Former Monkee Davy Jones dies at age 66 in Florida

Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:41pm 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 racehorses he kept in Indiantown, Florida, about halfway between the Atlantic coast and Lake Okeechobee, spokeswoman Helen Kensick said. Jones had lived with his third wife, Jessica Pacheco-Jones, in Hollywood, Florida, in recent years, she said.

The three surviving former Monkees -- Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith -- expressed shock and sadness in individual statements.

"The time we worked together and had together is something I'll never forget," Dolenz, 66, said. "He was the brother I never had, and this leaves a gigantic hole in my heart. The memories have and will last a lifetime."

Born in Manchester, England, Jones was the lone British member and youngest of the band, becoming the 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 had several hits that sold millions of copies, including "Last Train to Clarksville" and "I'm a Believer."

Jones sang lead vocals on the hit single "Daydream Believer," as well as such songs as "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.   Continued...

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