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Saturday, March 03, 2012

Davy Jones' death: A chance to say thanks to our heartthrobs

Davy Jones' death hit many hard. Monkees band mate Peter Tork tells "Inside Edition" in a broadcast to air Thursday night that the phone call "was a true jolt."

His death also was a blow to a generation of former giggling teen girls. We didn't care that he was 5 feet 3 — or even a decade or two older than us. He was only three years shy of 30, after all, when he went to the prom with Marcia Brady.

"The Brady Bunch's" "Getting Davy Jones" episode was, by the way, No. 37 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. It was the dreamy brown eyes and the ability to look 15 at age 27. (Maureen McCormick — that'd be Marcia — was an authentic teenager, 16, when that episode aired.)

McCormick said in a statement Thursday that Jones was "a beautiful soul who spread love and goodness around the world."

His death Wednesday provides an opportunity to remember a host of '60s and '70s heartthrobs whose stars have sputtered but who remain lodged in the hearts of a certain category of women (those for whom 40 is firmly in the rearview mirror).

Here are a few highlights — plus you'll find a few surprises among the photos above.

— Burt Ward. Ward, born Bert Gervis Jr., skated in his father's traveling ice show, "Rahpsody on Ice," according to the Bat Site. Robin in the "Batman" TV series was his first big break. He was 19 and already married for the first time when he starred for three seasons with Adam West. Ward still likes to talk about his days as the Boy Wonder.

— Bobby Sherman. Sherman was young brother Jeremy on "Here Come the Brides" and went on to other acting roles and to sing before screaming girls in concert. In 1998, he took part in the Teen Idol Tour, which included, at various points, Peter Noone from Herman's Hermits and the Monkees' Jones.

Sherman proudly went on to a career in law enforcement, serving with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department from 1999 to 2010 and founding the Bobby Sherman Volunteer EMT Foundation.

— Leif Garrett. Garrett's more recent stumbles, involving heroin and subway stations, can't totally dim his early singing and acting efforts, and that sunshine-blond head of shining hair. As a youngster he was in movies ("Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," "Walking Tall") and TV shows ("The Odd Couple," "Family"). Girlish hearts throbbed, though, with his 1976 release, "Leif Garrett."

More recently, he was on "Celebrity Rehab." He told the Los Angeles Times: "I didn't want to have a camera stuck in my face while I was trying to kick," but then he realized, "Why not get paid for it? And show the world ... I am no longer using?"

— David Cassidy. Cassidy, musician and actor, is best known for his role as Keith on "The Patridge Family"; only young Cassidy could look sexy driving a school bus. The son of two actors, Cassidy has held on to his celebrity, hard, over the years. Last year, he talked to CNN about missing out on a "fortune" in net merchandising revenues from "The Partridge Family" and his plans to recover it.

On Thursday, he saluted Davy Jones on his official website. "I am going to be doing a lot to honor Davy's memory and our friendship," he wrote. He says "Entertainment Tonight" is set to interview him, and he planned a tribute to Jones at an upcoming show.

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