Davy Jones, whose charming grin and British accent won the hearts of millions of fans on the 1960s television series "The Monkees," died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack, according to a law enforcement source in Martin County, Florida. He was 66.
The medical examiner's office in the district that serves Martin County said it had been notified of Jones' death.
The diminutive vocalist and actor sang lead on the musical group's hits such as "Daydream Believer," "Last Train to Clarksville" and "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You."
Besides Jones, The Monkees included band members Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith. The pop group was created to star in an NBC sitcom and capitalize on the Beatles' teenybopper popularity.
In terms of musical popularity, the project succeeded beyond anyone's expectations, with the group notching a handful of No. 1 songs (including "I'm a Believer," Billboard's top song of 1967) and four No. 1 albums.
The group, which was dubbed the "prefab four" by critics, rebelled against its management in an effort to take control of its musical career.
Interestingly, the TV show wasn't as successful, lasting only two seasons.
Jones, a native of Manchester, England, was already famous in his home country when he joined the Monkees. He had starred in the musical "Oliver!" on the London stage as the Artful Dodger and was nominated for a Tony for his performance on Broadway, according to a biography on a Monkees fan site. Indeed, he got a taste of the Beatles' popularity when the "Oliver!" cast appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on February 9, 1964 -- the date of the Beatles' first appearance.
After the Monkees broke up, Jones enjoyed occasional acting roles, including a guest spot on an episode of "The Brady Bunch" and appearances in "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "The Brady Bunch Movie." When he wasn't singing -- he participated in several Monkees reunions over the years -- he was devoted to owning and racing horses.
Jones was married three times. He is survived by his third wife, Jessica Pacheco, and four daughters from his two previous marriages.
He told Britain's Daily Mail last year that he used to be 5 feet 4 inches tall, "but I've lost an inch."
He posted photographs of his horses, his grandchildren and himself on his blog, "Keep up with Jones," sometimes also posting messages to fans.
"I wrote some time ago that not everyone has dreams and hopes that come true," he wrote in a January 2011 message. "Mine have.
"Regrets, yes -- if you don't have them you're a fool. However, I thank all of you -- yeah, you -- for your support and love."