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Davy Jones, Singer, Actor And Monkee, Has Died

Davy Jones onstage with The Monkees in London, July 1967.
Davy Jones onstage with The Monkees in London, July 1967.

Audio: Reporter Neda Ulaby remembers Davy Jones forAll Things Considered .


Davy Jones, one-fourth of the made-for-TV band The Monkees, has died. The actor and singer died Wednesday morning in Indiantown, Fla., of a heart attack. He was 66.

Jones was born in Manchester, England, and began acting as a child in BBC soap operas. Later he played the title role in the West End production of Oliver! and moved with the show to Broadway in 1964. As part of that cast he was backstage at The Ed Sullivan Show when the Beatles made their first television appearance in the U.S.

He was 20 years old when the television show he had signed on for was greenlighted by NBC. The Monkees was a vehicle for the titular band, eventually derided as the "Pre-Fab Four."

The Monkees were originally hired only to act and sing on the show, but they eventually wrested some creative control over the music they recorded for it. They took their act on the road, playing live dates across the U.S. and the U.K., and recorded hits like "Daydream Believer" and "Last Train to Clarksville."

A few years after the show went off the air in the late '60s, the band broke up. Jones remained a clean-cut teen idol, appearing on the The Brady Bunch. It was his kiss that made Marcia Brady vow to never wash her face again.

Starting in the '80s, the band played reunion tours, and the original program was rebroadcast on Nickelodeon. Jones continued to record and tour with both The Monkees and other projects. He played in New York City earlier this month.

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