Ennio Morricone, one of the world’s best-known and most prolific film composers, died in Rome on Monday.
Morricone, who was 91, died in hospital where he was being treated for a fractured femur following a fall, media reports said, quoting a statement from a lawyer.
He composed the music for about 500 films, including his old schoolfriend Sergio Leone’s 1966 spaghetti western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” for which he won an Oscar in 2016.
A statement issued by the lawyer and family friend Giorgio Assuma said Morricone “passed away in the early hours of July 6 with the comfort of his faith”.
He remained “fully lucid and with great dignity right until the end,” the statement said.
Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza wrote in a tweet: “Adieu maestro, and thank you for the emotions you gave us.”
Before winning the Oscar for best film score in 2016, the Rome-born son of a trumpeter had been nominated no fewer than five times before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — embarrassed that such a talent had not been recognised sooner — presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2007.
Although he is most closely associated in the public mind with Leone’s westerns starring Clint Eastwood, Morricone’s composition for Roland Joffe’s Jesuit drama “The Mission” is considered by many critics to be his cinematic masterpiece, an epic and eclectic reflection of South America’s musical melting pot.