Former Monkee Davy Jones dies at age 66 in Florida

Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:35pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy and Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Davy Jones, a onetime teen heartthrob as a member of the 1960s made-for-television pop band The Monkees, died on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack near his home in Florida, according to his longtime publicist. He was 66.

Jones was stricken while attending to horses he kept in Indiantown, Florida, about halfway between the Atlantic coast and Lake Okeechobee, spokeswoman Helen Kensick said. He had lived with his third wife, Jessica Pacheco-Jones, in Hollywood, Florida, in recent years, she said.

She gave no further details of his death.

Born in Manchester, England, Jones was the lone British member and principal teen idol of the rock quartet featured for two seasons on the NBC comedy series "The Monkees." The prime-time hit was inspired in part by the Beatles film "A Hard Day's Night" and ran from the fall of 1966 to August 1968.

Although not allowed to play their own instruments on their early records, Jones and his three cohorts -- Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork -- had several hits that sold millions of copies, including "Last Train to Clarksville" and "I'm a Believer."

Jones sang lead vocals on hit singles "Daydream Believer," "A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You," and "Valleri."

Jones got his start as an 11-year-old actor on the still-running British soap opera "Coronation Street" before landing a role as the Artful Dodger in a West End production of "Oliver!" He went on to originate that role for the Broadway production and earned a Tony nomination.

But Jones gained wider stardom after answering a casting call for a TV series being created about the zany misadventures of four Beatles-like rock musicians called the Monkees. Two members of the group, Nesmith and Tork, were musicians with performing and recording experience, while Jones and Dolenz were primarily actors who more or less dabbled in music.   Continued...

Lead singer of the The Monkees, Davy Jones, sings on stage at the Newcastle Arena March 7 1997.