Micky Dolenz

Micky Dolenz, born George Michael Dolenz Jr. on March 8, 1945 in Los Angeles, CA, is an American actor, musician, television director, radio personality and theater director, best known as a member of the 1960s made-for-television band, The Monkees.

Dolenz grew up as the son of actor George Dolenz, best known for playing the Count of Monte Cristo on television. Mickey, who pursued acting at a young age, taking the stage name Micky Braddock, starred in the adventure series Circus Boy (1956 - 1958) where he played an orphan adopted by a traveling circus. After the show was canceled, Dolenz landed a few guest appearances on several programs, such as Peyton Place, before graduating high school. He went on to study architecture at Valley College and the Los Angeles Technical Institute. Besides wanting to be an architect, Dolenz had a passion for music, playing the guitar and singing with two different groups — Micky and the One Nighters, and the Missing Links.

It was in 1965 that Dolenz responded to an ad seeking young men for a new television show, The Monkees. He auditioned along with 430 other actors and was one of four (Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones) to star in the series about a rock group called The Monkees. Dolenz' character played the drums although Dolenz himself was not a drummer and was unfamiliar with the instrument. Essentially the Monkees was a television show first which later became a rock group.

Several days prior to the show's premier on September 12, 1966, The Monkees released their first single, "Last Train to Clarksville," which featured Dolenz on lead vocals and soon became a No. 1 hit. The Monkees television series was well received by the public and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1967.

The Monkees continued to score hits on the music charts as well. Their cover of the Neil Diamond song "I'm a Believer," again with Dolenz on lead vocals, became another No. 1 single for the group. More hits followed, including Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "Pleasant Valley Sunday" and "Daydream Believer" by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio. The Monkees albums sold millions of copies.

The Monkees fame began to decline with music critics criticizing the group for being more of a commercial product than a real rock act. Efforts were made to plow ahead with Dolenz and the rest of the group trying to have more creative control, such as their involvement with the Headquarters album, however their efforts did not bring the same levell of success as their earlier recordings.

In 1968, The Monkees released their own feature film, Head, which didn't do well at the box office, however the group's tour that same year, did very well. The television series was canceled in August 1968. Tork left the group however Dolenz and the remaining members pressed on for a while, releasing Instant Replay (1968) before splitting up.

After the Monkees, Dolenz found voice over work for a few animated series, such as Scooby Doo, as well as making guest appearances on such television shows as My Three Sons.

Dolenz eventually returned to music, reuniting with Davy Jones and former Monkees' songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart to release one (failed) album together in 1976.

Moving on to stage work, Dolenz appeared in a production of Tom Sawyer in 1976 and a year later moved to England to appear in the London musical, The Point. He remained in England for 12 years, working as a television director and producer.

Micky DolenzIn the 1980s, Dolenz was drawn back to his time with The Monkees. The group had a renewed interest with the public — some of their original recordings were re-released by Rhino Records. In 1986, Dolenz, Tork, and Jones reunited for a successful concert tour and released a greatest hits collection, Then and Now, that same year. For the album, the group recorded a new single, "That Was Then, This Is Now," which was a top 20 hit. In 1987, reruns of The Monkees series started airing reruns on MTV which gave the band even more of a boost. That same year, the Monkees released the original album, Pool It!.

In 1993, Dolenz released a book, I'm a Believer: My Life of Monkees, Music, and Madness, which features star-studded anecdotes and stories about his acting career and time with The Monkees. Shortly after the book release, Nesmith returned to the group for a successful tour and a new album, Justus (1996). Unfortunately the album failed to make the charts.

In the mid-90s, Dolenz combined his love of singing and acting, making his Broadway debut in the musical Grease. He also worked behind the scenes, directing a few episodes of the family sitcom Boy Meets World.

In 2003, Micky returned to Broadway, joining the cast of Elton John's musical drama, Aida. Three years later he worked on a touring production of Pippin. His first children's book, Gakky Two-Feet, was published in 2006.

Dolenz returned to television as a contestant on Gone Country where the show takes music stars from different genres and has them compete against each other to see who has what it takes to make it in country music. During season three of the show (2009) Dolenz competed against Sheila E, Taylor Dayne, and George Clinton. 

On August 31, 2010, Dolenz released King For A Day, his first album in over ten years. That same year Dolenz returned to the London stage for the musical Hairspray.

To date, Micky Donlenz continues to entertain and perform around the globe.