The Doors founding member Ray Manzarek dies

Ray Manzarek, second from right, and The Doors. Photo/AP
Ray Manzarek, second from right, and The Doors. Photo/AP

Ray Manzarek, a keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, has died. He was 74.

Manzarek died earlier today surrounded by family after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer.

He formed The Doors in 1965 after a chance encounter on Venice Beach with the band's lead singer Jim Morrison.

They went on to pen hits including Light My Fire and Break On Through To The Other Side and sell more than 100 million albums worldwide, before Morrison's death in 1971.

Manzarek went on to become a best selling author and a Grammy-nominated recording artist.

Long-time collaborator Robby Krieger said he was "deeply saddened" by Manzarek's death, in a statement released through The Doors' official Twitter account.

"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."

Family asked well-wishers to make a donation in Ray Manzarek's name at www.standup2cancer.org.

- nzherald.co.nz

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