The Monkees Member Peter Tork Dead At 77

Peter Tork, beloved member of The Monkees, died Thursday after a decade long tongue cancer battle.

The 77-year-old’s family confirmed his passing in a statement, revealing that he “died peacefully morning at a family home in Connecticut.” In 1999, the keyboardist and bass guitarist was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands.

Tork, real name Peter Halsten Thorkelson, was known as the wise-cracking, self-described “dummy” of the made-for-tv supergroup that rose to fame in the ‘60s.

The musician’s Facebook page confirmed his passing Thursday, sharing the following statement from his grieving family:

Peter’s energy, intelligence, silliness, and curiosity were traits that for decades brought laughter and enjoyment to millions, including those of us closest to him. Those traits also equipped him well to take on cancer, a condition he met with unwavering humor and courage. We are all still raw, and still have much to process, but we are also feeling appreciation for Peter’s contributions. We are grateful that we have an extended support network thanks to the attentive energy and dedication of Peter’s fans worldwide. We want those fans to know with absolute certainty that your spirit and goodwill fed Peter with continued energy and force (and of course humor). With that, we ask that our family have time and space to grieve in privacy.

The family went on to encourage fans who would like to make contributions in Tork’s name to donate to the scholarship fund at The Institute for The Musical Arts in Massachusetts, “a nonprofit that provides young women with music education, music recording, and music community.”

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