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James Roy Horner (August 14, 1953 – June 22, 2015) was an Academy Award-winning American composer, conductor and orchestrator of film music who composed the soundtrack to the 1986 film Aliens. He was noted for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores, and for frequent use of Celtic musical elements. A prolific motion picture composer, Horner scored over 150 films during his career, frequently collaborating with acclaimed directors such as James Cameron, Walter Hill and Ron Howard. Other notable films he worked on include Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), 48 Hrs. (1982), Star Trek III: The Search for Spok (1984), Commando (1985), Willow (1988), Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), Glory (1989), Rocketeer (1991), The Pelican Brief (1993), Clear and Present Danger (1994), Legends of the Fall (1994), Braveheart (1995), Casper (1995), Apollo 13 (1995), Jumanji (1995), Titanic (1997), Deep Impact (1998), The Mask of Zorro (1998), Mighty Joe Young (1998), Bicentennial Man (1999), The Perfect Storm (2000), Enemy at the Gates (2001), A Beautiful Mind (2001), Troy (2004), Apocalypto (2006), Avatar (2009) and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).

For his work on Aliens, Horner was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. In addition to this, he won two Academy Awards (Best Score and Best Original Song for Titanic), a Golden Globe and three Saturn Awards. Notably, due to Horner's association with Cameron, he composed the soundtrack for the highest grossing film of all time twice — Titanic in 1997 and Avatar in 2009. Horner's score for Titanic remains the best-selling orchestral film soundtrack of all time.

Horner was killed on June 22, 2015 when the light aircraft he was piloting crashed near Santa Barbara, California. There were no other passengers on board.

Trivia

  • During his career, Horner worked on several famous film series for which Alien composer Jerry Goldsmith also scored entries, most obviously Star Trek and the Chris Ryan series.

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