What is Ray Manzarek’s Net Worth?
Ray Manzarek was an American musician, singer, producer, film director and author who had a net worth of $25 million at the time of his death. Ray Manzarek was best known as a co-founder and member of the rock band the Doors. He also co-founded and was a member of the bands Nite City and Manzarek-Krieger, the latter of which was a collaboration with his fellow former Doors bandmate Robby Krieger. Additionally, Manzarek had a solo career, releasing such albums as “The Golden Scarab” and “Carmina Burana.” Ray Manzarek died on May 20. 2013 at the age of 74.
Early Life and Education
Ray Manzarek was born as Raymond Daniel Manczarek Jr. on February 12, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois to Raymond Sr. and Helena. He was of Polish descent. Manzarek was educated at St. Rita of Cascia High School on the Southwest Side of Chicago, and after graduating in 1956 enrolled at DePaul University. There, he played piano in his fraternity’s jazz band, participated in football, and served as treasurer of the speech club. Manzarek graduated from DePaul in 1960 with a degree in economics. The next year, he began attending the UCLA School of Law, but struggled to acclimatize to the program. Manzarek transferred to UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television before dropping out altogether. Subsequently, he enlisted in the US Army and was assigned to the Army Security Agency as a prospective intelligence analyst. When he finished his service, Manzarek re-enrolled in UCLA’s film program and went on to earn his MFA in cinematography in 1965.
In the early 60s, Manzarek joined Rick & the Ravens, a surf rock group that included his brothers Rick and Jim, plus Patrick Stonier, Roland Biscaluz, and Vince Thomas. Eventually, John Densmore and Manzarek’s fellow UCLA film student Jim Morrison joined the band. Rick & the Ravens recorded a trio of singles for Aura Records as well as a demo acetate.
In 1965, Rick & the Ravens was renamed the Doors. The lineup now consisted of Manzarek, Morrison, Densmore, and guitarist Robby Krieger. In 1966, the Doors became the house band at the London Fog nightclub on Los Angeles’s Sunset Strip; they later became the house band at the Whisky a Go Go. After signing with Elektra Records, the band released its self-titled debut album in 1967. A smash hit, the album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 and launched the Doors’ breakthrough single, “Light My Fire.” Later in 1967, the band released the album “Strange Days,” another hit that peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. An even greater success was 1968’s “Waiting for the Sun,” which became the Doors’ first and only number-one album on the charts. It launched another hit single, “Hello, I Love You.” The band’s fourth album, “The Soft Parade,” came out in 1969. It was followed in the early 70s by “Morrison Hotel” and “L.A. Woman,” the latter of which was the last Doors album recorded before Morrison passed away. The band’s final two albums were “Full Circle” and “An American Prayer,” which were released in 1972 and 1978, respectively.
Manzarek launched his solo career in 1974 with the album “The Golden Scarab,” and shortly after that released another solo album, “The Whole Thing Started with Rock and Roll Now It’s Out of Control.” Both were tepidly received by listeners at the time. Manzarek returned to solo recording in 1983 with a rock adaptation of Carl Orff’s cantata “Carmina Burana.” Following an ever longer break, he came back in 2006 to release his album “Love Her Madly.”
In 1977, Manzarek founded the rock band Nite City, which included him, lead singer Noah James, guitarist Paul Warren, bassist Nigel Harrison, and drummer Jimmy Hunter. The band released two studio albums, a self-titled debut and “Golden Days Diamond Nights,” neither of which was commercially successful.
Manzarek’s most significant late-career music project was the band Manzarek-Krieger, which he co-founded with his fellow former Doors bandmate Robby Krieger in 2002. The band, which went through numerous lineup changes over the years, toured extensively performing Doors material.
Manzarek engaged in a wide variety of other collaborations during his career. Among them, he produced the first four albums by the punk band X, and partnered with Scott Richardson on a series of spoken word and blues recordings. Manzarek also backed poet Michael McClure’s readings and did improvisational compositions with poet Michael C. Ford. Later in his career, he collaborated with composer and trumpeter Bal on the album “Atonal Head” and with “Weird Al” Yankovic on the single “Craigslist.” Other collaborations were with such disparate artists as Roy Rogers, DJ Skrillex, Darryl Read, and Echo & the Bunnymen. In the last years of his life, Manzarek often sat in with local bands in Napa County, California.
Personal Life and Death
In late 1967, Manzarek married fellow UCLA alum Dorothy Aiko Fujikawa. The couple had a son named Pablo in 1973. They divided their time between residences in West Hollywood, California and New York City, and later lived in Beverly Hills. During the last decade of Manzarek’s life, he lived with his wife in Napa Valley.
Manzarek was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2013. He went to Germany to receive a special treatment, but passed away a couple months later at the age of 74.
In 2000 Ray paid $1.15 million for a 6,500 square foot home on 2.24 acres in Napa, California. In 2015 Ray’s widow sold thehome for $2.5 million.