CBS is reporting that composer James Horner died today in a plane crash. He was 61.
Although Horner became well known for his score of the 1997 blockbuster Titanic—the bestselling orchestral soundtrack of all-time—he scored more than 100 movies, including Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Braveheart, and Glory.
A single-engine plane registered to Horner crashed in a remote area about 60 miles north of Santa Barbara this morning, sparking a 1-acre brush fire. It was initially unclear if he was the pilot; Variety and other outlets were reporting this evening that authorities confirmed Horner’s death, and Horner’s lawyer confirms only that he has not heard from the composer since the crash.
UPDATE: Deadline reports that Horner’s death has been confirmed by his representatives, who released the following statement:
“It is with the deepest regret and sorrow that we mourn the tragic passing of our dear colleague, long-time client and great friend, composer James Horner. An avid and experienced pilot, James was flying a single-engine aircraft that crashed in a remote area of northern Ventura County, California, shortly before 9:30am PST on Monday morning. He was 61 years old. Our thoughts and prayers are with James’ family at this difficult time, and also with the millions of people around the world who loved his music. A shining light has been extinguished, which can never be replaced. It has been an honor and a privilege to have worked with James since the inception of our agency. For more than three decades, his unique creative genius made an indelible imprint on each of our lives and on those of the entire Hollywood community. There is not a person in our GSA family who wasn’t touched by the power and reach of his music, and who isn’t diminished by his loss. We express our love and sincere condolences to James’ wife Sara and his two daughters, Emily and Becky. And we take comfort in the belief that in his last moments, James was doing something from which he derived such great joy. His spirit will continue to soar, and he will be with us always.”