Iconic composer Ennio Morricone, best known for his work in Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy, has sadly passed away aged 91.
One of cinema’s most recognizable musicians, Morricone burst onto the scene in the mid-1960s, creating numerous hits, including the track ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’ from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” a piece that has defined the Western genre and stood the test of time as a once-in-a-lifetime composition.
The Italian-born musician earned his first Academy Award nomination in 1979 for his work on Terrence Mallick’s romance-drama “Days of Heaven,” and although losing to Giorgio Moroder for “Midnight Express,” he did pick up the first of his six BAFTA wins.
Morricone had a tremendous amount of loyalty to many directors, often collaborating on more than one occasion. After the success of their work together on the Dollars Trilogy starring Clint Eastwood, Morricone and Leone reunited for “Once Upon A Time in America,” earning him another Academy Award nomination in what would be Leone’s last directed feature film.
The 1980s and 90s also proved to be highly successful for the composer, with some of his most esteemed work including “The Untouchables,” “Cinema Paradiso” and “Bugsy,” all of which earned him major awards recognition.
Despite his roaring success and popularity among audiences and film lovers all over the world, Morricone had still yet to win an Academy Award (he received an honorary award in 2007, but had yet to win a competitive Oscar), however, a collaboration with Quentin Tarantino would eventually lead him to that path.
With “The Hateful Eight” in 2015, a return to the Western genre after a few decades away, Morricone finally won his competitive Oscar to rapturous applause and a sense of “about time” from Oscar pundits all across the globe.
Morricone’s legacy can not be overstated, one of Italy’s most beloved composers who’s music was felt by everyone, and who has inspired many of today’s film musicians and will continue to do so for generations to come.
What is your favorite composition from the great Ennio Morricone? Let us know in the comments section below!