Bob Rafelson, co-creator of ‘The Monkees’, dies aged 89

The Monkees creator Bob Rafelson has died at the age of 89 credit:Bang Showbiz
The Monkees creator Bob Rafelson has died at the age of 89 credit:Bang Showbiz

Bob Rafelson has died at the age of 89.

The acclaimed writer and director - who was known for co-creating 1960s pop band The Monkees - passed away at his home in Aspen, Colorado on Saturday (23.07.22) following a battle with lung cancer, his wife Gabrielle Taurek confirmed to the New York Times.

As well as Gabrielle, Bob is also survived by their children Harper and E.O as well as 61-year-old son Peter, who he had with ex-wife Toby Carr.

Along with his late business partner Bert Schneider, Bob was inspired to create sitcom 'The Monkees' about a fictional band after seeing The Beatles' movie 'A Hard Day's Night' and original cast members Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith , Peter Tork and Davy Jones went on to sell more than more than 75 million records worldwide in real life with hits such as 'Last Train to Clarksville' and 'Daydream Believer.'

Following the news of his death, Monkees member Micky revealed that he had been able to tell him he was "eternally grateful" to him and thanked him as a "friend" upon paying tribute.

Micky told Variety: "I did get a chance to send him a message telling him how eternally grateful I was that he saw something in me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, my friend."

Following the cancellation of the sitcom 'The Monkees' in 1968, Bob created the movie 'Head' around the world-famous band but his wife previously explained that others tried to discourage him from doing it because they felt his work with the group was "done."

She said: "Bob was urged by his partners and friends not to make a movie with The Monkees. They felt he had done his work with them, and their audience was already defecting. But Bob felt he wanted to complete the cycle. He felt the truth of The Monkees’ story had not been told — their manipulation, protest, and substantial talents. He felt the true story, in abstract [form], would be more than worth the telling."

Outside of The Monkees, Bob was also known for having directed and written the 1970 drama movie 'Five Easy Pieces', which starred Jack Nicholson and Karen Black and was nominated for four Academy Awards.