Davy Jones, who fronted ’60 pop act The Monkees, died today at Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart, Florida. The death of the 66-year-old, who originally hailed from Manchester, England, was confirmed by the medical examiner’s office in Martin County, Florida. He suffered a heart attack in his sleep.
Born David Thomas Jones on December 30, 1945, the singer/actor got his showbiz start as a teen by appearing in long-running English soap opera Coronation Street in 1962. He eventually headed to London’s West End and Broadway in productions of Oliver!, where he took up the role of the Artful Dodger. Jones even appeared with the rest of the musical’s cast on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964, the same evening The Beatles made their American television debut.
As a sort of precursor to recent shows like Making The Band and The X Factor, pop act The Monkees were formed in 1965 with a TV program of the same name revolving around them. Ads for band members were placed in The Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety, with Americans Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith joining Englishman Jones in the original lineup.
The Emmy-winning series aired on NBC until 1968, and The Monkees racked up hits like “Last Train To Clarksville”, “I’m A Believer” and “Daydream Believer”, all of which topped Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart. Actor Jack Nicholson co-wrote the 1968 feature film Head that starred the band and was released following the cancellation of The Monkees TV series.
The Monkees — ”Daydream Believer”
The band eventually split, and Jones carried on with acting roles on shows such as Love, American Style and The Brady Bunch. In 1995, he spoofed his original appearance on the latter in The Brady Bunch Movie.
Davy Jones on The Brady Bunch
Four years ago, Yahoo ranked Jones at #1 on its Top 25 Teen Idols Of All Time (ahead of the likes of Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and Menudo, even) by stating the following:
“It’s impossible to really determine a #1. So, considering his A-1 performance of ‘Girl’ on The Brady Bunch and his agreement to attend the prom with Marcia, well, what a swell guy. He did attend the prom with her, didn’t he?”
Davy Jones is survived by his third wife Jessica Pacheco and daughters Talia, 43, Sarah, 40, Jessica, 30, and Annabel, 23.