Ennio Morricone, the Italian composer who wrote the iconic theme tune to The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, has died aged 91.
His death was confirmed by his lawyer, Giorgio Assumma, who said he died in a hospital in Rome early on Monday.
Morricone is understood to have died from complications following a fall, in which he broke his leg.
A prolific composer, he wrote more than 400 original scores for feature films, including The Untouchables and The Hateful Eight.
Known as ‘The Maestro’, he began writing music at the age of 6, and went on to win two Oscars, several Grammy, Golden Globes and BAFTAs and numerous David Di Donatello Awards, Italy’s highest film honours.
In a career spanning decades, he worked with Hollywood directors including Quentin Tarantino, Brian de Palma and Gillo Pontecorvo.
But perhaps his best known collaboration was with late Italian film director Sergio Leone, who he went to school with as a child.
Morricone wrote the iconic coyote-howl theme to Leone’s 1966 Spaghetti Western The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, a tune that is recognisable across the world.
For Leone’s 1969 classic Once Upon A Time In The West, Morricone created a few simple notes on the harmonica, which became instantly associated with the film.
However, his chance to score 1971 film The Clockwork Orange was scuppered when Leone told Stanley Kubrick that the composer was too busy finishing up the music to one of his films. This turned out not to be the case.
Morricone won an Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2007 followed by an Oscar for best original score in 2016 for Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.
Accepting his 2016 Oscar, the modest composer told the audience: “There is no great music without a great film that inspires it.”
Two years later, Morricone threatened to sue the German edition of Playboy after they published an interview which included disparaging remarks about both Tarantino and the Academy Awards, which he said he never made.
In total, he produced more than 400 original scores for feature films.
Born in 1928 to a trumpet-playing father, Morricone’s first instrument was also the trumpet.