Peter Tork of ‘The Monkees’ dead at 77

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A post on Tork's official Facebook page said "the devastating news" was being shared "with beyond-heavy and broken hearts". The cause of death is now unknown, but he was diagnosed with a rare tongue cancer in 2009 - adenoid cystic carcinoma. "During this period, the group enjoyed a string of hits, including "Daydream Believer", "I'm A Believer", "Last Train to Clarksville", "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", and "(I'm Not Your) Steppin" Stone".

FOX 13 reported this story from Tampa. Tork played the "Ringo" role in the group, as a charming and goofy comic foil.

Tork left the band at the end of 1968, citing exhaustion, but rejoined in time for the band's 20th anniversary tour in 1986, and played on the band's 1996 album Justus.

He later took part in reunion tours with The Monkees.

The Monkees were a made-for-TV musical group formed in 1965 to star in a TV show, in the wake of The Beatles' success and their films A Hard Day's Night and Help!

The Monkees were a made-for-television rock band that was a pop-culture sensation.

Tork was 24 and the band's oldest member when "The Monkees" premiered in 1966.

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"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", his son said in a statement.

Tork was best known for his role as the bassist and keyboardist for the band The Monkees, which was originally created to start in a comedy TV show of the same name.

For much of the 1970s, Tork struggled to find his own way.

"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".

"This is not a band", Tork once told the UK's Telegraph in 2016. "It took me a while to get to grips with that, but what great music it turned out to be!"

He knew only one member of the Monkees before the show's debut, Nesmith who had been running "Hoot Nights" at the Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles where Tork would occasionally perform.

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