Incredible Celebrity Transformations
Cass Elliot
Weight Lost: 110lbs
Name: Cass Elliot
Birthdate: Sep 19, 1941 (76 Years Old)
Starting Weight: 300lbs Current Weight: 190lbs
Diet: Low Calorie Favorite Diet Foods: Unknown
Exercises: Unknown
Famous For: “California Dreamin’”, “Monday Monday”, “Dream A Little Dream of Me”
Name: Cass Elliot
Birthdate: Sep 19, 1941 (76 Years Old)
Starting Weight: 300lbs Current Weight: 190lbs
Diet: Low Calorie Favorite Diet Foods: Unknown
Exercises: Unknown
Famous For: “California Dreamin’”, “Monday Monday”, “Dream A Little Dream of Me”
Cass Elliot
Weight Lost: 110lbs
Name: Cass Elliot
Birthdate: Sep 19, 1941 (76 Years Old)
Diet: Low Calorie
Favorite Diet Foods: Unknown
Exercises: Unknown

In the 1960s, folk singer Cass Elliot joined forces with John Phillips, Denny Doherty and Michelle Phillips to create The Mamas and The Papas. Known more by her stage name of Mama Cass, Elliot was perhaps the most notable of the group that released hits such as “California Dreamin’” and “Monday, Monday”. For a while, they were one of the most popular bands around the world, though the good times wouldn’t last forever.

During the bulk of her career, Elliot was known for her large stature, and it was a common talking point. Elliot had been overweight for her entire life, and had struggled to lose any weight when becoming famous. Elliot tried multiple diets without anything seeming to stick, and she eventually found that her weight had hit a high of 300 pounds. At 5’5”, that would put her at a 49.9 body mass index, well into the obese category.

Elliot had said in an interview that “I’ve been fat since I was seven and being fat sets you apart.” It certainly didn’t hurt her popularity to be carrying around the extra weight, but she knew that it was detrimental to her health. Many were telling her to slim down, while she also served as a point of inspiration for those that had a weight problem. According to John Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas, she did struggle with her personal image, though.

“She said she’d never go on stage because Michelle (Phillips) was beautiful and she wasn’t,” he said. Eventually, Elliot was talked into getting on the stage, but always felt self conscious as the only overweight one in the group. Her daughter, Owen, has said that she eventually “accepted who she was, a sexy woman who was never short of boyfriends, but I think if she could have been thinner, she would have. I’m overweight right now and I’m still beautiful. But God, it would be nice to be thin and I think that’s where she was at, too.”

After the breakup of The Mamas and The Papas, Elliot set out on a solo career, and tried to change her image. When she had gotten up to 300 pounds, Elliot signed a deal with Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for a three-week solo show. To prepare for the show, Elliot took six months to prepare by going on a crash diet. It wasn’t the healthiest way to lose weight, surely, but she did lose a significant amount.

Those around her said that Elliot had practically been starving herself to drop weight, and would end up losing 110 pounds in the six month span. This would result in some health problems, most notably with her stomach and throat. Elliot developed an ulcer, and to help her throat, she drank a lot of cream and milk to soothe the injury. Because of that, Elliot quickly regained 50 of the pounds that she had lost.

Losing a massive amount of weight and regaining a significant amount of that can do long-term damage to the body, which we sadly found out about the hard way. Elliot had become ill, and her first show in Las Vegas didn’t go well as a result. Embarrassed by the poor show, it would end up hurting Elliot’s career as she went into a depression and started abusing substances such as heroin.

Over the next few years, Elliot would get back into poor eating habits, regaining just about all of the weight that she had lost in the late 1960s. This would end up ultimately costing Elliot her life as the added weight continued to affect her health. On July 29, 1974, Elliot passed away at just 32 years old. One of the unfortunate urban legends is that Elliot choked on a ham sandwich that took her life, but that’s not the case.

Keith Simpson performed the autopsy on Elliot, and found that it was her weight that was the biggest factor in her death. The official cause of death was “heart failure due to fatty myocardial degeneration due to obesity.” Simpson added in a later interview that Elliot “weighed twice as much as she should have. One of her heart muscles had turned to fat.”

The autopsy also showed that Elliot hadn’t eaten much the day before she passed away, and that there were no drugs in her system. A lifetime of poor eating habits resulted in Elliot’s heart suffering, and it had been a problem throughout much of her life that led to fainting episodes. The strange rumors about her choking have been proven false, and it was tragic to see how such a talented singer passed away at such a young age. She was survived by her one daughter, Owen.