Monkee Singer Davy Jones Passes Away at 66

The music was loud, but the shrieks emanating from the teenage girls in the audience proved almost deafening. On February 9th, 1964, viewers across North America tuned into The Ed Sullivan Show to watch a popular young band from England called the Beatles perform for the first time on U.S. television. Standing off stage, however, was another, virtually unknown, British export: 19-year-old actor David Thomas Jones. He performed on the show that evening as well, as a cast member of a Broadway production of Oliver!, though at the conclusion of the landmark broadcast few would remember it.

Jones’ initial stint on Broadway didn’t last very long, but in the end it worked out just fine. He moved into television, and a few short years later joined a band that parodied the Beatles, and soon found that the pretty young girls in the audience were screaming for him.

Davy Jones, teen heartthrob and front man of the hugely successful 1960’s rock band The Monkees, passed away Wednesday morning. According to his publicist, he suffered a massive heart attack while asleep in his Florida home. He was 66.

Born in Manchester, England, Jones’ acting career began well before his time as a Monkee when he appeared in a number of British television shows as a child, including Coronation Street at age 11. Following his aforementioned stint on Broadway, Jones made his way into television and in 1966 he landed a television role portraying a member of a fictional band called The Monkees, along with Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork,.

The foursome became a hit and over the next several years produced chart-topping singles such as “Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkees,” “Daydream Believer,” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday.” Up until last year’s 45th anniversary tour, the band, or incarnations of the band that included Jones, traveled and performed to enthusiastic crowds.

Jones remained active in show business outside of Monkees-related projects, such as returning to theatre in various productions, including Oliver!, and television, most recently with an appearance on the children’s show SpongeBob SquarePants.

Jones is survived by his third wife, Jessica Pacheco and four daughters from previous marriages.

– Mike Crisolago