Rest in Peace, The Maestro: Film Composer Extraordinaire Ennio Morricone Dies at 91

Hugely influential and respected composer Ennio Morricone, known as The Maestro, has died at 91.

The legendary Italian composer, whose many credits include The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, Cinema Paradiso, Days of Heaven, The Mission, The Untouchables, The Thing (1982) and The Hateful Eight,  has sadly died in Rome from complications of a fall last week that broke his femur. It’s a huge loss to the worlds of both screen and music.

Morricone worked as a composer on over 500 film, television and theatre projects throughout his incredible career, which spanned from the late ’50s all the way through until his death. IMDB even has Morricone credited as composer on a planned animated film The Canterville Ghost, a project that’s in pre-production.

He was a trumpeter in jazz bands in the ’40s before working as a studio arranger and then moving onto ghost writing for both cinema and stage. He went to primary with one Sergio Leone, who would go on to become a renowned filmmaker that would help make Morricone a big name in the world of cinema.

Morricone composed all of Leone’s films from A Fistful of Dollars onwards, including Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America, and was also behind the music of Giuseppe Tornatore’s films, including Cinema Paradiso, Malena and The Legend of 1900.

Morricone was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning his first and only Oscar for Best Original Score (he earned an Honourary Oscar in 2007) for his penultimate feature film, Quentin Tarantino’s 2015 western The Hateful Eight.

Also among the great composer’s list of credits: Fateless, Ripley’s Game, Mission to Mars, Bulworth, Lolita (1997), U Turn, Disclosure, Wolf, In the Line of Fire, Bugsy, Casualties of War and Frantic.

The tributes are beginning to pour out:

First, here’s what renowned composer Hans Zimmer had to say…


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Guillermo, Founder and Manager of Screen Realm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on Screen Realm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows. He's also started a video podcast with his wife, Cassandra. Find the LOUD OBSERVERS right HERE.