Oscar-winning film composer Ennio Morricone, who came to prominence with the Italian western “A Fistful of Dollars” and went on to write some of the most celebrated movie scores of all time, has died. He was 91.
Morricone’s lawyer confirmed his death to the Associated Press on Monday. The Italian news agency Ansa reported that the composer had suffered a fall and been checked into a clinic in Rome.
A native of the Italian capital, Morricone composed music for more than 500 films and television shows in a career that spanned more than 50 years. At first he was closely associated with “A Fistful of Dollars” director Sergio Leone, for whom he scored six films, including “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “Once Upon a Time in America.” Established in his own right, Morricone turned out classic scores for films such as “Days of Heaven,” “Bugsy,” “Cinema Paradiso,” “The Untouchables,” “La Cage aux Folles” and “Battle of Algiers.”
A favorite of critics, directors and other composers, Morricone’s score to the 1986 film “The Mission” was voted best film score of all time in a 2012 Variety poll. On his sixth nomination, he finally won a competitive Oscar, in 2016, for his score for Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight.” The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had awarded Morricone an honorary Oscar in 2007.