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Ennio Morricone, beloved Italian composer for more than 50 years and a contemporary of director Sergio Leone, has died at the age of 91. News broke early Monday that Morricone had died following an accident. His last moments were spent in a hospital in Rome and he ultimately passed away at dawn at the age of 91.
A representative for Ennio Morricone, his lawyer Giorgio Assumma, said that he had deteriorated at a hospital after falling and breaking his leg. The fall and the injury to his femur originally occurred last week, per the New York Times. (Italian outlet ANSA initially broke the news.)
Over his prolific career Ennio Morricone was responsible for creating more than 500 scores, though those coming of age in recent years may know him for his work on The Hateful Eight. It was his collaboration with Quentin Tarantino in 2016 that led him to finally win an Oscar for Best Original Music Score. He had previously been nominated five times prior, for Malena, Bugsy, The Untouchables, The Mission and Days of Heaven.
Some of his best collaborations were with his fellow countryman and creative partner Sergio Leone. The two worked together on many movies, including several well-known projects starring Clint Eastwood, like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More, all premiering in the 1960s. He and Leone also collaborated on Once Upon A Time in the West, Once Upon A Time in America and plenty of other projects. The two had known one another prior to their working relationship, having attended school together as young men. Sergio Leone died in 1989 at the age of 60.
Ennio Morricone won the Academy Award in his late eighties at the culmination of a long career, though he still put work out in 2020. His speech, though in Italian, is overcome with emotion and is very touching.
Antonio Banderas, who had been a part of the 1989 film Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, with music by Ennio Morricone, shared a tribute to the longtime composer on Twitter, noting,
A great producer of music, Ennio Morricone has worked with a lot of big names in the business of Hollywood, including a wide number of major directors, from the already-listed Sergio Leone and Quentin Tarantino to John Carpenter, Brian De Palma, Oliver Stone, Warren Beatty and a good many more. His music spans decades and covers many different genres of films, ranging from horror to the spaghetti westerns he was perhaps most known for and much in between. He'll leave behind a large body of work and a slew of scores many are familiar with. In short, he will be missed.