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 Starrs 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 couldnt 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 well.
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 didnt want to offend her by telling her she couldnt come along. Although Cox was dating
Starr, she would still go to Cavern performances to watch the Beatles.
Coxs 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
wasnt 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.
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 Ringos life, even though their marriage
When the Beatles
broke up in 1970, so did the Starkey marriage. Ringos 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 didnt 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 Ringos affair with an American
model, Nancy Andrews.
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