James Horner, 'Titanic' composer, dies in plane crash

Composer James Horner at 20th Century Fox Los Angeles Premiere of 'Avatar' on December 16, 2009 at Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. (Eric Charbonneau)

Oscar-winning "Titanic" composer James Horner died in a plane crash Monday in southern California, his assistant confirmed.

"We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart and unbelievable talent," said Sylvia Patrycja on Facebook. "He died doing what he loved."

The crash happened at about 9:30 a.m. near Quatal Canyon in Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County fire spokesman Mike Lindbery said.

The pilot was killed. No one else was on board.

Jay Cooper, an attorney for Horner, said the plane was one of several owned by the 61-year-old composer, and that no one has heard from him since the crash.

"It was his plane and if he wasn't in it, he would've called," Cooper said.

The plane was an S-312 Tucano MK1 turbo-prop with two seats, said Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Crews extinguished a fire that erupted in vegetation surrounding the remote crash site, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Horner has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning two for 1997's best picture, "Titanic." He composed the film's score and its enduring theme song, "My Heart Will Go On," sung by Celine Dion.

His scores for "Alien," ''Apollo 13," ''Field of Dreams," ''Braveheart," ''A Beautiful Mind," ''House of Sand and Fog" and "Avatar" also earned Oscar nods, as did his original song, "Somewhere Out There," from "An American Tail."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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