Oscar winning composer Ennio Morricone, who created scores for more than 500 movies, died in Rome on Monday. He was 91.

The Italian composer died from complications after a fall that broke his femur last week, according to his lawyer Giorgio Assumma.

Morricone won his Oscar for his score in Quentin Tarantino‘s The Hateful Eight (2015) after being nominated five other times.

“There is no important score without a great film to inspire it,” he said in his acceptance speech.

His work spanned movie genres from the spaghetti westerns he worked on early in his career, to horror movies like John Carpenter‘s The Thing (1982), to action movies like Wolfgang Petersen‘s In The Line of Fire (1993), to crime dramas like Brian De Palma‘s The Untouchables (1987).

The composer made a name for himself working with his elementary school friend, the late director Sergio Leone, composing scores for spaghetti westerns like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and A Fistful of Dollars (1964).

“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 said of Morricone’s scores. “I’ve had him write the music before shooting, really as a part of the screenplay itself.”

Morricone, who never left his hometown of Rome to compose, was known as the “Maestro,” and was awarded 11 David di Donatello Awards, the highest award for film in Italy. Though his scores were incredibly popular in the U.S., he never visited until he was 78, for a tour.

He also was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2007, presented by Clint Eastwood, for “his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music,” as well as two Golden Globes and four Grammys.


Filmmakers and musicians alike remembered the music legend on social media.

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