Watch CBSN Live

Davy Jones of The Monkees dead at 66

Davy Jones speaks during the '60's Pop Rock: My Music' panel during the PBS portion of the 2011 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 30, 2011, in Beverly Hills. Getty

(CBS/AP) The Monkees singer Davy Jones has died, according to the medical examiner's office in Martin County, Fla. He was 66.

Pictures: Davy Jones
Read More: The other Monkees pay tribute

A spokeswoman at the medical office confirmed to that it had received word of his death. "A possible autopsy may be performed after evaluation of the circumstances of the death and medical information," the spokesperson said.

His publicist, Helen Kensick, confirmed Jones died of a heart attack in Indiantown, Fla., where he had lived. Jones complained of breathing troubles early in the morning and was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, said Rhonda Irons of the Martin County Sheriff's Office. The sheriff's spokeswoman said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Born in Manchester, England, Jones, a racehorse jockey-turned-actor, rose to stardom as a teen idol on the NBC comedy series, "The Monkees," which ran from 1966 to 1968.

Even before the hit U.S. TV show, Jones was a child star in his native England. He appeared on television and stage, including a heralded role as "The Artful Dodger" in the play "Oliver."

He earned a Tony nomination at 16 when he reprised that role in the show's Broadway production, a success that brought him to the attention of Columbia Pictures/Screen Gems Television, which created "The Monkees."

The show, which followed a rock group modeled after the Beatles, also starred Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. The show, clearly patterned on the Beatle's film "A Hard Days Night," chronicled the comic trials and tribulations of a rock group whose four members lived together and traveled to gigs in a tricked-out car called the Monkeemobile.

The actors were originally banned from playing their own instruments on the show. After the show's launch, The Monkees came under fire from music critics when it was learned that session musicians - and not the group's members - had played the musical instruments on their recordings. In reality, Jones could play the drums and guitar, and although Dolenz learned to play the drums after he joined the group, he could also play guitar, as could Nesmith. The group eventually prevailed over the show's producers, including music director Don Kirchner, and began to play their own instrumentals.

The Monkees scored several hits, including "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Last Train to Clarksville," "Daydream Believer" and "I'm a Believer." And the series, with its "Hey, Hey, We're The Monkees" theme song, was a quick TV hit with viewers.

At 5-feet-3, Jones was by far the shortest member of the group - a fact often made light of on the show. But with his youthful good looks, he was also the group's heartthrob.

After the series ended, The Monkees started to disband. Jones released a self-titled album in 1971. In the mid-1980s, Jones, Tork, Dolenz and promoter David Fishof got together for a reunion tour. In 1987, Jones, Tork and Dolenz released a new album called "Pool It." To mark The Monkees' 30th anniversary, the group, including Nesmith, put out a new studio album in 1996 titled "Justus." Also in the late '90s, the group filmed a special called "Hey, Hey, It's The Monkees."

Jones appeared on a popular "Brady Bunch" episode, which aired in late 1971. On the show, Marcia Brady promised her school that she could get The Monkees star to perform at a dance. He later appeared in the 1995 film, "The Brady Bunch Movie."

Jones continued to ride horses later on in his life, and in 1996, he won his first race in England.

"I've always thought if all the show business success hadn't happened, I'd have been a world champion jockey," he explained on his website. "It's in my blood. I've always dreamed of going back to England -- riding a few winners."

Jones has been active on the music scene as of late, and was on tour as recently as February 2012. According to his website, Jones had concerts lined up throughout this year.

Jones is survived by his wife, Jessica. His website has photos of their wedding, which took place in Miami, Fla., in 2009.

According to IMDB, Jones was married twice before and has two children from each of those relationships.

View CBS News In