Sylvain Sylvain, the co-founding guitarist of iconic US punk band the New York Dolls, has died. Sylvain - real name Sylvain Mizrahi - was 69 and had been diagnosed with cancer.

His passing was announced by his wife, Wendy Mizrahi, on Facebook.  

"As most of you know, Sylvain battled cancer for the past two and 1/2 years," she wrote. 

"Though he fought it valiantly, yesterday [Wednesday] he passed away from this disease. While we grieve his loss, we know that he is finally at peace and out of pain. 

"Please crank up his music, light a candle, say a prayer and let's send this beautiful doll on his way."

Sylvain was born in Cairo and lived with his family in France before moving to New York. There, he was part of the band Actress with future New York Dolls bandmates Arthur Kane, Johnny Thunders and Billy Murcia.

Drummer Murcia passed away before the recording of the New York Dolls' seminal 1973 debut album and was replaced by Jerry Nolan.

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The classic line-up of drummer Nolan, Sylvain, fellow guitarist Johnny Thunders, singer David Johansen and bassist Arthur Kane received critical acclaim for the record, but it was not matched by sales. It has since become one of the most influential albums in music history.

The band released the follow-up, Too Much, Too Soon in 1974. It also sold poorly, but is now hailed as another classic. The quintet split up in 1976. 

Thunders and Nolan had both passed away before the New York Dolls reunited in 2004. Three weeks after their reunion show in Los Angeles in July 2004, Kane died from previously undiagnosed leukaemia. 

Sylvain and singer Johansen continued the band, releasing the albums One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This (2006), Cause I Sez So (2009) and Dancing Backward in High Heels (2011) before splitting once again. Away from the New York Dolls, Sylvain had a solo career and the bands Sylvain Sylvain and The Criminal$ and Syl Sylvain and the Teardrops.