Reuters

LOS ANGELES

Hollywood composer James Horner, who scored the Oscar-winning film “Titanic” and its mega-hit theme song “My Heart Will Go On”, died in a plane crash in southern California on Monday, U.S. media reported.

The aircraft came down in the Los Padres National Forest, north of Los Angeles, triggering a fire that charred more than an acre of brush, local fire authorities said. Star actors from Russell Crowe to Kirstie Alley took to Twitter to pay tribute to Horner, after trade publications The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported he had died in his private plane.

Director Ron Howard wrote: “Brilliant Composer James Horner, friend & collaborator on 7 movies has tragically died in a plane crash . My heart aches for his loved ones.” Horner, 61, won two Academy Awards for his work on “Titanic”, one for the score and one shared with lyricist Will Jennings for best original song - “My Heart Will Go On”, performed by Celine Dion. Horner also composed the music for “Aliens”, “The Karate Kid”, “Braveheart” and a string of other major films. His scores for “Avatar”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “House of Sand and Fog” earned Oscar nominations. His attorney Jay Cooper told Reuters he had not heard from Horner since the crash, but could not confirm whether he was on board at the time. “He’s an experienced pilot, but I know nothing else,” Cooper said. The Ventura County Fire Department said the plane crashed at 9:30 a.m. (1630 GMT Sunday) and there were no survivors. The cause of the crash was not immediately known. Horner’s most recent Oscar nomination was for the 2009 sci-fi epic “Avatar,” directed by James Cameron. American film touchstones of the 1990s such as “Patriot Games”, “Searching for Bobby Fischer” and “Jumanji” were also composed by Horner. Top actors and directors in the television and film world paid tribute to Horner online.

“Incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of James Horner. I grew up loving his work. He leaves behind a spectacular musical legacy,” television series creator Seth MacFarlane tweeted. “There is nothing that shaped my movie-going experience more than the musical genius of James Horner. He will live on through the ages,” tweeted actor Rob Lowe.