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Sussex villagers remember Davy Jones of Monkees fame as he dies at only 66

Older residents of a Sussex village are remembering Monkees lead singer Davy Jones after his death from a heart attack at 66.

The Manchester-born star, who lived in Hollywood, Florida, lived for several years in the Forest row area, about eight miles from Haywards Heath, where he enjoyed his love of horse riding and was popular with locals. He is listed on a community website as one of the area best-known names.

His manager and brother-in-law Joseph Pacheco paid tribute, describing him as an “incredible human being”.

Jones found fame as the frontman of the 60s group The Monkees, who had nine top 40 hits including I’m A Believer, Daydream Believer and Last Train To Clarksville.

Jones is survived by his third wife Jessica, his four daughters, Talia Jones, Sarah McFadden, Jessica Cramar and Annabel Jones - three sisters, Hazel Wilkinson, Beryl Leigh and Lynda Moore, and three grandchildren, Harrison and Lauren McFadden and Phoenix Burrows.

Mr Pacheco said: “All of his family, friends and fans mourn Davy’s loss. We were fortunate to have such an incredible human being in our lives. Sadly, his time on Earth was cut far too short and he will be missed tremendously by all who knew him.”

Jones, who was best known as the frontman of the band put together to star in their own TV show, had an early start in showbusiness when he appeared as Ena Sharples’ grandson in Coronation Street. He also appeared in Z Cars before leaving showbusiness to train as a jockey but came back to acting, playing the Artful Dodger in a stage production of Oliver!

He appeared in the West End and followed the show to Broadway, landing a Tony nomination, and built up a career as an actor and singer before he auditioned for The Monkees.

Despite a flurry of hits, the band were initially criticised for the manufactured nature of their career, with Californian rivals The Byrds mocking them in their single So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star. But they eventually proved themselves, writing more of their own songs, playing live on tour, and later starring in 1960s cult film Head with Jack Nicholson.

Mike Nesmith posted a tribute to his former bandmate on Facebook. He wrote: “David’s spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people, who remember with me the good times, and the healing times, that were created for so many, including us. I have fond memories. I wish him safe travels.”

 

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