Peter Tork was an American musician and actor.
Tork began studying piano at the age of nine, showing an aptitude for music by learning to play several different instruments, including the banjo, harpsichord and both acoustic bass and guitars.
In late 1965, Tork auditioned for a new television series about a perennially out-of-work pop/rock band and became one of the four members of the Monkees, along with Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Michael Nesmith. At 24, Tork was the oldest member of the group.
The Monkees series aired only two seasons but won the 1967 Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series and also launched the group to radio stardom, with hits like “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m a Believer” (written by Neil Diamond), “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” and “Daydream Believer.” The group hit #1 in the U.S. with its first four albums, all of which went multiplatinum.
After Tork’s departure from the group in December 1968, he continued to work in the music business for several years, then took a job teaching at Pacific Hills School in Santa Monica, California in the mid-1970s for a year and a half. He spent a total of three years as a teacher of music, social studies, math, French and history and coaching baseball at a number of schools.
Beginning in 1986, when reruns of The Monkees on MTV sparked a renewed interest in Monkees music, Tork intermittently toured and recorded with his former Monkees bandmates while simultaneously playing with his own bands, The Peter Tork Project and Shoe Suede Blues.
Tork made appearances as himself on numerous talk shows and TV series, and performed as an actor in episodes of Boy Meets World, The King of Queens, and 7th Heaven.
Tork died February 21, 2019. He was 77.