George Michael Dolenz, Jr. (born March 8, 1945) is an American actor, musician, television director, radio personality and theatre director; he is best known as a member of the 1960s made-for-television band The Monkees.
Dolenz was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of George Dolenz, a Hollywood character actor, and his wife Janelle Johnson.
Dolenz began his show business career in 1956 when he starred in a children’s show called Circus Boy under the name Mickey Braddock. In the show, he played an orphaned boy who is the water boy for the elephants in his uncle’s one-ring circus at the start of the twentieth century. The program ran for three years, after which Dolenz made sporadic appearances on network TV shows and pursued his education.
He also played with obscure rock and roll bands, including one called The Missing Links. Dolenz went to Ulysses S. Grant High School in Valley Glen, Los Angeles, California and graduated in 1962. He was attending college in Los Angeles when hired for the "drummer" role in The Monkees.
In 1965, Dolenz was cast in the television sitcom The Monkees and became the drummer and lead vocalist in the band created for the show. Micky said later that someone at Screen Gems forgot to contact his agent to inform him the series was picked up by NBC; he wound up learning about his new job by reading the announcement in Variety. He was not at that time a drummer, and needed lessons even to be able to mime credibly. (Interestingly, he learned to play right-handed and left-footed.)
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