James Horner, Oscar-winning composer of Titanic, has died in a plane crash in southern California. He was aged 61.
A single-engine plane registered to Horner crashed near Santa Barbara on Monday morning. The identity of the pilot was not initially known, but Sylvia Patrycja, Horner’s assistant, confirmed his death on her Facebook page.
“We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart and unbelievable talent,” Patrycja wrote. “He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support.”
Mike Lindbery, a spokesman for Ventura County fire service said the plane, a S-312 Tucano MK1 turbo-prop with two seats, crashed about 9.30am local time on Monday in the Los Padres national forest.
Horner was a trained pilot. Born in Los Angeles in 1953 to a production designer, Harry Horner, and his wife, Joan, Horner trained at the Royal College of Music in London before returning to study for a degree in music at the University of Southern California.
After a composing career, which began in the concert hall, Horner cut his teeth in Hollywood in the late 70s on The Lady in Red. He earned his first Academy award nomination for Aliens and went on to score more than 100 films, including the blockbusters Braveheart, Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind.