Sassoon's daughter dead at 33

2002-01-07 11:04

Los Angeles - Catya Sassoon, a top junior model during the 1980s and the eldest daughter of famed hairstylist Vidal Sassoon and actress Beverly Adams Sassoon, has died, her manager said on Friday.

She was 33 and the cause of death was not immediately determined.

Sassoon died in her sleep on Tuesday morning at her home in Hollywood after attending a New Year's Eve party at a friend's house, her manager, Hilly Elkins said.

Los Angeles Coroner's spokesperson Scott Carrier said there was no trauma to her body and no evidence of foul play. The results of an autopsy and toxicology reports are pending.

Elkins said Sassoon complained of not feeling well, left the Monday night party and went home. At about 09:20 the next day, her husband, Joe Myers, tried to wake her up but she failed to respond.

The former model had a history of high blood pressure and family members believe her death "seems to be associated with a heart attack", Elkins said.

Although she had a history of drug and alcohol abuse in her early days as a teenage model she had long since kicked the habit, Elkins said, and she was not known to have been using drugs on New Year's eve.

Fast and wild

Born in New York City, Sassoon grew up in Beverly Hills and was the eldest of Vidal and Beverly Sassoon's four children. Known for being fast and wild at an early age, she pierced her nose and dyed her hair purple at age 13. The next year, at 14, she dropped out of Beverly Hills High School to become a model in New York.

By 16 she was married to the first of two husbands, Luca Scalisi, and a rising star on the modelling scene in New York, appearing on the covers of Seventeen, Bride and other magazines.

In 1990 Catya and her mother, Beverly, toured the country promoting Beverly Sassoon's pocket books Fantasies novel. The two women openly discussed how they overcame addiction problems.

At that time, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Beverly Sassoon said she was three years clear of an alcohol addiction and that Catya, then 22, was about to celebrate one year free from "a drug habit that was so tough there were times I felt I was going to lose her".

In addition to her successful modelling career Catya Sassoon appeared in more than 20 films including Tuff Turf with James Spader and Robert Downey, Jr, Bloodfist IV: Die Trying, The Hunted, Modern Girls, and Hollywood Kids.

She also appeared in television shows and as lead singer for the band Feline Force.

In addition to Myers, she is survived by her parents, siblings, twin daughters and a son.