TrekMovie is saddened to report that Oscar and Grammy-winning film composer James Horner died in a plane crash Monday in California. He was 61.
The plane, one of five registered to Mr. Horner, who was a pilot, went down around 9:30 a.m. Monday morning, causing a brushfire that spread out over an acre of land in Ventucopa, California. At the time of the crash, it was reported that the one person on board had perished. On Monday evening, Horner’s assistant Sylvia Patrycja confirmed that he had indeed died in the crash via Facebook:
A great tragedy has struck my family today, and I will not be around for a while. I would like some privacy and time to heal. We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart, and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road. Love Sylvia.
The cause is currently under investigation.
A remarkable career
James Horner was born in Los Angeles on August 14, 1953. He attended the Royal College of Music in London before returning to LA to complete his bachelor and post-graduate work.
Early in his career he toiled under legendary B-movie maven Roger Corman, scoring, among other films, the 1980 cult classic Battle Beyond the Stars. A few years later, he was hired by director Nicholas Meyer to score Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and given the unenviable task of succeeding the legendary Jerry Goldsmith. Horner’s seafaring-flavored score was nothing short of sensational, and launched his film career in earnest. He even makes a cameo in the film as an Enterprise crewmen (he’s in the foreground on the right).
A personal favorite from the score is “Genesis Countdown”, which begins with a great sense of urgency and jeopardy, and ends very sadly and softly, as Kirk discovers what has happened to Spock:
A few years back, Horner reflected on putting together the music for the film:
Following the success of Wrath of Khan, Horner went on to score the sequel, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and a multitude of other films in the ensuing years, including Aliens, An American Tail, Field of Dreams, Braveheart, and Apollo 13. Horner is perhaps best known for scoring Titanic, a blockbuster and cultural phenomenon which won him his first two Oscars (he was nominated a total of 10 times) and two Grammys. His most recent Oscar nomination was in 2009 for James Cameron’s Avatar.
More information can be found via The Hollywood Reporter.
Reaction from many in Hollywood, including Kirstie Alley, can be found here.
TrekMovie wishes James Horner’s family and friends our sincerest condolences.