One of the most prolific film composers of the modern era– James Horner– has passed away. Renowned around the world as the composer of the immortal theme to James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster Titanic, Horner leaves behind a legacy that includes over 100 film compositions and some of the most memorable music ever heard in movies. Horner passed away while piloting a small plane which crashed about 60 miles north of Santa Barbara, California. He was 61 years old.
Confirmation of Horner’s passing came from assistant Sylvia Patrycja, who in a Facebook post said:
“A great tragedy has struck my family today, and I will not be around for a while. I would like some privacy and time to heal. 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.”
Aside from Titanic (for which Horner earned Oscars, Golden Globes and Grammy Awards for composing the score as well as writing the music to the classic ballad “My Heart Will Go On”), Horner had maintained a consistent presence in modern filmmaking since the late 1970s– his first major film composition was for the 1970 film The Lady in Red. He also composed the scores to films as varied as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Cocoon (1985) and Glory (1989).
Horner worked with James Cameron on three occasions (Aliens, Titanic, Avatar) and earned Oscar nominations for his scores to films including An American Tail (1986), Field of Dreams (1989), Braveheart (1995), Apollo 13 (1995) and A Beautiful Mind (2001.) Horner also has a few compositions still yet to be heard– he composed the score the upcoming Jake Gyllenhaal drama Southpaw. Horner was the son of Oscar-winning production designer Harry Horner (The Hustler, The Heiress).