James Horner, the Oscar-winning composer of the 1997 film “Titanic,” died Monday after his plane crashed in southern California. The 61-year-old’s assistant Sylvia Patrycja confirmed the news on her Facebook account.
The plane, a single-engine S-312 Tucano, crashed near Cuyama, about 60 miles north of Santa Barbara, but the cause of the accident is yet to be determined, the Federal Aviation Administration reportedly said. Horner was the only person on board the plane, according to BBC.
“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,” Patrycja wrote in the post. “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.”
Before the news of Horner’s death, his lawyer Jay Cooper said that the former was a trained pilot and that the plane was one of many that the music composer owned, the Guardian reported.
Horner, who won two Academy Awards for his work on James Cameron’s “Titanic,” also composed music for movies like “Braveheart” and “A Beautiful Mind.”
“My job … is to make sure at every turn of the film it’s something the audience can feel with their heart,” Horner said in a 2009 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “When we lose a character, when somebody wins, when somebody loses, when someone disappears -- at all times I’m keeping track, constantly, of what the heart is supposed to be feeling. That is my primary role.”
He was born in Los Angeles in 1953, and trained at the Royal College of Music in London before returning to study music at the University of Southern California.
Here are some tweets from celebrities mourning Horner’s death.
My sincere condolences to the family, loved ones and friends of James Horner. #abeautifulmind
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) June 23, 2015
I"m so sad to hear about James Horner..He scored the first movie I did..Star Trek 2...great composer..great person...huge loss
— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) June 23, 2015
Incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of James Horner. I grew up loving his work. He leaves behind a spectacular musical legacy.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) June 23, 2015
— josh groban (@joshgroban) June 23, 2015
Brilliant Composer James Horner, friend & collaborator on 7 movies has tragically died in a plane crash. My heart aches for his loved ones.
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) June 23, 2015
— Rita Wilson (@RitaWilson) June 23, 2015
Very sad to hear of the death of James Horner. I'm a big fan of his scores.
— Chris Rankin (@chrisrankin) June 23, 2015
James Horner wrote my two favorite scores… Field of Dreams and Braveheart. We lost one of history’s greatest artists today.
— Rhett Reese (@RhettReese) June 23, 2015