Peter Tork of The Monkees dies aged 77

Peter Tork has died at 77 - Getty Images
Peter Tork has died at 77 - Getty Images

Peter Tork, singer and bass guitarist with 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 post on the musician's official Facebook page 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.

"We ask for your kindness and understanding in allowing us to grieve this huge loss privately.

Monkees - Credit: NBC
The Monkees in the 1970s Credit: NBC

"We want to thank each and every one of you for your love, dedication and support of our 'boss.' Having you in our world has meant so very much to all of us.

"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. We send blessings and thoughts of comfort to you all."

Tork became part of the thriving folk scene in New York City's 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.

Peter Tork on the set of the television show The Monkees circa 1967 - Credit: Michael Ochs Archives
Peter Tork on the set of the television show The Monkees circa 1967 Credit: Michael Ochs Archives

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.

Micky Dolenz, who played alongside Tork in The Monkees, paid tribute to his bandmate.

Graham Coxon, lead guitarist in the rock band Blur, said Tork had been his favourite member of The Monkees.

He wrote via Twitter: "Ahh.. RIP Peter Tork- my favourite monkee".

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys was also among the stars paying tribute following Tork's death.

He tweeted: "I'm sad to hear about Peter Tork passing. I thought The Monkees were great and Peter will be missed. Love & mercy to Peter's family, friends and fans."