by Justin Cook
Film composer James Horner has unfortunately passed away at the age of 61.
Horner died following a plane crash Monday morning near Santa Barbara. He was piloting the plane, which was also registered to him.
Previous reports said that one fatality was found at the site, but it wasn’t officially revealed to be Horner until the composer’s assistant, Sylvia Patrycja, confirmed the news on Facebook. Patrycja wrote, “We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road.”
Over the course of his career, this two-time Oscar winner composed the musical scores for such renowned films as Aliens, Field of Dreams, Braveheart, Jumanji, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, House of Sand and Fog, Avatar and The Amazing Spider-Man.
Horner was born in 1953 in Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in music, and initially found success composing scores for such Roger Corman films as Humanoids from the Deep and Battle Beyond the Stars; his work with Corman lead to bigger opportunities. Horner began gaining attention in 1982 when he was hired for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, a major studio film.
He frequently collaborated with director James Cameron, and won his two Academy Awards in the Best Music, Original Song (“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion) and Best Music, Original Dramatic Score categories in 1998 for Titanic. The Titanic soundtrack sold over 30 million copies worldwide, which is more than any other movie-score album ever. He also received four Grammys for his work on both An American Tail and Titanic.
Horner consistently turned out beautiful and memorable scores for over 100 films throughout his time as a film composer. He even worked on such 2015 films as the Chilean miner drama The 33, the Jake Gyllenhaal-led Southpaw and Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Wolf Totem.
When interviewed by the Los Angeles Times in 2009, Horner said, “My job — and it’s something I discuss with [James Cameron] all the time — is to make sure at every turn of the film it’s something the audience can feel with their heart. When we lose a character, when somebody wins, when somebody loses, when someone disappears — at all times I’m keeping track, constantly, of what the heart is supposed to be feeling. That is my primary role.”
Source: CBS Los Angeles