Cass Elliot

Ellen Naomi Cohen (September 19, 1941 – July 29, 1974), known professionally as Cass Elliot, or Mama Cass, was an American singer and actress. She was a member of the singing group The Mamas & the Papas. After the group broke up, Elliot released five solo albums. In 1998, she was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her work with The Mamas & the Papas.

Ellen Naomi Cohen was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 19, 1941, the daughter of Philip (died 1962) and Bess Cohen (née Levine; 1915–1994). All four of her grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants. Her family was subject to significant financial stresses and uncertainties during her childhood years. Her father, involved in several business ventures, ultimately succeeded through the development of a lunch wagon in Baltimore that provided meals to construction workers.Her mother was a trained nurse. Elliot, age 32, died in her sleep at the London flat where she was staying. According to forensic pathologist Keith Simpson, who conducted her autopsy, her death was due to heart failure. “There was left-sided heart failure,” he wrote, “she had a heart attack which developed rapidly.”

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