DAVY JONES: British-born Monkee Dead at 66
Davy Jones of The Monkees died in his sleep yesterday morning from a massive heart attack in Martin County, Florida. The Manchester, England native -- who once told us his comedy perspective was shaped by Abbott and Costello -- was 66.
Cast along with Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith in the '60s sitcom about a struggling rock and roll band, The Monkees became a pop culture phenomenon. Their first two singles went number-one, as did their first four albums. For a two-year stretch, their cheery pop rivaled The Beatles', Rolling Stones' and Supremes' as radio airplay staples. NBC canceled their TV series in 1968, and that fall, their movie Head puzzled and alienated many fans. A year later, Tork became the first to quit the group.
The Monkees' second life began in 1986, when MTV and its sister network Nickelodeon re-ran the sitcom -- whose zany, quick-cut production resembled and had inspired music videos. Dolenz and Tork recorded and released the Top 20 single "That Was Then, This is Now" under the group's name, and were joined by Jones on a successful reunion tour. The entire foursome reunited on September 7th, 1986 when Nesmith joined onstage at L.A.'s Greek Theater.
Jones, Dolenz and Tork had held several reunion tours since -- most recently last spring and summer, when they played to sell-out crowds and strong reviews. But internal disputes ended the tour on July 23rd in Milwaukee -- despite offers to extend it into the fall. Since then, the three had returned to individual projects.
Jones, who settled in the U.S. during the '60s, became an American citizen several years ago. He divided his time between homes in Florida and Pennsylvania, where the one-time aspiring jockey raised horses. He re-married Cuban-American actress-dancer Jessica Pacheco in 2009. She survives him, as do four daughters from earlier marriages.
No funeral plans have yet been announced.