Composer James Horner dies in plane crash

Horner is well known for his work on movies such as Titanic, Braveheart and Avatar

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 the small aircraft 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.

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.

His score for Titanic sold 27 million copies worldwide.

His fruitful partnership with Cameron also netted him Oscar nominations for original score for the blockbusters Aliens (1986) and Avatar (2009). The pair reportedly were also at work on Avatarsequels.

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