Childhood & Early Life
Micky Dolenz was born on March 8, 1945 in Los Angeles, California, to actors George Dolenz and Janelle Johnson.
He started acting at the age of 11 when he was featured in a children's TV series ‘Circus Boy’ in 1956. He played Corky, an orphaned boy who lived in a travelling circus. The series continued for two seasons, after which he made appearances on other television shows.
After ‘Circus Boy’ ended, he went to school and graduated in 1962 from Ulysses S. Grant High School in Valley Glen, Los Angeles. He then attended Valley College and the Los Angeles Technical Institute, where he studied architecture.
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In 1964, Micky Dolenz appeared in one episode of the NBC education drama series ‘Mr. Novak’. He had also formed his own rock group called Micky and the One-Nighters in the 1960s, in which he was the lead singer. He also co-wrote some songs at that time.
In 1965, while he was still in college, he auditioned for NBC's series ‘The Monkees’ and was selected for the role of the drummer. In the band formed for the show, he was the drummer and the lead vocalist. He took lessons to play the drum, as he did not know how to play it.
Even before the series ‘The Monkees’ started airing, the band released a single ‘Last Train to Clarksville’, which became a number 1 hit. Dolenz wrote a few songs for ‘The Monkees’ band and sang the hit songs including ‘Last Train to Clarksville’, ‘Take a Giant Step’, and ‘I'm a Believer’. The series ran for two years and he directed and co-wrote the show's last episode.
After the series ‘The Monkees’ concluded in 1968 and the group split in 1969, Dolenz started providing voice-overs for cartoon series like ‘The Funky Phantom’, ‘Partridge Family 2200 A.D.’, ‘The Scooby-Doo Show’, ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids’, and ‘The Tick.’
In 1971, he composed the song ‘Easy On You’ and recorded it in his home studio. After two songs were recorded, he contacted MGM Records and was immediately signed in.
He smoothly juggled his dual careers of making music and acting. In 1972, he appeared in a murder mystery film ‘Night of the Strangler’ and was also featured in an episode of ‘Adam 12’.
In the meantime, he continued recording and releasing songs for MGM for three years. However, he did not get any chartbusters. So he moved to England and with Tony Scotti, co-founder of Scotti Brothers Records, and recorded four songs for MGM—‘Splish Splash’, ‘Purple People Eater’, ‘I Hate Rock And Roll’, and ‘Wing Walker’. Soon after, he left MGM when its chief Mike Curb quit the label.
In 1975, he joined the former Monkees songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart and embarked on a tour for two years as the ‘Golden Hits of the Monkees’ show. Due to the rerun of the ‘The Monkees’ series, the album ‘The Monkees Greatest Hits’ reached the charts in 1976, which boosted his musical career further. In the same year, he performed in a Tom Sawyer play. In 1977, he went to London and appeared in the musical ‘The Point’.
From 1980 to 1983, he focused on his directorial talent. In 1980, he produced and directed the sitcom ‘Metal Mickey’. During this time, he directed the play ‘Bugsy Malone’ as well. In 1983, he created and produced ‘Luna’, a British children's television show, which continued for a year. He also directed a few episodes of the sitcom ‘Boy Meets World’.
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In 1986, after MTV aired the series ‘The Monkees’, the group reunited with fresh enthusiasm. They released a collection of hits ‘That Was Then, This Is Now’, which reached number 20 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In 1987, they released a new album ‘Pool It!’ They also reissued all their original albums and all entered the record charts.
In 1993, he released his book ‘I'm a Believer: My Life of Monkees, Music, and Madness,’ in which he captured his pop and rock star experiences with the Monkees group.
In 1996, the Monkees released a new album, ‘Justus’, which did not enter the charts. Around this time, Dolenz made his Broadway debut in the musical ‘Grease’. In 2003, he performed in the Broadway musical ‘Aida’.
In January 2005, he joined the WCBS-FM radio station in New York as the morning disc jockey. On June 3, 2005, his tenure ended with his 100th show. In 2006, he published his first children's book, ‘Gakky Two-Feet’.
Micky Dolenz’s role in the sitcom, ‘The Monkees’, brought him into prominence. The series premiered on September 12, 1966 and was well received by the viewers. He stood out in the show and was adored for his humor and the music numbers featuring his distinctive vocals.
‘Last Train to Clarksville’, the debut single by The Monkees, featured him as the lead singer. Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart co-wrote the single which was released on August 16, 1966. It was an immediate hit and peaked at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
In 1968, Micky Dolenz married Samantha Juste, a co-presenter on BBC TV's pop music show. Their daughter Ami Dolenz was born on January 8, 1969. The couple divorced in 1975.
He married Trina Dow in 1977. The couple has three daughters—Charlotte Janelle, born on August 8, 1981; Emily Claire, born on July 25, 1983; and Georgia Rose, born on September 3, 1984. Dolenz and Dow divorced in 1991.
In 2001, he bought a house in Bell Canyon, California.
Dolenz married Donna Quinter in 2002.