Two-time Oscar-winning composer James Horner has died in a plane crash at the age of 61, according to multiple reports. Horner, who was an experienced pilot, was flying one of his small aircrafts when it crashed north of Santa Barbara.
Horner was best known for composing the score for James Cameron’s Titanic, for which he won his two Oscars, one for the score and one for co-writing the original song “My Heart Will Go On” for Celine Dion. He also composed the score for Cameron’s Avatar and was pegged to do the same for the sequels.
Other Oscar-nominated scores by Horner included A Beautiful Mind, Braveheart, Apollo 13 and Field of Dreams, all of which were also nominated for Best Picture (the first two won the top Oscar), as well as Cameron’s earlier film Aliens and the song “Somewhere Out There” for An American Tail.
Horner’s career dates all the way back to 1978’s The Watcher and he had nearly 158 films for which he was credited as a composer and even more when you include the soundtracks that have included the songs that Horner composed.
His last films will be Antoine Fuqua’s boxing drama Southpaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, and the Chilean miner film The 33.
UPDATE: Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron and producer Jon Landau have released the following statement regarding the death of Horner.
The Avatar community has lost one of our great creative lights with the passing of James Horner. James’ music was the air under the banshees’ wings, the ancient song of the forest, and the heartbeat of Eywa. We have lost not only a great team-mate and collaborator, but a good friend. James’ music affected the heart because his heart was so big, it infused every cue with deep emotional resonance, whether soaring in majesty through the floating mountains, or crying for the loss of nature’s innocence under bulldozer treads. The beauty and power of Avatar lay not just in the superb performances and the visual splendor, but in the music that made us cry and exult along with our characters.
Irayo, James. Fly brother.
Jim and Jon
(Photo Credit: WENN.com)