Vassiliki Papadimitriou was a Greek former beauty queen who contested for Miss Greece in 1957. Her fame is linked to being the mother of Tommy Lee, the successful drummer for the rock band Mötley Crüe whom she had during her marriage with David Oliver Bass.
The 1939-born-Katouna native maintained a very private life in the years after her beauty pageant career ended. Sadly, she died in 2012 from unspecified causes at the age of 73. Regardless, the curious have always wanted to have a glimpse into the life of the woman who birthed Tommy Lee. Here are all the details about her life that many do not know.
She was Born and Bred in Greece
Vassiliki Papadimitriou was born on August 8, 1939, in Katouna, Greece. Her parents, Elefttherio Papadimitriou, and an unidentified mother are of Greek ancestry. At her birth, the world was just entering the earliest months of the second world war which lasted till 1945.
Also, Vassiliki, or Voula as she was also called was not the only child of her parents. She has an older sister whose identity is not known.
Vassiliki Papadimitriou Made a Name in Greece Beauty Pageant
Though she gained popularity worldwide due to her son’s successful career playing drums for the rock band Mötley Crüe, Vassiliki was into beauty pageants back in the day.
That being said, she must have been quite an attractive woman for her to rise through the ranks and make it to the list. She contested for the Miss Greece beauty pageant in 1957 but was unsuccessful in her bid. The pageant was worn by Lygia karavia. Since then, her beauty queen career came to a standstill till her marriage to Tommy Lee’s father.
How Tommy Lee’s Mother Met and Married his Father
Despite keeping a low profile after contesting the Miss Greece pageant, Tommy Lee’s mother soon met his father, David Oliver Bass in her native Greece where he was serving during WWII. Bass was a US army sergeant who was born in Minnesota on April 30, 1924. At the time they met, Bass was 15 years older than the former beauty queen yet this did not pose a problem to a relationship that will blossom into marriage.
During their short stay as a couple in Greece, they welcomed their oldest child, Tommy Lee in 1962. Shortly after, Vassiliki’s and her small family moved to the US.
The dream of starting afresh in California was short-lived for Vassiliki and her family and cracks soon started appearing in her marriage. This eventually led to divorce. The details regarding why the marriage failed is not known.
Vassiliki Papadimitriou Shared Two Children with Her Ex-husband
As captured, Vassiliki’s oldest child is Tommy Lee. Aside from this, she also has a daughter named Athena. Her second child was born on December 8, 1964, two years after the family moved to the US.
Both children have musical careers that spanned decades. Her oldest child launched his career with an LA band named Suit 19 when he was just a teenager. Since then he did not turn back from this career path. In 1981, Tommy and Nikki Sixx formed The Motley Crue, and through this, he rose to become a global phenomenon playing drums. Together with other members of the band’s lineup, they released successful albums and songs like Shout at the Devil.
Like her oldest child, Vassiliki’s daughter also followed suit as a drummer and actress. Athena started drumming seriously at the age of 20 and joined her first band, Hardly Dangerous when she was 22. Over the years, she played the drum for Butt Trumpet as well done commentaries on Behind the Music and E! True Hollywood Story. Notably, Athena has won many accolades and recognitions including the Best Female Drummer at the Rock City Awards.
The Greece-Born Former Beauty Queen Has 5 Grandchildren
If Vassiliki had lived long, she would have been the grandmother to five adult children from her children’s many relationships. Through her son Tommy, she has two grandchildren, Brandon Thomas Lee and Dylan Jagger Lee whom he had with his ex-wife Pamela Anderson. Both grandchildren live quietly and away from media attention while pursuing their modeling and acting careers. Yet this was not always the case.
In 2018, Brandon and Lee made the news when the 61-year-old singer accused his son of attacking him. In his defense, Brandon refuted the claims and said he acted in self-defense against his father who was drunk at the time. Following this back and forth, Vassiliki’s grandson was cleared of all charges.
Moving on, she has three grandchildren through her daughter Athena. They are Tobi Tyler Almudarris, Matthew Kottak, and Miles Kottak. Among this three, Matthew has taken after her ex-husband by serving in the US military.
Her Life After Divorce
Following her divorce from Bass, Papadimitriou did not seem to have remarried again neither did she indicate any partners. On her ex-husband’s part, some records suggest he was previously married to another woman named Lois Lavonne Aultman whom he married in 1946. Yet, the details of this marriage are not so clear.
Away from this, Vassiliki’s ex-husband did not indicate whether he also remarried again.
The Truth About Vassiliki Papadimitriou’s Death
The mother of the Mot Crue’s drummer died on March 9, 2012, in Calabasas, California. The news about her passing was shared by Tommy via his Twitter account. Noticeably, the rock star did not reveal the cause of her death.
However, he has not held back in showing how much he misses his mom. He dedicated the song, Blue to her.