The Monkees' Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith Left 'Heartbroken' Over Peter Tork's Passing

Surviving Monkees members, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith shared tributes to the later Peter Tork, who died Thursday at age 77 after a decade-long battle with a rare cancer.

Tork's sister, Anne Thorkelson, confirmed his death Thursday. In 2009, Tork was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the tongue.

After news broke of his death, Dolenz and Nesmith both shared tributes on their social media pages.

"There are no words right now...heart broken over the loss of my Monkee brother, Peter Tork," Dolenz tweeted.

Dolenz, 73, also shared a more recent photo of the two on Instagram, adding, "'When the world and I were young... just yesterday...'. Rest In Peace my Monkee brother, Peter Tork... Take your place in that heavenly band."

Nesmith, 76, shared two statements on his Facebook page as well.

"Just got the news that Peter died. I am heartbroken," the guitarist wrote.

In a longer statement published about an hour later, Nesmith looked back fondly on Tork and the Monkees' continued influence.

"[Peter Tork] 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," Nesmith wrote. "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."

Nesmith, Dolenz, Tork and Davy Jones were cast in The Monkees, which was initially viewed as just a sitcom cashing in on the popularity of The Beatles. However, the show's unique brand of humor and the countless number of now-classic pop songs made it and the band a cultural phenomenon.

Each member of the band had distinct personalities crafted by creators Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, with Tork cast as the lovable dim-witted bassist. In reality, Tork and Nesmith were major figures in the 1960s folk and rock scenes in California, while Jones and Dolenz were child actors before they were cast.

Tork also wrote a handful of songs that ended up on Monkees albums, including "For Pete's Sake" on Headquarters and "Can You Dig It?" and "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again?" for Head.

Tork was the first member to leave the band after their 1968 film Head flopped. However, Tork took part in later reunions and tours, rejoining them for their 2016 album Good Times! and the 2018 Christmas album Christmas Party.


Tork is survived by his fourth wife, Pamela Grapes; his children Hallie, Ivan and Erica; a brother; and his sister.

Photo credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for SiriusXM