Score one for Morricone at the Oscars


Ennio Morricone, who has composed more than 300 motion picture scores during a 45-year career, will receive an honorary Oscar from the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The honor will be presented Feb. 25 at the 79th Annual Academy Awards "for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music."

Morricone has been nominated five times for best original score — for "Days of Heaven" (1978), "The Mission" (1986), "The Untouchables" (1987), "Bugsy" (1991) and "Malena" (2000) — but has never taken home an Oscar.

He is best known for his work on such Italian films as Sergio Leone's spaghetti Western "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and the epic gangster tale "Once Upon a Time in America" as well as Giuseppe Tornatore's nostalgic "Cinema Paradiso." Morricone also has composed scores for such films as "Bulworth," "In the Line of Fire," "La Cage Aux Folles" and "Two Mules for Sister Sara." His current project is Tornatore's "Leningrad," which is scheduled for a 2008 release.

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

Born in Rome, Morricone was hired by Leone in 1964 and began a long collaboration with the director.