Ennio Morricone to receive honorary Oscar

Dec 13, 2006 by Ian Evans

Composer-conductor Ennio Morricone, who has composed more than 300 motion picture scores over a 45-year career, has been voted an Honorary Award by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Award, an Oscar® statuette, will be given to Morricone at the 79th Academy Awards® presentation on February 25, 2007, “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.”

Morricone has earned five Academy Award nominations for original score — for Days of Heaven (1978), The Mission (1986), The Untouchables (1987), Bugsy (1991) and Malèna (2000) — but has not previously received an Oscar.

“The Board was responding not just to the remarkable number of scores that Mr. Morricone has produced,” said Academy President Sid Ganis, “but to the fact that so many of them are beloved and popular masterpieces.”

While the bulk of his work has been on Italian films, including The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once upon a Time in America and Cinema Paradiso, Morricone has composed memorable scores for such international titles as Bulworth, In the Line of Fire, La Cage aux Folles and Two Mules for Sister Sara. His current project, Leningrad, has been announced for a 2008 release.

Born in Rome, Morricone was hired in 1964 by Sergio Leone and began a long collaboration with the director on what came to be known as spaghetti Westerns, though his career has spanned most film genres from comedy to romance to horror.

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