Agents confirm James Horner death
Composer James Horner, who won two Oscars for his work on Titanic, died when his plane crashed in Southern California, his agents confirmed.
Michael Gorfaine and Sam Schwartz issued a statement saying Horner, 61, had died, although official confirmation could take several days while the Ventura County coroner works to formally identify the remains of the pilot, who was the only person on board.
People who fuelled the plane at an airport in Camarillo confirmed that he took off in the plane on Monday morning, said Horner's lawyer, Jay Cooper.
The S-312 Tucano MK1 turboprop crashed and burned in a remote area of the Los Padres National Forest, about 100 miles from Los Angeles.
Horner's credits ranged from big-budget blockbusters to foreign-language indies.
His work was nominated for 10 Academy Awards. He won two for 1997's best picture, Titanic, for the film score and its theme song, My Heart Will Go On, sung by Celine Dion. It became a best-seller.
"We will always remember his kindness and great talent that changed my career," Dion said.
Horner's Academy Awards nominations honour his work on Alien, Apollo 13, Field Of Dreams, Braveheart, A Beautiful Mind, House Of Sand And Fog and Avatar, and for his original song, Somewhere Out There, from An American Tail.
"The 'Avatar' community has lost one of our great creative lights with the passing of James Horner," James Cameron and Jon Landau, who respectively directed and produced Avatar, said.
"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."
My Heart Will Go On hit No. 1 around the world and become the best-selling single of 1998.
A pianist since the age of five, Horner studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the University of Southern California, eventually earning graduate degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles.
He got his start composing for films by scoring shorts for the American Film Institute. His first commercial credits came from Roger Corman, who hired him to score several films in the 1980s, including Battle Beyond The Stars.
Horner discussed his approach to making music while working on Avatar.
"To me, writing and composing are much more like painting, about colours and brushes," he told the Los Angeles Times in 2009.
"I don't use a computer when I write and I don't use a piano. I'm at a desk writing and it's very broad strokes and notes as colours on a palette. I think very abstractly when I'm writing. Then as the project moves on it becomes more like sculpting."
Horner was known for including passages from his earlier compositions and from other composers in his work.
Horner's collaborators included George Lucas, Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone.
He also wrote the score for the Southpaw, a boxing drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal that is released next month.