Peter Tork

Peter Tork

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Birthday: Feb 13, 1942

Birthplace: Washington, D.C., USA

Best known as a member of the fictional-turned-real '60s rock band The Monkees, Peter Tork was born Peter Halsten Thorkelson in Washington D.C. in 1942. Tork began learning piano at age nine, and by the end of his teens he had mastered the guitar, banjo, and acoustic bass as well. After attending Carleton College for a time, Tork became ensconced in the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the 1960s and later moved to Los Angeles to try his luck there. It was in L.A. that his friend, fellow musician Stephen Stills, heard about an opportunity for a telegenic musician to play a member of a band on an upcoming TV series and recommended Tork. Tork auditioned in 1966 and was cast as Peter on the sitcom "The Monkees" (NBC, 1966-68), a show that followed the comedic antics of a Beatles-esque rock band. Appearing on the show also meant recording The Monkees' songs that would appear on the show as well as on albums, but this soon made for professional awkwardness as, despite being cast in part for his musical ability, neither Tork nor his three bandmates were initially permitted to play their own instruments, with the work handed to studio musicians instead. Nonetheless, the show was a huge success, as was The Monkees' music, which after some lobbying by the band, did eventually feature them playing their own instruments. Still, Tork found the Monkee lifestyle exhausting-and was upset that the show's writing staff insisted on writing "Peter" as a stereotypical dumb guy rather than using his own gentle, spiritual personality-and, after appearing with the group in the psychedelic movie "Head" (1968), he paid the studio over $100,000 to be let out of his contract three years early, leaving him with very little funds of his own. He would return to writing and playing music on a local level, even teaching high school for three years during the 1970s, though he did reteam with The Monkees in 1986 for a highly successful reunion tour. Tork continued to write music independently however, releasing a handful of albums with his blues band Shoe Suede Blues and participating in the critically-acclaimed Monkees reunion album Good Times! in 2016. Peter Tork passed away in 2019. He was 77 years old.

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Monkees: Live Summer Tour Unknown (Character) - 2001

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet My Generation Guest 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet 7th Heaven Unknown (Guest Star) 1998
No Score Yet 95% Boy Meets World Jedediah Lawrence (Guest Star) 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Wings Unknown (Guest Star) 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet California Dreams Unknown (Guest Star) 1992
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Monkees Peter (Character) 1966-1968

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