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Famous Like Me > Singer > P > Michelle Phillips

Profile of Michelle Phillips on Famous Like Me

Name: Michelle Phillips  
Also Know As: Holly Michelle Gilliam
Date of Birth: 4th June 1944
Place of Birth: Long Beach, California, USA
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Michelle Phillips circa 2002.

Michelle Phillips (born June 4, 1944) is an American singer and actress. The blonde beauty was born Holly Michelle Gilliam in Long Beach, California. She gained fame as a member of the popular 1960s singing group The Mamas & the Papas.


Michelle Gilliam married John Phillips on December 31, 1962, when she was 18 years of age. She helped him co-write some of the band's most popular hits, including Creeque Alley and California Dreamin'. They later had one child together, Chynna Phillips, who went on to found the singing group Wilson Phillips (along with Beach Boys children Wendy and Carnie Wilson). The couple divorced in 1970 after her infidelity with co-band member Denny Doherty and others.

Mama Michelle is sacked

Phillip's infidelity, ultimately, led to her being fired from The Mamas & the Papas in early June 1966. After Michelle started dating Gene Clark, a member of the rival band The Byrds, she was kicked out of the band and replaced by Lou Adler's girlfriend Jill Gibson. Fellow band member, Cass Elliot (the other Mama), was in love with Doherty, a fact Michelle was well aware of, so her earlier affair with Doherty in 1965, was a betrayal to half of the band. Michelle's presence in the band was missed by some fans, mostly by John, so she was invited back into the group in late August while Jill Gibson was given a lump sum for her two and a half months as a Mama. Gibson later would say that she felt betrayed by John, Cass, and Denny. The ill-will between the original members was so embedded, that the band continued to have problems even after Michelle's return. The Mamas and the Papas finally called it quits in July 1968.

During 1970 Michelle sang backup vocals on a Leonard Cohen tour. That same year, Phillips married actor Dennis Hopper for eight days. Of that marriage, Phillips said: "I will say this about Dennis Hopper: We were married for eight days and truly... they were the happiest days of my life."

In 1973 Phillips recorded vocals as a cheerleader along with Darlene Love, for the Cheech & Chong single "Basketball Jones" which peaked at No.15 on the Billboard singles chart.

In 1975 Phillips signed a solo recording contract with A&M Records.

Michelle Phillips released her first solo single in 1976, "No Love Today", on the Mother, Jugs & Speed movie soundtrack.

In 1977 Phillips released her debut solo album, Victim of Romance, produced by Jack Nitzsche for A&M Records. Her first two solo singles from the album failed to make the U.S. music charts. That same year she sang backup vocals with former stepdaughter actress Mackenzie Phillips on a track called "Zulu Warrior", for her ex-husband John's sophomore solo album, Pay Pack & Follow, which was eventually realesed in 2001.

Phillips married radio executive Robert Burch in 1978, and would divorce again, in 1980.

Michelle gave birth to her second child, a boy named Austin Haines, in 1982.

In 1986 she penned her autobiography, Califorina Dreamin': The True Story of the Mamas and the Papas, released just weeks after her former husband John Phillip's autobiography Papa John. In it Phillips describes such events as the first meeting between her and fellow Mama, Cass Elliot (Phillips had just taken acid for the first time, and "came on" to it just as she opened the door), winning 17 straight shoots at a crap table in the Bahamas when the band was broke and couldn't afford plane fare back to the states (winning enough for first class, no less), and how her writing credit on the California Dreamin' song, which still nets her royalties, was "the best wake-up call" she ever had (she was asleep on the tour bus and John Phillips woke her long enough for her to help him to complete the lyrics for the song).

In late 1987 Phillips sang backup vocals on Belinda Carlisle's number one hit, Heaven Is A Place On Earth, as well as on the Carlisle LP, Heaven On Earth.

An actress emerges

Phillips continues to act in movies and in television today. She is best known to modern television audiences for her roles as mother to two prime-time vixens. She starred for several seasons on the "Dallas" spin-off Knots Landing as Anne W. Matheson Sumner, playing the mother of future Desperate Housewives star Nicolette Sheridan (a role which Phillips returned to for the 1997 TV-Movie Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac). In the mid-1990's she gained a whole new generation of fans for playing Abby Malone, mother of Tiffani-Amber Thiessen on Fox's Beverly Hills, 90210. Phillips most recent acting job has been a recurring role on the hit WB drama 7th Heaven as Lily Jackson, sister of family matriarch Annie Jackson (Catherine Hicks).

On January 12, 1998, Michelle Phillips was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York City, along with her fellow bandmates. For the first time in over two decades Michelle performed California Dreamin live with Denny Doherty and John Phillips.

Phillips was later inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000 (for the Mamas & Papas) where she again performed live with Denny Doherty, but without John.

On March 29, 2001, Michelle was one of several performers who gathered at The Roxy Theatre in Hollywood, California, for a John Phillips tribute. Michelle performed live with Scott McKenzie and Denny Doherty on two numbers, while other live performances included: Barry McGuire, John Stewart of The Kingston Trio, Mackenzie Phillips, Spanky McFarlane of Spanky & Our Gang, Owen Elliot-Kugell, Bijou Phillips, Sean Lennon, and Tamerlane Phillips. Non performers included Lou Adler, The Mamas & the Papas original record producer, among three hundred other invited guests.

Phillips is renowned for her pulchritude and youthful appearance which she attributes, in part, to staying completely away from direct sunlight.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Michelle Phillips