Michael Nesmith, the “Silent Monkee,” Dies Aged 78

Mr. Nesmith has become more willing, or perhaps more available, to embrace his Monkee past in recent years. He joined Mr. Tork and Mr. Dolenz on a tour after Mr. Jones’ death.

Peter Tork passed away in 2019. Mr. Dolenz is now the last surviving Monkee.

In 2018 Mr Nesmith teamed up with Mr Dolenz for a tour, but in June he had to cancel the last four shows when shortness of breath made him unable to perform. He said to Rolling Stone that he underwent quadruple bypass surgery shortly thereafter.

“I was using the words ‘heart attack’ for a while,” he said. “But I’m told now that I didn’t have one. It was congestive heart failure.

Yet by September he was back on tour with his own band, playing his Material from the first national group. And he and Mr. Dolenz hit the road again this year, for what was billed as the Monkees’ farewell tour. They gave their last performance on November 14 in Los Angeles.

Mr. Nesmith’s first marriage ended in divorce in 1975. His marriages to Kathryn Bild in 1976 and Victoria Kennedy in 2000 also ended in divorce. He is survived by three children from his first marriage, Christian, Jonathan and Jessica Nesmith, and a son from a relationship with Nurit Wilde, Jason Nesmith, as well as two grandchildren.

Mr. Nesmith’s varied career included a legal battle with PBS. At the start of the video age, his company, Pacific Arts, purchased the personal video rights to some of PBS’s most popular programs, including “Nature.” PBS sued him for royalties, but in 1999 a federal jury in Los Angeles ruled in favor of Mr. Nesmith and awarded him $ 47 million. His reaction to his legal victory was generally ironic.

“It’s like catching your grandmother stealing your stereo,” he said after the verdict was delivered. “You’re happy to get your stereo back, but you’re sad to hear that Grandma is a thief.”

Maia Coleman contributed reporting.

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