Now, the New York Medical Examiner has now confirmed that Ocasek’s cause of death was a case of heart disease. The singer’s wife, actress Paulina Porizkova, reacted to the news by confirming that her husband was recently recovering from surgery.
“Ric was at home recuperating very well after surgery. Our two sons, Jonathan and Oliver, and I were making sure he was comfortable, ordering food and watching TV together,” she said in a post on social media.
“I found him still asleep when bringing him his Sunday morning coffee. I touched his cheek to rouse him. It was then I realised that during the night he had peacefully passed on.”
She continued: “We appreciate the great outpouring of love. We, his family and friends, are completely and utterly devastated by his untimely and unexpected death and would appreciate the privacy to mourn in private.”
Ocasek was born March 23, 1944 in Baltimore, Maryland, and moved with his family to Cleveland, Ohio as a teenager. That was where he first met bassist/singer Benjamin Orr, with whom he would collaborate in several bands, including Milkwood and Capn’ Swing. They formed The Cars in Boston in 1976 with guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson (formerly of The Modern Lovers).
The new wave band, along with Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes, and Dave Robinson found success with albums like The Cars, Candy-O, and Heartbeat City. The Cars broke up in 1988, but they found time to reunite in 2010 to record a new album. Last year they were even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Ocasek also became known for producing albums and records for some incredible bands like Suicide, Bad Brains, Weezer, Bad Religion, No Doubt, The Cribs and Guided by Voices, among others.