I honestly forget the kind soul that provided me with a copy of Cass in
the Pufnstuf movie - but thanks to that person you can check it
out. Its a great magic 60's TV moment. Cass used to live next
door to Sid and Marty Kroft. Think they got high and thought this up?
Cass Elliot, or Ellen Naomi Cohen as she was born, was
most famous as Mama Cass, from the singing group, the Mama's and the
Papa's. Findadeath.com friend Jim Ed Green sends
this info: Cass was a real smart lady, with an I.Q. of 165. Also, she had a hell of
a time getting into The Mamas and Papas. In his biography "Papa John", John Phillips says he was reluctant to let Cass into the group, not only because of
her size, it was also because her alto voice couldn't hit the high notes John wanted for the group sound. She would follow the band everywhere, getting jobs wherever
they played, just to be around. Then, one strange day, Cass was walking past a construction site when a lead pipe fell and hit her on the head, knocking her
out. After three days in the hospital with a moderate concussion, she joined a rehearsal the band was having- and she could hit the high notes John
wanted! Cass was then, finally, invited to join The Mamas and Papas.
In 1974, she was staying in
flat in Curzon Place,
in the Mayfair district of London. A brown, unassuming apartment complex. Cass would
enter the building and walk the stairs to flat number 9 . Cass was in the UK,
performing her solo show to sold out audiences at the Palladium. She had left the group "The
Mama's and the Papa's" in 1968, and was branching out on her own, with solo albums, a
role in the 1970 film "Pufnstuf" and a guest spot on "Scooby Doo".
According to fellow "mama" Michelle Phillips who says she had spoken to Cass the
night before she died, "She had had a little champagne, and was crying. She felt she
had finally made the transition from Mama Cass." She died on the 29th of
July, 1974 at age 32. The rumour about her choking on a sandwich began with an article in the London Times shortly after
Official Cause of Death: Fatty Myocardial Degeneration due to Obesity. Natural Causes.
Cass's body was flown back to the United States, and was one of the last cremations
performed at the former Hollywood Memorial Park, and is now buried in Mt. Sinai Cemetery,
Los Angeles, CA. Courtof Tanach, Lot 5000, Grave 2F.
Trivia: Cass was arrested and spent a night in a London jail for allegedly stealing 2
blankets and 2 keys from the Embassy
Hotel , earlier in the year. Upon her release, Cass stated to the press, "Your
policemen were wonderful, but I don't think much of your jails. There weren't enough
MORE ADDED MARCH 2001 - thanks to
Findadeath.com friend TED:
First off, I never knew Cass had a daughter.
She "shocked the world" by having a baby at the height of TM&TP's
success in 1967, and, just as shockingly for the times, never revealed who the
father was. Owen Elliot stepped up with the other three members of the
band in her mother's place when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame in 1998.
But this is what really chafed my nuts: Denny Doherty, the second guy in
the group, talked at length (as did John and Michelle Phillips) about how much Cass was in love with him.
It was totally one-sided. Denny had a thing for Michelle, and eventually wound
up having an affair with her (who didn't?) while she was married to John.
John and Michelle were split (the first time--before they reunited just long
enough to have Chynna), John and Denny actually lived together so they could
keep an eye on one another! No matter, though: that slut Michelle
was off boffing some other dude or two. All the while, Cass is carrying a
torch as big as Lady Liberty's for Denny.
After the group began to unravel
and she struck out on her own, SHE ASKED HIM to marry her. He turned her
down. It was pretty apparent from everyone that she never recovered from
So what's so maddening about it?
This DICK-DICK-DOUBLE-DICK is now touring the US and Canada with a one-man show
called "Dream a Little Dream," where he sings, pays tribute to, and
makes money off of the woman whose heart he broke in a million pieces. As
my dear friend Rhonda would say, "THAT takes balls the size of church
OK, In fairness to Denny, findadeath.com
friend Sandy sends this in:
Denny Doherty is a great guy! He loved Cass with
all his heart and considered her his best friend in the world. He just was never in love
with her in the romantic sense. He was wise enough to be honest with her. Their great friendship did not end with Denny's rejection of Cass'
marriage proposal. The rejection did make Cass see reality and allowed
her to get on with her very short life.
Denny's show is very respectful of Cass and showcases her many contributions to the music world. It is the story of The Mamas and The
Papas, warts and all.
I truly resent that a man of such talent and grace is slandered right there on the page devoted to his best friend. Denny brought much
happiness into Cass' life and I think that is what should be remembered.
AND MORE! From findadeath.com friend
is in reference to Ted's update. I remember when I was in 3rd grade, at the
class Christmas party, we were asked to bring our favorite albums. This was
1972. Anyway, a classmate, brought The Mamas &Papas album. At the time, I
really didn't know who they were. Anyway, I think it was the very next year,
that Cass Elliot had a TV special called "Don't Call Me Mama". I
remember one of the last lines in the show was, she said. "Don't call her
Mama, anymore. That's for her daughter."
but not least department, from Ted: Just read the rebuttal to my Mama
from Sandy. Please add a little response from me if
you would be so kind:
"Sorry Sandy. I guess I didn't have the whole picture. Forgive a bitchy old queen, won't you?"