ROME, Jul 6 (Reuters) – Ennio Morricone, whose soundtracks for films like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “The Mission” and “Cinema Paradiso” made him one of the world’s most famous and prolific film composers, died at the age of 91, his lawyer said Monday.
Morricone, who won two Oscars and dozens of other awards including Golden Globes, Grammys and BAFTA, had broken his femur about 10 days ago and died overnight in a clinic in Rome, Giorgio Assumma told Reuters.
He received his last Oscar in 2016 for the original soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s “The 8 Most Hated”, an assignment he had initially turned down but finally accepted, demanding that the American allow him a “total break” with the style of Western films he had written 50 years earlier.
Morricone wrote the music for hundreds of movies, television shows, popular songs, and orchestras, but it was his friendship with Italian director Sergio Leone that brought him fame, thanks to the soundtracks of several “spaghetti westerns” starring Clint Eastwood in the 1960s.
These include the so-called “Dollar Trilogy”: “For a Fistful of Dollars”, “Death Had a Price” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.
Morricone used unconventional instruments such as the birimbao, the amplified harmonica, mariachi trumpets, the English horn and the ocarina, an ancient Chinese egg-shaped instrument.
His music was accompanied by real sounds such as whistles, whip cracking, gunshots and sounds inspired by wild animals such as coyotes.
He always tried to disassociate himself from “spaghetti westerns”, reminding people, particularly outside Italy, that he had a very creative and productive life before and after the films he made with Leone.