Mar. 8th, 1945
Los Angeles, California, USA
Micky Dolenz's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Best known as the drummer of The Monkees, George Michael Dolenz Jr. - aka Micky - has fashioned a long-lasting and diversified career in show business. The son of actor George Dolenz, Micky, with American Indian and Yugoslavian blood in his heritage, took to acting as a boy, earning great success in the 1950s with "Circus Boy" (1956). Though he continued to act with the show's end, he focused more on college studies, his most passionate interest being architecture. He also delved into singing, performing in LA-area clubs with a band called Micky & The One-Nighters as well as with a band called Missing Links; among those who saw Micky in action was Michael Nesmith.
Micky auditioned for "The Monkees" (1966) TV series in 1965, and on the strength of his audition won a role and became the group's designated crazy one. Assigned as a drummer, Micky worked to learn the instrument well enough to bluff his way through filming. He was also initially welcome to the musical guidance of Don Kirshner, but as Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork grew more openly rebellious of the restrictions imposed, Micky, who could be hotheaded, quickly sided with his bandmates, and when the group began touring for real in late 1966 Micky learned drumming to pull off concerts.
It all led to the group's famous break with Kirshner and the resulting creation of the album Headquarters. Though Micky's drumming was called unsteady, in fact outtakes showed that Micky's command of the instrument was quite solid, particularly on the many spontaneous jams Mike, Peter, and Davy Jones (I) performed with the likes of John London (I). Despite that, though, Micky relinquished drumming to studio pros like "Fast Eddie" Ho for subsequent tracks. It was his superb voice, in any event, that was his greatest asset with the group. Whether in lead or in harmony with the others, Micky's voice made the group all the stronger; he was particularly effective in harmony with Mike Nesmith; "We always had a great combination", he said in 1990, and indeed, few singing tandems, then or now, compare as well as the tandem of Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith.
With the eventual break-up of The Monkees, Micky's career floundered for a few years (aggravated by substance abuse), despite good work in cartoon voice-over roles and touring with Davy Jones, Tommy Boyce, and Bobby Hart in the middle of the 1970s. His breakthrough came when he moved to London and began to direct, a trade he first began with The Monkees TV series. Micky stayed in London for many years and honed his directorial skills before returning to the US.
Micky has since toured repeatedly with The Monkees (even to returning to the drums for the full foursome's return LP "Justus"), directed television ads and other films, done additional voice-over work, guest-starred in such TV series as "Mike Hammer" (1984), and even submitted full-color artwork for public witness. He has also seen the wedding of his actress daughter Ami Dolenz in 2002; Micky and his sister Coco Dolenz, a priestess and accomplished singer in her own right, performed at the ceremony with such numbers as a perennial Micky favorite "Bye Bye Blackbird." His autobiography aptly sums up his life in showbiz - he is a survivor.
- Grew up playing guitar; had taken some lessons at the suggestion of _"Circus Boy" (1956)_ (qv)'s producers in the 1950s. In his teens, Dolenz played guitar and sang in a series of cover bands, with names like "Micky and the One-Nighters" and "The Missing Links" (!). One of these bands was signed to a record company and made some demos, which were released as singles (under his own name) after 'The Monkees' (qv) became popular.
- He is the morning radio deejay on New York City's Oldies Station WCBS FM.
- Son of 'Janelle Johnson Dolenz' (qv).
- When chosen for the role of 'The Monkees' (qv)' drummer, he signed up for daily drum lessons in order to fake playing them well enough for the cameras. When being able to actually play became crucial to the Monkees project, he had gotten to the point where he could carry off a stage show, but playing drums and holding tempo proved difficult in the recording studio. He played drums on every track of their "Headquarters" album, but gladly relinquished the role to studio drummers for their later albums.
- Son of actor 'George Dolenz' (qv)
- Fared best of all 'The Monkees' (qv) when it came to their royalty payments. While 'Peter Tork' (qv) gave most of his money away, 'Davy Jones (I)' (qv) lost most of his in bad investments and 'Michael Nesmith' (qv) spent his on family luxuries and artistic projects, Dolenz trusted his mother Janelle to handle his money, which she invested carefully in "safe" stocks and holdings.
- Married 'Samantha Juste' (qv) of Britain's _"Top of the Pops" (1964)_ (qv) fame in the summer of 1968, after she became pregnant with their daughter 'Ami Dolenz' (qv). His stepfather, Dr. Robert Scott, a minister, conducted the ceremony at their Los Angeles home. Unlike 'Michael Nesmith' (qv) and 'Davy Jones (I)' (qv), who had had to keep their marriages a secret, he decided to share the news of his wedding with the public.
- The Monkees were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6675 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
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