Micky Dolenz Pays Tribute to ‘Monkees’ Co-Creator Bob Rafelson Who’s Died at 89

Bob Rafelson
TriStar Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

The Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz, the last surviving member of the music group, has paid tribute to Bob Rafelson, the musical show’s co-creator, who passed away Saturday, July 23, at 89.

“One day in the spring of 1966, I cut my classes in architecture at LA Trade Tech to take an audition for a new TV show called The Monkees. The co-creator/producer of the show was Bob Rafelson,” said Dolenz. “At first, I mistook him for another actor there for the audition. Needless-to-say, I got the part and it completely altered my life.”

Regarded as one of the key figures in the founding of the New Hollywood movement in the 1970s, Rafelson is known for his movies Five Easy Pieces (1970), The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), and Mountains of the Moon (1990). Alongside his BBS Productions partner Bert Schneider, Rafelson created The Monkees pop group and TV series that ran for two seasons on NBC from 1966 to 1968.

According to Variety, the prolific director’s death was confirmed by his long-serving personal assistant, Jolene Wolff, who worked under Rafelson’s production banner Marmont Productions. Wolff said that Rafelson died peacefully, surrounded by his family.

“Regrettably, Bob passed away last night but I did get a chance to send him a message telling him how eternally grateful I was that he saw something in me,” Dolenz continued in a follow-up tweet. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart my friend.”

'Hill Street Blues' Star Taurean Blacque Dies at 82See Also

'Hill Street Blues' Star Taurean Blacque Dies at 82

The actor was also known for his roles on shows like 'Generations' and 'Savannah.'

The Monkees debuted at the height of Beatlemania, and more than 400 people auditioned for the series. It won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1967 and catapulted its stars — Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Dolenz — into the celebrity limelight. The group’s first four albums landed at No. 1 on the Billboard chart with hit singles “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m a Believer,” and “Daydream Believer.”