James Horner, the American composer best known for his work on Titanic, has died at the age of 61 after his plane crashed in the Santa Barbara area of California earlier this morning. Horner’s death was confirmed by his assistant, Sylvia Patrycja.
The plane went down around 9:30 a.m. near Route 33 in the Ventucopa neighborhood, the crash sparking a one-acre brushfire. Authorities from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department arrived at the scene of the accident. The cause of the crash is still being investigated.
Horner was born in Los Angeles and early on showed an interest in music and film. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Southern California, and later obtained a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Throughout the course of his decades-long career, he scored over 100 films, including Braveheart, Aliens, A Beautiful Mind, Avatar, and Apollo 13. He’s best known, however, for his soundtrack to James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster Titanic — one of the best-selling albums of all time — for which he received two Academy Awards for Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Original Song (for “My Heart Will Go On”).
Below, revisit a few of his most famous scores.