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Michael Nesmith

Michael Nesmith

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Also Known As: Mike Nesmith, Robert Micheal Nesmith, Michael Blessing Died:
Born: December 30, 1942 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Houston, Texas, USA Profession: actor, musician, producer, record label owner

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though immediately recognizable to television fans as the dryly humorous, wool cap-wearing Mike on "The Monkees" (NBC, 1966-69), Michael Nesmith eclipsed his brief tenure as a pop idol with an eclectic résumé of accomplishments, including being a country-rock pioneer, a leading figure in home video distributor and one of the primary, if uncredited forces behind the creation of MTV. Nesmith's quiet demeanor and love for traditional country seemed to stand in direct contrast to the cartoonish antics of the Monkees' television show and their sunny pop music, though he would pen some of their biggest hits, including "Mary, Mary" and "The Girl I Knew Somewhere." After the group's demise, he established himself as a first-rate country-rock musician and songwriter while developing his own multimedia company, Pacific Arts. The organization would eventually develop a weekly music video series that would be purchased by Warner Cable and transformed into MTV in the early 1980s. Pacific Arts soon became a leader in home video production and distribution, while Nesmith dabbled in film production, novels and virtual live performances on the Internet. He largely resisted the rush of nostalgia that led to numerous...

Though immediately recognizable to television fans as the dryly humorous, wool cap-wearing Mike on "The Monkees" (NBC, 1966-69), Michael Nesmith eclipsed his brief tenure as a pop idol with an eclectic résumé of accomplishments, including being a country-rock pioneer, a leading figure in home video distributor and one of the primary, if uncredited forces behind the creation of MTV. Nesmith's quiet demeanor and love for traditional country seemed to stand in direct contrast to the cartoonish antics of the Monkees' television show and their sunny pop music, though he would pen some of their biggest hits, including "Mary, Mary" and "The Girl I Knew Somewhere." After the group's demise, he established himself as a first-rate country-rock musician and songwriter while developing his own multimedia company, Pacific Arts. The organization would eventually develop a weekly music video series that would be purchased by Warner Cable and transformed into MTV in the early 1980s. Pacific Arts soon became a leader in home video production and distribution, while Nesmith dabbled in film production, novels and virtual live performances on the Internet. He largely resisted the rush of nostalgia that led to numerous Monkees reunions in the late '80s, which did much to preserve his status as a serious performer and entertainment figure.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Tapeheads (1988) Water Man
2.
 Burglar (1987) Cabbie
3.
 Timerider (1983)
4.
 Head (1968) Themselves, The Monkees
5.
 Video Killed the Radio Star (2000) Interviewee
6.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Texas
:
Was a member of the United States Air Force for two years
:
Moved to Memphis; was a sessions musician on Stax-Volt records
:
Relocated to Los Angeles
:
Formed the folk-rock duo Mike and John with John London
1965:
Answered a call in <i>Variety</i> looking for musicians who could act; cast on "The Monkees"
1966:
"The Monkees", a rock and roll sitcom, aired on NBC; the quartet becomes an instant pop phenomenon
1967:
The Monkees buck their prefab beginnings, writing, producing and playing their own instruments for the bulk of the album "Headquarters" at Nesmith's urging
1968:
Starred in The Monkees psychedelic feature film "Head", scripted by Jack Nicholson
1968:
Recorded first solo album, "Wichita Train Whistle Songs"
1968:
His song "Different Drum" was a hit for The Stone Poneys (led by vocalist Linda Ronstadt)
1969:
Hosted the NBC special "33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee"
:
Formed The First National Band with London, John Ware and Red Rhodes
1970:
Country-rock single "Joanne" hit the Top 40
1977:
Began producing music videos, predating MTV with the surrealistic short film for his song "Rio"
:
Developed "Popclips", the prototype for MTV; produced 56 half-hour episodes for the upstart network
1982:
Was executive producer, screenwriter and music performer for the sci-fi Western "Timerider"
:
Sponsored a residency at the AFI encouraging music and video artists to collaborate in the interest of creating music video innovations; established The Michael Nesmith Award, a grant to aid such endeavors
1983:
His innovative music videos "Rio" and "Cruisin'" released as the home video "Rio and Cruisin"
1984:
Produced the Alex Cox cult classic "Repo Man"
1985:
Was executive producer, writer and host of "Michael Nesmith in Television Parts" (NBC), a TV series of music videos and comedy based on his experimental music video project "Television Parts"
1987:
Executive produced the drama feature "Square Dance"
1987:
Had a cameo in the Whoopi Goldberg comedy vehicle "Burglar"
1988:
Produced and had a cameo in the quirky music-themed comedy "Tapeheads", starring John Cusack and Tim Robbins
1997:
Was executive producer, writer and director as well as star of the contemporary reunion special "Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees" (ABC)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

San Antonio College: San Antonio , Texas -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Phyliss Nesmith. Married in 1964; injured in a car accident c. 1967; divorced in March 1975; mother of two of Nesmith's children.
companion:
Marite Wilde. Nesmith had extramarital relationship with her c. 1967; gave birth to his son Jason in 1968.
wife:
Kathryn Nesmith. Married in 1976; divorced.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Warren Nesmith.
mother:
Bette Nesmith. Inventor. Invented Liquid Paper.
son:
Christian Nesmith. Born c. 1965; mother, Phyllis Nesmith.
son:
Jonathan Nesmith. Born c. 1966; mother, Phyllis Nesmith.
son:
Jason Nesmith. Musician. Born c. 1968; formed band Nancy Boy with Donovan Leitch.
daughter:
Jessica Nesmith. Born c. 1974; mother, Phyllis Nesmith.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Total Control: The Michael Nesmith Story"
"The Long Sandy Hair of Neftoon Zamora" St. Martin's Press

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