the Bad and the Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars and Once Upon a Time in America.
He had broken his femur several days ago and died in a clinic in the Italian capital, Ansa reported.
Born into a musical family on 10 November 1928 in Rome, Morricone’s first instrument was the trumpet and he started composing at the age of six.
He was widely considered a master of sound mixing and musical arrangement and continued to write music for movies until 2016 with The Correspondence, a romantic Italian-English production.
“They’re all my children…every score I’ve done,” the artist said in interviews more than once.
His scores were hugely diverse and he worked across genres in movies like Exorcist II: The Heretic, Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables and Pedro Almodovar’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!.
Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino was a fan of his scores and included works by Morricone in Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained.
Director Sergio Leone described Morricone, who was his childhood friend, as “indispensable to me”.
“The music is indispensable because my films could practically be silent movies, the dialogue counts for relatively little and so the music underlines actions and feelings more than the dialogue,” Leone added.
“In the latest films, I’ve had him write the music before shooting, really as a part of the screenplay itself. I believe that Kubrick too has followed this method.”
Morricone was awarded the honorary title of Academic by the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in 1996, something he deeply cherished.
“They appointed me the title of Academic. It was important to me, especially after years of feeling snubbed by the academic music world,” he said in the book Ennio Morricone, In His Own Words.
Morricone received an Academy Honorary Award in 2007 after a lifetime of professional accolades, something the artist said was late coming.
“For a long time, I was disappointed for not having won an Oscar, especially considering I had scored so many American movies. It was significant for me to receive one eventually,” Morricone said.
Morricone continued to tour and perform live until last year with his last concert at the Wall of Lucca in Rome on 29 June and had been due to go on tour in a 2020-21. EFE-EPA