Cassandra Peterson is an American actress, writer, and singer who was born on September 17, 1951. Peterson achieved fame as Elvira on Los Angeles’ KHJ-TV when she hosted a weekly B movie presentation called “Elvira’s Movie Macabre.” With the release of the feature film “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark,” in which Peterson reprised her character, Elvira’s reputation reached its peak in 1988. In 2001, she co-wrote and produced the film “Elvira’s Haunted Hills.” Due to a lack of funding, she screened the video at an AIDS charity event (2001). The film was eventually released in Hollywood, followed by a screening at the Cannes Film Festival the following year (2002).
Cassandra Peterson was born in Manhattan, Kansas, on September 17, 1951. She was raised in the Kansas Randolph area before the Turtle Creek Reservoir submerged it. Then she moved to Colorado Springs with her family. She got any costumes she wanted to be made in her size from her mother, who ran a costume business, and wore them to school. She graduated from General William J. Palmer High School in 1969. During her teenage years, she worked as a go-go dancer in a local gay bar. Peterson has always desired a career in show business. When she was 17 years old, she persuaded her parents to allow her to sign a contract to work as a showgirl at Viva Les Girls at The Dunes in Las Vegas.
Later on, Peterson started her career in the entertainment business. She had a brief appearance as a showgirl in the James Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971), and a topless dancer in the film “The Working Girls” (1974). After coming back to the U.S., she performed with the musical comedy group “Mama’s Boys” in nightclubs and discos. In 1981, the creators of the “Fright Night” show on KHJ-horror TV aimed to revive the illustrious show. They held an audition, and Peterson was chosen. She was given full creative power over how the horror hostess was portrayed by the creators. She asked her buddy Robert Redding to assist her to create the seductive vampish appearance of her persona Elvira. In September 1981, the show ‘Elvira’s Movie Macabre’ premiered. It featured B-grade horror movies and occasionally featured caustic commentary from the hostess Elvira. Peterson’s portrayal of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, in the humorous television program “Elvira’s Movie Macabre” was praised by critics and well-liked by the audience. She portrayed the role while speaking in a California “valley girl” tone and donning a black gown and wig. She made pretty nasty and direct remarks.
Her character quickly became a household name, and she reprised her part in other television shows. The show ran for five seasons. In 1981, Peterson married Mark Pierson, her personal manager. Their daughter Sadie Pierson was born on October 12, 1994. The couple filed for divorce in February 2003. She had a brief romance with Elvis Presley. Peterson, a vegetarian, advocated for the vegetarian way of life in a PETA Halloween commercial.
Peterson makes a brief appearance in “Diamonds Are Forever.”
Peterson plays a small part as a stripper in “The Working Girls.”
Peterson auditions for the revamp of the KHJ-horror T.V. show “Fright Night.”
The show “Elvira's Movie Macabre” premiers, starring Peterson as Elvira.
Elvira's fame peaks with the release of the feature film “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.”
Why We Love Cassandra Peterson
Peterson is a pop culture icon
Peterson's portrayal of Elvira still serves as an inspiration for future generations. Her eccentric personality and straightforwardness endeared her to us.
Her sense of humor
When playing Elvira, Peterson charmed her fans through her very crude yet funny jokes. She has a wonderful sense of humor, and we all enjoy a good chuckle!
She stays true to herself
It is clear that Peterson always embodies the character she is portraying, no matter what role she plays. She is a great role model to upcoming actors and actresses.
5 Surprising Facs
Her childhood accident
When Peterson was a year and a half old, she accidentally lifted a pan of boiling eggs off the heat, scorching more than a third of her body.
She was friends with Elvis Presley
She traveled to Italy to take the lead vocal position in the Italian rock band "Latins 80 and The Snails" after becoming friends with Elvis Presley, who encouraged Peterson to pursue a singing career.
She had comic books made after her
“Elvira's House of Mystery” was a D.C. comic book series that ran for 11 issues in the 1980s.
Her first horror movie experience
Peterson stated that her first horror movie was William Castle’s “House On Haunted Hill.”
Her first impression of Elvira
Peterson’s first idea of Elvira was a redhead wearing a pink dress.
Cassandra Peterson FAQs
How old is Cassandra Peterson now?
Peterson is now 70 years old.
Who is Peterson’s girlfriend?
In her book, Peterson admitted she was in a relationship with a woman named Teresa Wierson for 19 years.
How did Peterson meet Wierson?
Teresa Wierson and Peterson first met at a Gold’s Gym where Wierson used to work.
Cassandra Peterson’s birthday dates