The two-time Oscar winner, 61, worked on three James Cameron films, two ‘Star Trek’ movies and classics like ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ ‘Field of Dreams’ and ‘Apollo 13.’
James Horner, the consummate film composer known for his heart-tugging scores for Field of Dreams, Braveheart and Titanic, for which he won two Academy Awards, died Monday in a plane crash near Santa Barbara. He was 61.
His death was confirmed by Sylvia Patrycja, who is identified on Horner’s film music page as his assistant.
“We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart and unbelievable talent,” Patrycja wrote on Facebook on Monday. “He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road.”
Horner was piloting a single-engine S312 Tucano turboprop plane when it crashed into a remote area about 60 miles north of Santa Barbara, officials said. An earlier report noted that the plane, which was registered to the composer, had gone down, but the pilot had not been identified.
Horner’s agency, Gorfaine/Schwartz, said in a statement released Tuesday: “It is with the deepest regret and sorrow that we mourn the tragic passing of our dear colleague, long-time client and great friend, composer James Horner. … Our thoughts and prayers are with James’ family at this difficult time, and also with the millions of people around the world who loved his music. A shining light has been extinguished, which can never be replaced.”
“It has been an honor and a privilege to have worked with James since the inception of our agency,” the statement continued. “For more than three decades, his unique creative genius made an indelible imprint on each of our lives and on those of the entire Hollywood community. There is not a person in our GSA family who wasn’t touched by the power and reach of his music, and who isn’t diminished by his loss.”
For his work on the 1997 best picture winner Titanic, directed by James Cameron, Horner captured the Oscar for original dramatic score, and he nabbed another Academy Award for original song (shared with lyricist Will Jennings) for “My Heart Will Go On,” performed by Celine Dion.
“My job — and it’s something I discuss with Jim all the time — is to make sure at every turn of the film it’s something the audience can feel with their heart,” Horner said in a 2009 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “When we lose a character, when somebody wins, when somebody loses, when someone disappears — at all times I’m keeping track, constantly, of what the heart is supposed to be feeling. That is my primary role.”
His score for Titanic sold a whopping 27 million copies worldwide.
His fruitful partnership with Cameron also netted him Oscar noms for original score for the blockbusters Aliens (1986) and Avatar (2009). The pair reportedly were also at work on Avatarsequels.