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'Chariots of Fire,' 'Blade Runner' composer Vangelis dies

'Chariots of Fire,' 'Blade Runner' composer Vangelis dies
Greek composer Vangelis Papathanassiou greets fans at the end of his historic concert, taking place at ancient Athens' Temple of Zeus, in Athens, Greece, on June 28, 2001. Vangelis died Tuesday at a Paris hospital. Photo by Simela Pantzartzi/EPA

May 19 (UPI) -- Composer Vangelis died Tuesday at age 79. The Washington Post first reported his death at a Paris hospital, while NPR later reported the cause was heart failure.

Vangelis won an Oscar for his iconic theme to the film Chariots of Fire, which scored Olympic runners Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) and Eric Liddell's (Ian Charleson) running. Ridley Scott used Vangelis twice to compose the music for Blade Runner and 1492: Conquest of Paradise.

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Other film scores by Vangelis include Missing, The Bounty and Oliver Stone's Alexander. Carl Sagan's 1980 PBS series Cosmos also used a Vangelis theme.

The Greek composer wrote songs and played organ for the rock band Forminx. After moving to Paris in 1967, Vangelis formed the band Aphrodite's Child which released three albums.

As a solo artist in London, Vangelis released 20 studio albums. His most recent release was 2021's Juno to Jupiter.

Pioneering the use of synthesizer, Vangelis was interested in space, hence his work in science-fiction and science documentary. Vangelis composed "Mythodea" for NASA's 2001 mission to Mars.

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Vangelis also wrote two London Royal Ballet scores and music for the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

Notable Deaths of 2022

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson participates in OTAs in Owings Mills, Md., on June 7, 2022. Photo by Joey Pulone/Baltimore Ravens Photos

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