Sunday 24 March 2019

The Monkees star Peter Tork dies aged 77

He enjoyed number one successes with the group.

Peter Tork at the height of The Monkees’ fame in 1967. (Ray Howard/AP/REX/Shutterstock)
Peter Tork at the height of The Monkees’ fame in 1967. (Ray Howard/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

By Craig Simpson, Press Association

Peter Tork, member of rock acting quartet The Monkees, has died aged 77.

The actor and musician was best known as the keyboardist and bassist in the popular TV pop-group, which achieved widespread fame in the 1960s.

Tork’s death was confirmed on the official Facebook account of the US TV star, who was born in Washington DC in 1942.

The member of the band has been hailed as an “amazing soul” by those close to him.

A statement on the official Facebook page of the star said: “It is with beyond-heavy and broken hearts that we share the devastating news that our friend, mentor, teacher, and amazing soul, Peter Tork, has passed from this world.

“Please know that Peter was extremely appreciative of you, his Torkees, and one of his deepest joys was to be out in front of you, playing his music, and seeing you enjoy what he had to share.

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The Monkees (PA)

“We send blessings and thoughts of comfort to you all, with much gratitude.”

Tork became part of the thriving folk scene in Greenwich village, before auditioning for a planned series about a fictitious pop four-piece.

The series became The Monkees, and Tork was the slightly goofy keyboard and bass player, alongside Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and the late English singer Davy Jones.

After their formation in 1966, the made-for-TV group had number one hits with I’m A Believer, Daydream Believer, and Last Train To Clarksville soon after they were established.

Following The Monkees, Tork worked in collaboration with several musicians including George Harrison, for whom he played banjo.

There followed an unsuccessful period with band Release, and a spell in prison for drugs possession.

He later took part in reunion tours with The Monkees. 

He was diagnosed with cancer in 2009.

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