Writer-filmmaker Bob Rafelson passed away at the age of 89 of natural causes at his home in Aspen, Colorado.
The news of his death was confirmed by his ex-wife, Gabrielle, reports Deadline.
Rafelson is considered a giant in the American independent film movement as a writer, director and producer, and later a co-creator of ‘The Monkees’ television show that was seen as a Beatles offshoot.
Rafelson collaborated with Hollywood star Jack Nicholson on seven features including ‘Five Easy Pieces’ and ‘The King of Marvin Gardens’. He was an uncredited producer on ‘Easy Rider’.
The 1966 NBC show – ‘The Monkees’, that brought together a young music group recruited in an open casting call with some of the day’s top songwriters to create a show that still resonates. The show won an Emmy in 1967 for outstanding comedy series and made household names of the band: Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork.
When the 58-episode run was done on television, Rafelson directed the band in 1968’s Head, marking his film-directing debut as part of a five-picture deal with Columbia.
Deadline further states that Rafelson directed several episodes, and served as a producer and EP. He also received writing credits on two shows.