The Doors’ Ray Manzarek dies at 74

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons User Bridget Christian

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons User Bridget Christian

(CNN) — The Doors’ founding keyboardist, Ray Manzarek, died in Germany Monday after a long fight with cancer, his publicist said in a statement. He was 74.

The artist had been diagnosed with bile duct cancer.

The Doors formed in 1965 after Manzarek happened to meet Jim Morrison on California’s Venice Beach. The legendary rock group went on to sell 100 million albums worldwide, establishing five multiplatinum discs in the U.S.

Morrison died in 1971, but Manzarek carried on The Doors’ legacy, continuing to work as a musician and also as an author.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” said Doors guitarist Robby Krieger. “I’m just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.”

Manzarek is survived by his brothers Rick and James, his wife Dorothy, his son Pablo, and three grandchildren. Instead of flowers, the family’s asked that a donation be made in Manzarek’s name at www.standup2cancer.org.

CNN’s Denise Quan contributed to this report.

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