UPDATED with Morricone’s self-written obituary: Legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone died Monday in Rome following complications from a fall last week. He was 91.
His lawyer Giorgio Assumma handed reporters an obituary written by the composer himself outside the clinic where Morricone died, Reuters reports. It begins “I, Ennio Morricone, am dead.”
In an poignant one-page text, Morricone thanked his close friends and family for their companionship, naming his children and grandchildren and saying “I hope they understand how much I loved them.”
He dedicated “the most painful goodbye” to his wife Maria Travia, whom he married in 1956, saying “to her I renew the extraordinary love that bound us together and that I am sorry to abandon.”
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He said he wanted a private funeral because “I don’t want to disturb.”
The towering musical maestro composed more than 400 scores for cinema and TV, as well as more than 100 classical works. His score for The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1966), one of a handful of successful collaborations with director Sergio Leone, is considered one of the most influential soundtracks in history.
His glittering filmography includes more than 70 award-winning films, including all Leone’s films, all Giuseppe Tornatore’s films from the much-loved Cinema Paradiso onwards, The Battle Of Algiers, Dario Argento’s Animal Trilogy, Days Of Heaven, The Thing, The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy and Ripley’s Game.
In 2016 he won an Oscar for his score for Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight, at the time becoming the oldest person ever to win a competitive Oscar. He has been nominated for a further six Academy Awards.
Born in 1928, Morricone began life as a passionate AS Roma fan and an enthusiastic soccer player but quickly turned to music. After playing the trumpet in jazz bands in the 1940s, he became a studio arranger and then started ghost writing for film and theater.
From 1966 to 1980, he was a main member of Il Gruppo, one of the first experimental composers collectives and from the 1970s his career took off in Hollywood, composing for directors including Don Siegel, Mike Nichols, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, Oliver Stone, Warren Beatty, Quentin Tarantino and John Carpenter.
His European collaborators also included Bernardo Bertolucci, Roland Joffé, Roman Polanski and Henry Veneuil. The cinema great would also compose music for singers such as Zucchero and Andrea Boccelli.
By 2016, Morricone had sold more than 70 million records worldwide and a year later he received the Academy’s Honorarry Award “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.” Across his career, he won three Grammys, three Golden Globes, six BAFTAs, ten David di Donatellows and two European Film Awards.
The news of Morricone’s passing sparked an immediate wave of tributes online.
Director Edgar Wright said: “Where to even begin with iconic composer Ennio Morricone? He could make an average movie into a must see, a good movie into art, and a great movie into legend. He hasn’t been off my stereo my entire life. What a legacy of work he leaves behind. RIP.”
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