Riz Ortolani Dies

GRAMMY-winning Italian composer dies at 87
  • Photo: Didier Messens/Getty Images
    Riz Ortolani
January 30, 2014 -- 10:51 am PST

GRAMMY-winning Italian composer Riz Ortolani died Jan. 23 following complications from surgery. He was 87. Ortolani was considered one of Italy's busiest film composers for nearly half a century and his worked spanned genres including spaghetti Westerns, thrillers and erotica. Among the American films he composed music for were The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (1968) and The Hunting Party (1971). Ortolani earned his first and only GRAMMY Award to date in 1963 for Best Instrumental Theme for "More — Theme From Mondo Cane," which he wrote with Norman Newell and Nino Oliviero for the 1962 documentary Mondo Cane. The song also earned Ortolani an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song and has been recorded by artists including Doris Day, Sergio Franchi, Frank Sinatra, and Andy Williams. More recently, director Quentin Tarantino used Ortolani's music in film such as Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2012). In 2013 Ortolani was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the World Soundtrack Association in Belgium.        

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