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The Only Actors From The Monkees Still Alive Today

"The Monkees" made its mark as one of the most memorable TV shows of the 1960s. Years before David Cassidy of "The Patridge Family" left tween girls swooning, Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork starred as themselves on their band's eponymous sitcom, and became instant teen idols with radio hits such as "Last Train to Clarksville" and "Daydream Believer." The show aired for only two seasons on NBC, but it won two Emmy Awards, including one for outstanding comedy series. 

More than 50 years later, all but one of the main "Monkees" cast members and three recurring players have passed away. Micky Dolenz is the last Monkee standing, and he spoke about his made-for-TV bandmates in an interview with Forbes, telling the outlet that he spent more time with them than with his real siblings from the late 1960s onward. "Peter and David, and, to a degree Nes, spent a lot of time together, and not just casual hanging out, having-a-beer time, but intense work and play," he said.

"When you get to this age, it's kind of expected," Dolenz added of his longtime friends' deaths. "Peter's was cancer, so that was not a huge surprise as it had been going on for a while. But David's was right out of the blue. Supposedly, he just had a physical and came out in good shape, and then [he] had a heart attack."

Micky Dolenz continues to represent The Monkees onstage

Micky Dolenz has kept himself busy in the decades since his days as a Monkee. The actor and musician, who has been married three times and shares four daughters with his exes, told The Sydney Morning Herald that he went into business with his daughter. "I run a woodworking business called Dolenz & Daughters Fine Furniture with my youngest, Georgia, the only one who lives near me in L.A," he said in 2018. "We share a love of handmade furniture; it's a cool bond."  He has also logged an impressive list of acting and producing credits through the years, including 2023's "The Zombie Wedding."

Dolenz has not retired from music, as his official website lists some tour dates. In a 2023 interview with KTLA, he joked, "I'm still on the road ... because a moving target is harder to hit." He also teased that he still represents the Monkees onstage. "Always, I always do the big hits and then I just pepper it with different stuff," he said of his shows. "But it's always the big hits, '[Last Train To] Clarksville,' 'Pleasant Valley Sunday,' "[I'm Not Your] Stepping Stone.'" As for talk that The Monkees could be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Dolenz told Forbes he's flattered, but not holding his breath. "That's been going on for years now, fans doing petitions and supporting us," he said. "But I've never chased awards and banners. My big heyday was when we won two Emmys for the television show."

Monkees character actor Monte Landis has retired from acting

"The Monkees" focused on the so-called Prefab Four, but several supporting players popped in regularly. During Season 2, Monte Landis made cameos as the weekly villain in seven episodes, playing memorable characters such as evil museum guard Duce, freaky fitness nut Sha-Ku, and the devilish Mr. Zero in the controversial episode "The Devil And Peter Tork." While Landis continued to work as a character actor and landed a role as Mario in "PeeWee's Big Adventure,"  his final acting credit came in 1996 in the TV series "High Society."

In a 2007 interview with Desert Sun (per Tapatalk), Landis shared that he ultimately switched gears from acting and devoted his life to the study of the Kabbalah. "In 1978 I started going to the shul (synagogue) in Venice and rediscovered my Judaism," he explained. "I became Orthodox and shomer Shabbos and convinced my sister to do it, too." Landis eventually moved to Palm Springs to teach classes on the Torah and Kabbalah. "I'm passionate about what I do," he said. "Teaching the Aleph Bais (alphabet) and it's mystical qualities is my life's work now."

Stands-ins David Pearl and Valerie Kairys are still living

David Pearl was sometimes known as the "fifth Monkee" because he appeared in so many episodes of the show. A 1968 article in "Monkee Spectacular" (per The Sunshine Factory) noted that Pearl befriended the musicians before the show started airing. He ended up working as a stand-in for Peter Tork and was also an extra in nearly two dozen episodes. In a post on the official Davy Jones Facebook page, it was revealed that Pearl lives a private life in Texas. His last public appearance was at a Monkees fan event in 1988.

Valerie Kairys, another stand-in turned extra, appeared in 14 episodes of "The Monkees." While she was hired to be a stand-in for Davy Jones, she ultimately received screen credit for bit roles. In 2019, she told Ghosty's "The Vintage Pop & Rock Shop" that she was on-set every day as Jones' stand-in and was soon thrust in front of the camera, despite her lack of acting experience. "They would come up with things at the spur of the moment like, 'Oh we need a girl, we need a girl in here,' and 'Oh Valerie can do it?' And they'd throw me in there," she said. "And that's how that happened. It was a lot of fun. I don't know how I ended up and so many of them but I did." 

Kairys also had an uncredited role in the Monkees' trippy big-screen film, "Head." Her last role at the time of writing was in 2016's "Tourbillion."