James Horner’s reps at the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency confirmed the news of Horner’s death in a statement released Tuesday evening.
"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," Michael Gorfaine and Sam Schwartz said in the statement. "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."
Read the entire statement below.
Celebrated composer James Horner, best known for his Oscar-winning score for Titanic, died in a plane crash on Monday, his assistant confirmed. Horner was 61.
A plane registered to Horner crashed in North Ventura County on Monday morning at about 9:30 a.m., and the pilot was killed. It was not immediately clear if Horner was on the plane.
Horner's death was later confirmed by his assistant Sylvia Patrycja in a post on Facebook.
Horner's attorney Jay Cooper told NBC L.A. that the acclaimed composer owned five aircraft, including two helicopters. Cooper added that Horner was an "experienced" pilot.
Horner won two Oscars for his work on Titanic, one for Best Original Score and the other for Best Song, having written the music for the Celine Dion hit "My Heart With Go On."
Horner received seven other Oscar nominations and is remembered for his work on such beloved classics as Field of Dreams, Legends of the Fall, Braveheart, Aliens, Apollo 13, Jumanji and A Beautiful Mind, among hundreds of others.
Horner was also the go-to composer for director James Cameron, including Avatar, as well as filmmakers Ron Howard and Mel Gibson. He had completed scores for several upcoming movies, including Southpaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, and The 33 with Antonio Banderas.
In 2010, Horner was interviewed about his involvement with the aerial aerobatic group called The Horsemen, in which Horner opened up about his love of flying planes and his renewed interest in piloting.
"I used to fly when I was younger," Horner recounted. "I never had a mentor, it was all self-induced. I grew up around air shows and air planes."
In a December interview, Horner spoke about his career and the philosophy behind the choices he made.
"I don't want to be doing these movies that now 85 or 90 composers want, as opposed to six," he said. "And now all these … action movies. I don't get offered all the movies obviously, but I see a lot of them and I do get asked to do a lot of them."
He added: "I just know they’re not asking me to do something that I can do – something original. They’re asking me to do a formula and I’m too rebellious." Many of Horner's friends and colleagues have taken to Twitter to share their condolences for the loss of the beloved composer.
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
Overwhelmed by sadness tonight. One of my childhood heroes has unexpectedly left us.— Bear McCreary (@bearmccreary) June 23, 2015
"If we hold on together, I know our dreams will never die. Dreams see us through to forever." RIP James Horner. You'll be sadly missed.— James Wan (@creepypuppet) June 23, 2015
We lost a MASTER today. RIP James Horner. Your music will live forever... https://t.co/qi4n0hiX0d— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) June 23, 2015
My sincere condolences to the family, loved ones and friends of James Horner. #abeautifulmind— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) June 23, 2015
Brilliant composer JAMES HORNER, friend and collaborator on many movies, has tragically died in a plane crash. My heart is with his family.— Frank Marshall (@LeDoctor) June 23, 2015
You were one of my childhood heroes, James. Thank you for the inspiration, you will be greatly missed.— Michael Giacchino (@m_giacchino) June 23, 2015
Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency Statement on Horner's passing:
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.
Michael Gorfaine, Sam Schwartz, and everyone at the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency