Davy Jones, Monkees Singer, Dead at 66

Pop singer Davy Jones dead after suffering a heart attack in Florida

Davy Jones, the singer for 60s pop group the Monkees, died Wednesday morning of a heart attack, the Martin County, Florida, medical examiner's office told TheWrap. He was 66.

Jones was rushed from his Hollywood, Fla. home to the Martin Hospital South in Stuart, Fla., but medical workers were unable to resuscitate Jones, according to a statement provided to TheWrap. He leaves behind a wife, Jessica, and four daughters.

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"All of his family, friends and fans mourn Davy's loss," said Joseph Pacheco, Jones' manager and brother-in-law. "We were fortunate to have such an incredible human being in our lives. Sadly, his time on Earth was cut far too short and he will be missed tremendously by all who knew him."

Jones had been scheduled to appear at La Mirada Performing Arts Center on March 31.

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Born on December 30, 1945 in Manchester, England, Jones began his acting career in his pre-teens, appearing on the British soap opera "Coronation Street" and the police show "Z-Cars." Following his mother's death from emphysema when he was 14, Jones put acting on hold to train as a jockey, but eventually returned to performing.

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Jones' career took off in 1965, when he was chosen as a member of the Monkees, along with Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz.  Assembled for a Screen Gems television comedy series, the Monkees were derided by many as a manufactured group, but nonetheless racked up an impressive number of hits, with Jones singing many of them, including "I Wanna Be Free" and "Daydream Believer."

The group disbanded in 1971, but Jones continued to perform music, both as a solo artist and, briefly, in the group Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart with his former bandmate Dolenz and songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. The Monkees would also reunite periodically, most recently in 2011 for "An Evening With the Monkees: The 45th Anniversary Tour."

Jones' most recent album, a collection of classics spanning the 1940s to the 1970s entitled "She," was released in 2009.

He also continued to act, appearing on '70s series such as "The Brady Bunch," "My Two Dads," "Here Comes the Bride" and "Love, American Style," as well as on the stage, appearing in several productions of "Oliver!" as Fagin. (Jones had gotten an early break in his stage career playing the Artful Dodger in the same play.)

 

Jones' love of horse racing would also continue; the singer/actor owned and raced horses, and served as a spokesman for Virginia's Colonial Downs racetrack.

As news of Jones' death filtered out, fellow musicians began to offer tribute to the singer.

"Eternal rest for Davy Jones who leaves a great legacy of music, fun and all the colors of the rainbow," Nancy Sinatra tweeted. Will Smith likewise chimed in, writing, "R.I.P. Davy Jones. Retweet for respect."

Joshua Weinstein contributed reporting to this story.