David “Davy” Jones, who went from Tony-nominated teen actor to pop icon as a member of the Monkees, died in his sleep of a heart attack on February 29 in Stuart, Florida. He was 66 and lived in Stuart and Beavertown, PA.
Born in Manchester, England, on December 30, 1945, Jones began acting as a teenager in the TV soap opera Coronation Street. He landed the role of the Artful Dodger in the original London production of Oliver! and received a 1963 Best Featured Actor Tony nomination for his Broadway debut as the mischievous street beggar, singing “Consider Yourself ” and “I'd Do Anything.” According to one account, Jones performed with the Oliver! cast on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 on the same night the Beatles made their first appearance, inspiring a dream of becoming a pop star himself.
After signing a TV contract with Screen Gems, Jones joined Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and future Broadway actor Micky Dolenz in the Monkees, a singing group formed especially for TV. Their self-titled comedy series ran for two seasons and won an Emmy in 1967; the group remained together from 1965 to 1971. Jones, who sang on hits such as “Daydream Believer,” emerged as the 5'4" teen idol of the foursome. In February 2011, Jones, Tork and Dolenz reunited for a 45th anniversary Monkees tour.
In later years, Jones was active as an owner of racehorses and made cameo appearances as himself on various TV shows. He co-starred on the London stage with Dolenz in Harry Nilsson’s 1978 play The Point and returned to Oliver! several times over the years as Fagin. CNN reported that the actor wrote the following message on his personal blog in January 2011: “Not everyone has dreams and hopes that come true. Mine have.”
Jones is survived by his third wife, Jessica, and four daughters from his first two marriages.