Legendary composer Ennio Morricone dies aged 91

His work included John Carpenter's The Thing and Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight.

Composer Ennio Morricone who died aged 91 years old

Legendary composer Ennio Morricone has died aged 91 after an incredible career spanning more than 500 films.

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He broke out for his work on so-called Spaghetti Westerns including Sergio Leone’s Man with No Name trilogy, comprised of A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, all starring Clint Eastwood.

However, he did not wish to be confined to any one style and worked extensively across other genres, from horror flicks like John Carpenter’s The Thing and John Boorman’s Exorcist II, to acclaimed crime dramas The Untouchables and Once Upon a Time in America, as well as writing the official theme for 1978’s FIFA World Cup.

Quentin Tarantino was one of his many celebrity fans, recycling his older work for Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, while also hiring him to pen a brand new score for 2016’s The Hateful Eight.

The latter earned Morricone his first Academy Award for music at age 87 (after several previous nominations), making him the oldest person ever to win a competitive Oscar.

He had previously been given an Honorary Academy Award for his incredible achievements, in addition to three Grammys, three Golden Globes and six BAFTAs.

In total, Morricone has sold more than 70 million records worldwide.

He passed away earlier today at the Campus Bio-Medico in Rome.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, composer Hans Zimmer (Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean) paid tribute to Ennio Morricone’s music, describing him as an “icon.”

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He cited the soundtrack to Once Upon a Time in the West, which sold an estimated 10 million copies, as an inspiration for his own music career.