LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Nesmith, the singer-songwriter, author, actor-director and entrepreneur who will likely be best remembered as the wool-hatted, guitar-strumming member of the made-for-television rock band The Monkees, has died at 78.

Nesmith, who had undergone quadruple bypass surgery in 2018, died at home Friday of natural causes, his family said in a statement.

Nesmith was a struggling singer-songwriter in September 1966 when “The Monkees” television debut turned him and fellow band members Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and David Jones into overnight rock stars in July 1967.

After the group broke up in 1970, Nesmith moved on to a long and creative career, not only as a musician but as a writer, producer and director of films, author of several books, head of a media arts company and creator of a music video format that led to the creation of MTV.

Sun Studio in Memphis said Nesmith had just visited the city in September to play what would be one of his last gigs at Graceland.

Nesmith was running “hoot nights” at the popular West Hollywood nightclub The Troubadour when he saw a trade publication ad seeking “four insane boys” to play rock musicians in a band modeled after the Beatles.

The show featured the comical misadventures of a quartet that tooled around Los Angeles in a tricked-out Pontiac GTO called the MonkeeMobile and, when they weren’t chasing girls, pursued music stardom.