The Monkees’ drummer and singer, Micky Dolenz, disclosed that someone very near and dear to him ran his fan club when he was on the popular ‘60s show — his grandmother. How did such a wholesomely sweet thing come to be?
Micky Dolenz came from a showbusiness family and acted long before he was on ‘The Monkees’
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Dolenz shared some memories of growing up on a ranch in California. His mother, Janelle Johnson, and father, George, were both actors, so they were a showbusiness family.
Dolenz noted that to be true, but said it was not in a “cliché sense.” They had a “humble background” and raised animals like chickens and horses. He guessed that his mother probably missed her own acting career once she had kids but family was her priority, as he recalled.
When he was around the age of 10, Dolenz broke into television acting on a show called Circus Boy. Around this time, his grandmother also came to live with the family to help look after his sisters.
Micky Dolenz’s grandmother, Mene Marie Hamby, took over his fan club during his run on ‘The Monkees’
According to Dolenz, his mother’s mother was also in the entertainment industry. “My maternal grandmother, Mene Marie Hamby, worked as a secretary in Texas before she moved to Los Angeles to work in the film business,” Dolenz shared.
Hamby stayed with Dolenz’s sisters so Johnson could travel to the show’s set with the young actor. “… I had three sisters, Kathleen, Gemma [better known as Coco] and Deborah, who needed looking after,” he said. “My mother was the one who would come with me on set every day and my grandmother remained at home and took care of my sisters.”
This continued into Dolenz’s teenage years when his father died of a heart attack and his mother took over the role of his manager. Thankfully, Hamby was already around a lot to babysit. She seemingly helped to make his career possible starting in his childhood.
Dolenz was studying architecture in Los Angeles at the age of 19 when he got the opportunity to audition for a role on The Monkees. He “went for it” and got the part. Along with Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork, he officially became one of the Monkees.
At that point, Hamby stepped in as her grandson’s official lead fan. “When I got into the Monkees [in 1965], she took over my fan club,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “She was keenly involved and always took an interest in everything I did.”
Micky Dolenz’s history with ‘strong, capable’ women
As Dolenz points out in that interview, his mother was a “strong, capable woman,” as his grandmother who helped raise him seemingly was. So, it seems the last Monkees’ affection for “strong, smart” women looks to have been built over a lifetime.
Notably, he also had three sisters in childhood and four daughters with three different wives throughout his life. “Each time I have chosen strong, smart and beautiful women,” he shared of his marriages. He added, “I guess I’ve learnt that sometimes things don’t work out in relationships and that’s fine.”
“You learn more about women by marrying as many times as I have,” he noted, “but you also learn about yourself.”