Mary Cox was born August 4, 1946 in Liverpool, England. She was a
hairdresser by the time she was 16 years old, and, like many teenagers
in Liverpool, was interested in the new Merseybeat sound. She was
particularly interested in one band, The Beatles, who performed
regularly at the Cavern Club (which Cox frequented).
At the time, The Beatles recently had a new new drummer, Richard
Starkey, (Ringo Starr), from rival group Rory Storm & The
Hurricanes (see also Iris Caldwell, Rory's
sister). One day the hairdresser spotted Ringo on the street and
chased after him. She was able to get StarrÕs autograph; he wrote his
license number on the paper as well.
Paul McCartney, however, was the first Beatle Cox kissed. Her
friend made a bet saying that she couldnÕt kiss Paul, but Maureen was
determined to win. Fighting her way backstage, Cox went right up to
McCartney and kissed him (while her friend burst into tears, thinking
that Cox wasn't up to the dare). Meanwhile, Cox waited for Starr to
come out, for she still liked him best. She went up and kissed him as
It was still three weeks later until Ringo took any notice of her.
Once he did, they went out regularly together, often with a friend of
Cox. This friend was in the way, but Cox didnÕt want to offend her by
telling her she couldnÕt come along. Although Cox was dating Starr,
she would still go to Cavern performances to watch the Beatles. It
was getting more and more dangerous for her to go. As Cox recalled in
Ò(The girls) used to hang around the Cavern all day
long, just on the off chance of seeing them. TheyÕd come out of the
lunchtime session and just stand outside all afternoon, queuing up
for the evening. Ritchie and I once went past at midnight and they
were already queuing up for the next day....The object was to get as
near the front row as possible, so that they could see the Beatles,
and be seen. I never joined the queue till about two or three hours
before the Cavern opened. It frightened me. There would be fights and
rows among the girls. When the doors opened the first ones would tear
in, knocking each other over. TheyÕd keep their rollers in and jeans
on for the first groups. Then when it got near the time for the
Beatles to come on, if there was a gang of four say, they would go
off in turns to the lavatory with their little cases to get changed
and made up. So when the Beatles came on theyÕd look smashing, as if
theyÕd just arrived...They were obviously dying to be noticed and get
to know one of them. But no, it was really just everything about
being there. It was terrible, the mad screams when they came on...."
CoxÕs life was at stake once some of the fans figured out that she
was dating Ringo. She was almost killed once and regularly beaten up
by the girls. But their relationship would end for some time, since
The Beatles were about to become famous. Cox visited Starr when his
tonsils were taken out, and their relationship began again.
At this point, Cox wasnÕt well known in the press. That was until
she went on holiday with Starr, Paul McCartney, and his girlfriend,
Jane Asher. Cox, afraid her parents would
object, went on this holiday without her parents knowing. When her
name was all over the British tabloids, they knew where she was.
Maureen's father, Joe Cox, 1964:
"It really did not surprise my wife or myself when we
learned she was half way across the world. In any case it wouldn't
have made any difference. I would have given her permission anyway.
Maureen is a sensible girl and well able to take care of herself."
Although not well-liked by the fans, Cox answered many of Starr's
mail from his female admirers. Parents would write back thanking her
for being so nice to their daughters.
The 18-year-old Cox married Ringo
Starr on February 11, 1965. Their first child, Zak, was born on
September 13, 1965 (followed by Jason on August 19, 1967 and Lee on
November 17, 1970 ).During this time, Cox was still a part of RingoÕs
life, even though their marriage was strained. She sang backup vocals
on ÒThe Continuing Story Of Bungalow BillÓ and also was the only
Beatle wife in attendance at the rooftop concert in 1969.
When the Beatles broke up in 1970, so did the Starkey marriage.
RingoÕs infidelities were increasing even more, his alcoholism
becoming more of a problem. To make matters worse, when the Starrs
were visiting George and Pattie Harrison, George said how much he
loved Maureen. Rumors have persisted that this fateful evening led to
the breakup of the Harrisons' and Starrs' marriages.
With all of the marriage problems the couple faced, Maureen
Starkey didnÕt want a divorce. Her husband, however, persisted that
they should be divorced. Maureen unwillingly accepted. On July 17,
1975, the divorce was finalized on the grounds of RingoÕs affair with
an American model, Nancy Andrews.
In the 1980Õs, Maureen became involved with Isaac Tigrett. Tigrett
owned the Hard Rock Cafe chain and is now the current owner of the
House Of Blues. In 1987, Maureen gave birth to their daughter,
Augusta, and also welcomed her first grandchild from son Zak.
On May 27, 1989, Maureen and Tigrett were married, deciding to
split their time between Los Angeles and Boston. The new Mrs. Tigrett
said at the time she had to grow up after her divorce from Starr, but
stated that she was at peace with herself. It seemed everything would
be fine for Tigrett, but it turned out not to be.
At the opening of the House Of Blues in Los Angeles, California,
Tigrett suddenly passed out. What started as a prognosis of being an
anemic turned into one of a form of leukemia known as mylodysplasia.
She was quickly moved in October of 1994 to the Fred Hutchinson
Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. They did all they could, but
it was a losing battle for her life. Her son, Zak, tried to help out
by being the donor for a bone-marrow transplant, white blood-cells
and blood platelets. But Tigrett had a serious fungal infection that
could not be cured. On December 30, 1994, Tigrett died at the young
age of 47. Her husband, Zak, Jason, Lee, her mother and her
ex-husband were surrounding her as she quietly died. Dan Akyroyd,
AugustaÕs godfather, was quoted as saying shortly after her death,
ÒMaureen was a loving individual. She will be