Ray Manzarek, the original keyboardist of The Doors, passed away today at age 74, according to various media reports.
According to his publicist, Manzarek passed away at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, spending his last moments surrounded by his family. He had long been battling bile duct cancer.
Manzarek is credited as forming the band in unison with vocalist Jim Morrison, whom he met while the two were studying at UCLA's film school and began to write songs with each other shortly after their studies at UCLA.
Soon thereafter, the psychedelic rock group was formed in1965 and released its debut self-titled album in 1967, which included the iconic single "Light My Fire."
After The Doors fizzled out following the death of Morrison at age 27 in 1971, Manzarek went on to play in a variety of other groups.
In 1988, the Chicago native published a memoir entitled Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors based on his experiences with the band. He also wrote the novel The Poet in Exile, which examines the urban myth that Morrison potentially faked his death.
Upon learning of the news, some celebrities took to Twitter to share their condolences.
RIP Ray Manzarek -if you get a chance check out docu- "When You're Strange" really highlights his brilliance and amazing dexterity.— John Stamos (@JohnStamos) May 20, 2013
Wow, r I p ray manzarek .one of the greatest artists ever.— Randy Jackson (@YO_RANDYJACKSON) May 20, 2013
RIP Ray Manzarek words cannot express...— Slash (@Slash) May 20, 2013