Ennio Morricone has died in his hometown of Rome aged 91.
The Italian composer was known as the "Maestro" and scored more than 500 films across seven decades, including the trilogy of Clint Eastwood-starring and Sergio Leone-directed 'spaghetti' westerns in the 1960s: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Leone said he would not start shooting until the score was written so he could direct his shots to match the soundtrack, calling Morricone’s work “indispensable”.
Other films he scored include Once Upon a Time in America, The Untouchables, Come Maddalena, Django Unchained, Days of Heaven, The Thing and Cinema Paradiso.
He received Oscar nominations for his scores for Days of Heaven, The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy and Malena, before winning an Academy Award in 2016 for this work for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. He was also awarded an honorary life achievement Oscar in 2007.
Hans Zimmer told BBC Breakfast this morning that Morricone was “one of a kind” and “an icon”.
Orbital paid tribute on Twitter, writing: “So sad to hear that Ennio Morricone has died . He was a great influence . One of the best film composers of all time.”
Morricone died in hospital a few days after breaking his femur in a fall.
In a statement, his lawyer Giorgio Assumma said Morricone “died at dawn on 6 July in Rome with the comfort of faith. He preserved until the final moment full lucidity and great dignity.
“He said goodbye to his beloved wife Maria, who accompanied him with dedication in every moment of his human and professional life and was close to him until his final breath, and thanked his children and grandchildren for the love and care they have given him. He gave a touching remembrance to his audience, whose affectionate support always enabled him to draw strength for his creativity.”