'Enough With The Jokes': Mama Cass Elliot's Daughter Debunks 'Ham Sandwich' Rumors About Singer's Cause Of Death

The daughter of the musical idol Mama Cass Elliot recently opened up about the saddening rumor about the artist's death.

Published on May 06, 2024  |  05:48 PM IST |  35.3K
Daughter of Cass Elliot debunks rumors
Cass Elliot (Getty)

Mama Cass Elliot was an artist known to be a part of the folk vocal group called Mamas and the Papas. However, after her tragic death, a rumor gripped the industry that was later often joked about.

Owen Elliot-Kugell, the daughter of Cass Elliot, has now come forth and debunked this long-lasting rumor. Read to know the truth and the suffering Owen had to live with throughout her life.

Owen Elliot Kugell about her mother’s death

Following the death of Mama Cass Elliot, a rumor spread that the artist had died from choking on a ham sandwich. The rumors, however, later turned into a joke often used in films such as Austin Powers.

After her departure from the group Mamas and the Papas, she performed solo. But during her two-week run at the London Palladium, she died in a Mayfair flat, which she had borrowed from American artist Harry Nilsson.

After her autopsy, it was stated that her cause of death was a heart attack, while also making it clear that there were no drugs in her system. Cass Elliot had died at the age of 32 on July 29.


Now, ahead of her 50th death anniversary, her daughter Owen Elliot-Kugell has come forth with a memoir, My Mama, Cass. In this book, she has cleared all the doubts. 

While talking to BBC, she stated, "It's beyond frustrating, almost immeasurable."

The daughter also explains that when she was “a little girl,” she used to visit her friend's house for “playdates,” however, it was often that “one of their parents would make a comment” and ask her, “Hey, did your mom really die choking on a ham sandwich?”

Owen has even stated that such incidents “bothered” her as “it was such a horrible story, and I knew that it wasn't true.”

“It just felt so cruel to have a rumor like that perpetuated. It tortured me," she added.

The ham sandwich rumor

Owen Elliot-Kugell's life was already pretty terrible, having to cope with the loss of her mother. And just when she thought things couldn't get any worse, she stumbled upon the origin of this rumor after so many years.

In her book, as stated by BBC, Elliot-Kugell has also named the person who made the rumor and spread it across the music industry.

The daughter was having lunch with Cass Elliot’s journalist friend Sue Cameron when she found out about the origin of the ham sandwich story.

"I said, 'I really just wish I knew where that story came from.' She (Sue) stopped eating, put her knife and fork down, looked me in the eye, and said: 'I did it'."


How old was Cass Elliot when she died?
Cass Elliot died at the age of 32.

When did Cass Elliot die?
Cass Elliot died on July 29, 1974.

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