Singer 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, spokeswoman Helen Kensick said.
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 by the Beatles 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 bandmates – 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 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 crazy misadventures of four Beatles-like rock musicians called the Monkees.
Although ridiculed by critics for the manufactured way in which the band came together, the group proved to be skilled performers who were eventually given control of their own recordings.
The TV series, introduced by its catchy theme, “Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkees,” debuted as an immediate ratings hit in the autumn of 1966.
Jones went on to pursue a less successful solo career and appeared as himself in a popular 1971 episode of the hit sitcom “The Brady Bunch,” in which the show’s character, Marcia Brady, was president of a Davy Jones fan club and tried to get the singer to perform at her school prom.
He made another cameo as himself in the 1995 “The Brady Bunch Movie.”
In addition to his third wife, Jessica Pacheco-Jones, Jones is survived for four daughters from two previous marriages.