He was nominated at the 23rd Golden Globes Awards for both his score and song for 1966's The Yellow Royce Royce and won the Globe for his song, Forget Domani.
Ortolani is known mostly for a melody he composed more than half a century ago, for his first score, done for a movie most unlikely to be associated with romantic love, Mondo Cane.
When lyrics were added, Ortolani's haunting melody became one of the most popular love anthems ever, Ti Guardero nel Cuore, known as More, still one of the world's top favorites.
It won Ortolani an Oscar nomination and a Grammy, and was covered by many top singers in a variety of styles, among them Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, Doris Day, Andy Williams, Bobby Darin,The Supremes, Roy Orbison, and most recently, Andrea Bocelli.
He worked with many famous Italian, British and American directors, from Vittorio de Sica and Franco Zefirelli to Quentin Tarantino, for whom he scored three movies, including the recent Django Unchained.