- Category : Singer - Popular
- Type : PM
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Consciousness 2
American singer and actress, famed as one of the singers in the popular '60s folk-pop group, "The Mamas and the Papas." The beloved group became internationally famed for their blended harmonies. The well-crafted productions of their three years together symbolized the sophisticated folk-rock sound coming out of Southern California. After they finally disbanded in 1971, instead of following a solo music career like the others, Michelle segued into an acting career.
Raised in Long Beach, CA, she met John Phillips in 1961. Together with Denny Doherty they formed the "New Journeymen." Four years later they were joined by Cass Elliott to adopt their winning name, releasing number-one hits such as "Dedicated to the One I Love" and "Monday, Monday." "California Dreamin'," became their theme song after its release in January 1966.
The ‘60s were a wild period with open sex ‘n drugs ‘n rock’n’roll. Michelle was speeding down the highway of tours, concerts, recording sessions, huge celebrity parties, travel by Lear jet, an ocean voyage to Europe, impulsive trips to Acapulco and Morocco, shopping sprees (she and John had two Jags and three Rolls-Royces), and the obligatory drug excesses (marijuana and LSD were the narcotics of choice). Michelle made several detours from John by way of affairs with Denny and with Gene Clark of the Byrds. In 1966, the three group members fired her and brought in another singer for several concerts. Michelle later called this period "the most desperate, painful, hysterical months of my life." The internal problems, romantic involvements and substance abuse took their toll and the group disbanded in 1968. They regrouped briefly in 1971 to produce the album "People Like Us." The Mamas and the Papas then called it quits and all went their separate ways, including John and Michelle.
She left the music scene entirely to opt for acting. For the film "Dillinger," she was nominated for a Golden Globe award in 1974. Along with screen credits she had regular roles on TV soaps and made-for-TV movies along with guest roles. Perhaps her best period was in 1987 with the role of Anne Matheson on the prime-time soap, "Knots Landing."
John and Michelle Phillips had one daughter together in 1968, Chynna Phillips, who would go on to a singing and acting career herself with the group "Wilson Phillips." Michelle married actor Dennis Hopper in 1970 and they separated eight days later. She was pictured in romantic episodes with Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, and Roman Polanski. In early 1982 she gave birth to a son, Austin Hines, the son of actor Grainger Hines; and she adopted another son, Aron Wilson, in 1988. Both of those sons are now in college. In the spring of 2000 Michelle married a plastic surgeon whom she'd known for 28 years.
In 2001, Michelle was executive producer on a new 20th Century Fox movie about the Mamas and the Papas, due to be released in 2001 or 2002. She lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.