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Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone dead at 91

Rome, Italy | Ennio Morricone, one of the world's best-known and most prolific film composers, has died in Rome, Italian media reported on Monday.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood composer Ennio Morricone winner of the Best Original Score award for "The Hateful Eight" poses in the press room during the 88th Annual Academy Awards. - Ennio Morricone, one of the world's best-known and most prolific film composers, has died in Rome, Italian media reported on July 6, 2020. (Photo by Jason Merritt / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)
Morricone, who was 91, died in hospital where he was being treated for a fractured femur following a fall, media reports said, quoting a statement from a lawyer. 

He composed the music for about 500 films, including his old schoolfriend Sergio Leone's 1966 spaghetti western "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" for which he won an Oscar in 2016.

A statement issued by the lawyer and family friend Giorgio Assuma said Morricone "passed away in the early hours of July 6 with the comfort of his faith". 

He remained "fully lucid and with great dignity right until the end," the statement said.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza wrote in a tweet: "Adieu maestro, and thank you for the emotions you gave us." 

Before winning the Oscar for best film score in 2016, the Rome-born son of a trumpeter had been nominated no fewer than five times before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences -- embarrassed that such a talent had not been recognised sooner -- presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2007.

Morricone's previous nominations were for "Days of Heaven" (1978), "The Mission" (1986), "The Untouchables" (1987), "Bugsy" (1991) and "Malena" (2000).

Although he is most closely associated in the public mind with Leone's westerns starring Clint Eastwood, Morricone's composition for Roland Joffe's Jesuit drama "The Mission" is considered by many critics to be his cinematic masterpiece, an epic and eclectic reflection of South America's musical melting pot.              

Topics: Ennio Morricone , Oscar , Sergio Leone
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