Ennio Morricone, the Italian composer whose symphonic scores backed everything from spaghetti westerns to romances, horror, sci-fi and more, has died aged 91.
Morricone had broken his femur some days ago and died during the night in a clinic in Rome. His death was confirmed by his lawyer, Giorgio Assumma.
He was hired as an arranger by the label RCA in Italy and also began writing for pop artists – his songs became hits for Paul Anka, Francoise Hardy and Demi Roussous, and he later collaborated with Pet Shop Boys. His 1960s scores for Sergio Leone, backing a moody Clint Eastwood in the Dollars trilogy, were huge successes and came to define him: with their whistling melodies, and blend of symphonic elements with gunshots and guitars, they evoke the entire western genre.
He frequently toured highlights from his catalogue, and was still conducting his orchestra in 2019. He sold more than 70m albums worldwide, and as well as his two Academy awards, he won four Grammy awards and six Baftas.