Catya "Cat" Sassoon (September 3, 1968 – January 1, 2002) was an American actress, singer and former model.

Early life

The eldest of four children, Sassoon was born at the Klingenstein Pavilion of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City to British hairstylist Vidal Sassoon, and his wife, Canadian-born actress Beverly Adams.[1][2] Her father was born in Shepherd's Bush and was of Greek and Jewish descent. Sassoon's parents divorced in 1980.[3]

Raised in Beverly Hills, Sassoon did some modeling as child with her mother Beverly and appeared on several talk shows. By the age of 13, Sassoon began rebelling and piercing her nose and styled her hair in a purple and white mohawk.[4]

Career

Against her parents' wishes, Sassoon dropped out of Beverly Hills High School at the age of 14 to pursue a modeling career. She moved to New York City where she signed with the Prestige Agency and enrolled at Professional Children's School. Her modeling career quickly took off and she became one of New York's top teen models.[5] Sassoon later appeared on the covers of Seventeen, Brides and Cosmopolitan.[4][6]

Shortly before she was set to leave for a lucrative modeling assignment in Japan, Sassoon met 18-year old Luca Scalisi, the son of an Italian film producer.[4] Scalisi proposed to Sassoon (who was then 15-years old) at a Los Angeles dinner party her father was attending. Vidal Sassoon consented to marriage on the condition that the two were married in a Jewish ceremony at his home. The two were married at Vidal's home in August 1984.[5] Shortly after the wedding, Sassoon landed her first film role. She made her film debut in the role of "Feather", a "somewhat trashy teen-ager" in the 1985 drama, Tuff Turf.[2] Sassoon's marriage to Luca Scalisi ended shortly after the release of Tuff Turf.[6] By age 21, Sassoon was battling a serious addiction to drugs and eventually entered a drug rehabilitation facility.[7] Sassoon later revealed in an interview with Joan Rivers that she had suffered a drug induced heart attack while undergoing treatment for her addiction.[8]

In 1990, Sassoon, who was now clean and sober, traveled the country with her mother, Beverly Adams, to promote her mother's book, Fantasies. Both women openly discussed how they overcame addiction problems. Beverly Sassoon spoke about her addiction to alcohol and stated that she was three years sober. Catya, then 22, was about to celebrate one year of sobriety. Later that year, Sassoon began acting again and appeared in an episode of Hardball. She also appeared in Bloodfist IV: Die Trying and Dance with Death. In 1993, Sassoon landed the lead role in the Roger Corman-produced martial arts film Angelfist, directed by Cirio H. Santiago. Sassoon made her last screen appearance in the 1995 action film, Bloodfist VI: Ground Zero. In addition to acting, Sassoon was also the lead singer of an all female group, Feline Force.[9]

Personal life

In 1995, Sassoon gave birth to a son, London Vidal, whom she named in honor of her father's birthplace.[10][11] Sassoon married for the second time to screenwriter and waiter Joe Meyers.[12][13] In the spring of 2000, she gave birth to twin girls, Mycca and Skye.[11]

Death

On New Year's Eve 2001, Sassoon and her husband attended a New Year's party at a friend's home. Sassoon complained of feeling unwell, left the party and returned to her home in the Hollywood Hills. At about 9:20 a.m. the following day New Year's Day 2002, Sassoon's husband went to check on her and found her dead. Sassoon had a history of high blood pressure and family members believed her death to be a heart attack. Her family maintained that she had long since kicked her drug habit and was clean and sober at the time of her death.[14] A toxicology report later revealed that Sassoon died of a heart attack brought on by an overdose of hydromorphone. The Los Angeles County coroner also stated that Sassoon had cocaine in her system but attributed her death to an accidental overdose of hydromorphone.[15]

Sassoon is buried in Eden Memorial Park Cemetery in Mission Hills, California.[10]

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Tuff Turf Feather
1987 Inside Out
1990 Hardball Shauna Episode: "Sex, Cops, and Videotape"
1990 Fanelli Boys, TheThe Fanelli Boys Valentina Episode: "Poetic Justice"
1991 Out of This World Velma Episode: "Heck's Angels"
1992 Dance with Death Jodie
1992 Secret Games Sandra
1992 Bloodfist IV: Die Trying Lisa Alternative title: Die Trying
Credited as Cat Sassoon
1992 Inside Out IV Pauline Segment: "Natalie Would"
1993 Angelfist Katara "Kat" Lang
1994 Hollywood Women Herself Miniseries
1995 Bloodfist VI: Ground Zero Tori Alternative titles: Assault at Ground Zero
Ground Zero
Credited as Cat Sassoon

References

  1. ^ "Child to Mrs. Sassoon". The New York Times. September 4, 1968. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Jones, Edward (February 1, 1985). "Catya Sassoon 'fit the bill' for punk role". The Free Lance-Star. p. 26. 
  3. ^ "'Slowing down not my style'". thisisbath.co.uk. September 4, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Schnurmacher, Thomas (March 16, 1985). "Catya Sassoon: Hair apparent daughter on her own". The Montreal Gazette. pp. H–7. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Adelson, Suzanne (January 4, 1985). "Vidal Sassoon's Daughter Catya Is a Cut and Dry Case of Teenage Ambition". people.com. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Poole, Oliver (January 5, 2002). "Vidal Sassoon's daughter killed by drug overdose". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  7. ^ Akbar, Arifa. "Daughter of Vidal Sassoon dies of drug overdose after New Year party." The Independent (London, England). Independent Print Ltd. 2002. Retrieved June 11, 2013
  8. ^ Freifeld, Karen; Vaughan, Doug; Stasi, Linda (February 1, 1990). "Inside New York". Newsday. p. 11. 
  9. ^ McLellan, Dennis (January 4, 2002). "Catya Sassoon, 33; Model, Actress, Daughter of Vidal". latimes.com. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Wapshott, Nicholas (January 5, 2002). "Sassoon's wild-child daughter dies aged 33". independent.ie. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Donnelley, Paul (2003). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries (2 ed.). Music Sales Group. p. 613. ISBN 0-711-99512-5. 
  12. ^ Graham, Caroline. "Vidal's agony over death of his daughter; Sad Sassoon hopes to adopt his grandchildren." The Mail on Sunday (London, England). Solo Syndication Limited. 2002. Retrieved June 11, 2013 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-81412010.html
  13. ^ Bradberry, Grace; Geoffrey Levy. "The downfall of daddy's poor little rich girl..." Daily Mail (London). McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. 2002. Retrieved June 11, 2013
  14. ^ Tippit, Sarah (January 7, 2002). "Sassoon's daughter dead at 33". news24.com. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Sassoon's daughter died of a painkiller overdose". deseretnews.com. March 21, 2002. Retrieved June 11, 2013.