NEW YORK (CBSLA)  — Ric Ocasek, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for the iconic new-wave band The Cars, has died.

Ocasek was reportedly found dead in his New York City townhouse by his estranged wife, former supermodel Paulina Porizkova.

The reed-thin Baltimore-born Ocasek was 75.

Ocasek, born Richard Theodore Otcasek, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 as a member of the Cars.

(credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

The group was an early staple on MTV with hits like “You Might Think,” “Just What I Needed,” “Since You’re Gone”,”Let’s Go,” “Shake it Up” and “My Best Friend’s Girl,” to name a few.

“You Might Think,” in fact, won the first ever Video of the Year award at the MTV Music Video Awards.

The Cars heyday lasted from 1978-88, a long time in rock circles.

The group broke up in 1988 but got back together several times in various incarnations. Ocasek had a brief solo career but nothing matched his success with the Cars.

Ocasek was married three times — most famously to Porizkova. The unlikely pairing was often a comedian’s go-to to explain how even skinny, untanned, wan rock stars could get supermodel girlfriends and wives.

Ocasek and Porizkova met on the set of the music video “Drive” in 1984 when she was 18. They married in 1989.

Ocasek had six sons — two with each of his three wives.

Porizkova told reporters she and Ocasek had ended their marriage in 2017 but the two stayed close.

In the past few years, Ocasek stayed mostly behind-the-scenes and traded in writing and recording for producing for bands like Weezer.

According to, Ocasek was nominated for six awards but never won.

Ocasek was also a published author who wrote books of poetry and prose.

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