The Hollywood composer who wrote the score for the Oscar-winning film Titanic has died at the age of 61.
Horner, died on Monday, June 22, 2015 after a single engine plane owned by him crashed in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, outside Santa Barbara, Southern California.
Officials of the Santa Barbara County Fire department arrived at the scene of the crash near Ventucopa, about 60 miles north of Santa Barbara, at approximately 9.30 a.m. and discovered debris.
Ron Howard, who worked with Horner on a number of films including “A Beautiful Mind,” confirmed his death via Twitter on Tuesday, June 23, 2015.
He wrote, “Brilliant Composer James Horner, friend & collaborator on 7 movies has tragically died in a plane crash. My heart aches for his loved ones.”
Brilliant Composer James Horner, friend & collaborator on 7 movies has tragically died in a plane crash. My heart aches for his loved ones.
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) June 23, 2015
Horner who began his career with ‘The Lady in Red’ in 1979 carved a niche for himself after he scored more than 100 features and earned a remarkable 10 Academy Award nominations.
He won two in 1998, for the score of “Titanic” as well as the chart-topping ballad “My Heart Will Go On” which he shared with Will Jennings.
Horner also won three Grammy Awards for his work on the “Titanic” soundtrack, which sold more than 30 million copies and became the top-selling movie soundtrack album in history.
His compositions were noted for their old-fashioned craftsmanship, the frequent use of Celtic elements particularly in his work on James Cameron films like “Titantic” and “Avatar” and the reliance on new technology to achieve traditional sonic affects, as with the use of an all-digital choir for “Titanic.”
Horner was born in Los Angeles and took up piano at age 5, and also has an age-long passion for flying with about 5 aircraft to his name.
He studied at London’s Royal Academy of Music for five years before returning to California for a B.A. from USC. He then earned a doctorate from UCLA, where he worked with Paul Chiara.
By the time of his first Oscar nominations in 1987, for composing Cameron’s sci-fi classic “Aliens” score and co-writing the song “Somewhere Out There” from the animated film “An American Tail,” Horner had already scored more than 36 features, many of them low-budget productions from schlockmeister Roger Corman.
He followed with nominations for 1989’s “Field of Dreams,” 1995’s “Braveheart” and “Apollo 13,” 2001’s “A Beautiful Mind,” 2003’s “House of Sand and Fog” and 2009’s “Avatar.”