Dolenz was born in Los Angeles, California Los Angeles, California Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the United States, the most populous city in the state of California and the western United States, with a population of 3.83 million within its administrative limits on a land area of..., the son of George Dolenz George Dolenz George Dolenz was an American film actor born in Trieste , in the city's Slovene community.

, a Hollywood character actor, and his wife Janelle Johnson Janelle Johnson Janelle Johnson was an actress in films of the 1940s. She married actor George Dolenz and was the mother of Micky Dolenz of the 1960s pop group the Monkees. Her English daughter-in-law was Samantha Juste, co-host of BBC television's Top of the Pops in its early days.

He also played with obscure rock and roll bands, including one called The Missing Links. Dolenz went to Ulysses S. Grant High School in Valley Glen, Los Angeles, California Valley Glen, Los Angeles, California Valley Glen is a community in the southeastern portion of the San Fernando Valley district of the City of Los Angeles, California, United States and graduated in 1962. He was attending college in Los Angeles when hired for the "drummer" role in The Monkees' The Monkees (TV series). The Monkees is an American situation comedy that aired on NBC from September 1966 to March 1968. The series follows the adventures of four young men trying to make a name for themselves as rock 'n roll singers. The show introduced a number of innovative new-wave film techniques to series television.