Davy Jones of The Monkees has died at the age of 66, ABC News Radio has confirmed. His rep tells ABC News that Jones passed away from a heart attack in Indian Town, Florida.
Born in Manchester, England, Jones began acting as a young boy, appearing on British TV and onstage in London's West End in the role of the Artful Dodger in Oliver! After he appeared with the Oliver! cast on The Ed Sullivan Show, Jones was signed to a contract with Screen Gems. When Screen Gems decided to produce a TV series about a rock and roll band, Jones got an immediate audition, and landed a part after meeting with producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider.
Known as the "Prefab Four," Jones and The Monkees -- Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz -- sold millions of albums thanks to the hit TV series, which ran through 1968. Jones in particular became a teen idol.
After The Monkees disbanded, Jones continued a solo career, but would reunite on and off with his former band mates for a variety of tours and appearances up to the present day. He also continued his acting career, both onstage and on TV -- his appearance on The Brady Bunch was particularly memorable, and he also appeared in The Brady Bunch Movie. In addition to live TV work, Jones also lent his voice to animated series like SpongeBob Squarepants.
Jones, who had worked as a jockey in his youth, came full circle by owning and training race horses later in his career. He also continued to record, with his most recent disc, Just Me, released in 2010.
Also, as any rock trivia buff knows, Jones' mid-sixties popularity with The Monkees is the reason why an up-and-coming singer-songwriter named David Jones changed his name to David Bowie.