The Monkees' Peter Tork Dead At 77

The Monkees

The Monkees star Peter Tork (born Peter Halsten Thorkelson) died on Thursday, February 21st at the age of 77, after a long battle with a rare form of cancer of the salivary glands.

Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith. the surviving members of the iconic 1960s group have tribute to Tork via social media. The other founding member of the band, Davy Jones, passed away in 2012.

Nesmith wrote, "Peter Tork died this AM. I am told he slipped away peacefully. Yet, as I write this my tears are awash, and my heart is broken. Even though I am clinging to the idea that we all continue, the pain that attends these passings has no cure. It's going to be a rough day.

"I share with all Monkees fans this change, this 'loss', even so. PT will be a part of me forever. I have said this before -- and now it seems even more apt -- the reason we called it a band is because it was where we all went to play.

"A band no more -- and yet the music plays on -- an anthem to all who made the Monkees and the TV show our private -- dare I say 'secret' -- playground.

"As for Pete, I can only pray his songs reach the heights that can lift us and that our childhood lives forever -- that special sparkle that was the Monkees. I will miss him -- a brother in arms. Take flight my Brother."

Micky Dolenz shared, "There are no words right now...heart broken over the loss of my Monkee brother, Peter Tork. #petertork #themonkees"

Peter's family had this statement, "We are all saddened to share the news that Peter Thorkelson - friend, father, husband, grandfather, philosopher, goofball, entertainer - died peacefully this morning at a family home in Connecticut. Peter succumbed to a 10 year bout with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands. 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 asking fans who would like to make contributions in Peter'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. More info can be found here.

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