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Italian Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone dies at 91

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-07-07 08:59
FILE PHOTO: Italian composer Ennio Morricone arrives at the 79th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 25, 2007. [Photo/Agencies]

ROME -- Italian Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone died early Monday in Rome, local media reported.

The 91-year-old legendary author of Spaghetti Western movies -- which brought American actor Clint Eastwood to fame -- had been hospitalized last week, after suffering a broken femur, according to Ansa news agency.

His funeral will be held privately, "in accordance with the humility that has marked every action of his life," the composer's lawyer Giorgio Assumma wrote in a note to the media.

Morricone was awarded the Academy's Honorary Award in 2007 for his lifetime achievement.

He won his first Oscar in the main competition (after five nominations) in 2016 with Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, which also received a Golden Globe.

In his long career, the Italian musician also won two other Golden Globes -- with The Mission in 1987 and The Legend of 1900 in 2000 -- three Grammys, and the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion Honorary Award in 1995, among other prizes.

His musical production included a long list of popular movies in the past 50 years, beginning with Italian director Sergio Leone's trilogy -- A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966) -- later known as Spaghetti Westerns.

These three movies helped shape the figure of Clint Eastwood -- little known at the time -- as the solitary and reserved gunman that will characterize the successful career of the American actor for a long time.

Morricone also composed the soundtrack for the famous Once Upon a Time in the West (1972).

Among other films, Morricone wrote music for Brian de Palma's The Untouchables (1987), Roman Polansky's Frantic (1988), Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso (Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1990), Barry Levinson's Disclosure (1994), and, again, De Palma's Mission to Mars (2000) and Tornatore's The Best Offer (2013).

Overall, he composed music for more than 500 films, and was venerated in his hometown Rome and in Italy as "Maestro."

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