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1970s / Cass Elliot Death 1974
Cassandra (Cass) Elliot had the best success of any of the four members of The Mamas and the Papas after the group split up. She had solo hits with 'Dream A Little Dream of Me' and 'Make Your Own Kind of Music.' In the summer of 1974 she embarked on a tour of England where she played two weeks of sold-out gigs. Her terrific voice earned her a standing ovation each night. On July 29, 1974, after her tour had ended, Elliot died in her sleep in a London flat. She was 32. Immediately after her death, gossip columns speculated that Elliot died from choking on a ham sandwich. Speaking to the press shortly after her body was discovered, the police noted that a partly eaten sandwich had been found in her room and speculated that Elliot may have choked while eating it. When an autopsy was performed, no food was found in her trachea and the cause of death was determined to have been a heart attack. But by then, the story was already making the rounds and the real cause of Elliot's death was rarely discussed. The incorrect story has, sadly, remained a part of popular culture as an urban myth.