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Cassandra Peterson originally began her show business career as a dancer and singer in the early 1970s. However, she eventually became famous on television for her career-defining role as horror hostess Elvira, Mistress of the Dark on the hit comedy show Elvira’s Movie Macabre. Thanks to Peterson’s brilliant portrayal, the character easily attained cult status after its debut in 1981 and has since evolved into a highly lucrative brand which has been associated with different merchandise. There have also been two movie adaptations of the Elvira character in which Peterson maintained her role as Elvira.
Cassandra Peterson Bio, Age
Cassandra Peterson was born on the 17th day of September in the year 1951. She was born in Manhattan, Kansas, but her family later moved to Randolph, Kansas. The family eventually settled in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she attended General William J. Palmer High School.
While still in high school, 17-year old Peterson got the chance to watch a live show during a trip to Nevada, Las Vegas with her parents. She got noticed by a member of the show’s production team who offered her a contract right on the spot. She signed the contract and several months later, she relocated to Las Vegas, having completed her high school education.
Peterson began performing as a showgirl and her first major success was on the musical revue Vive Les Girls! at The Dunes Hotel in Nevada. She later appeared as an uncredited extra in the Diamonds Are Forever (1971), as well as the comedy flick Roma (1972). The multi-talented youngster relocated briefly to Italy where she began her career as a singer and upon her return to the US, she began touring with a musical/comedy act known as Mammas Boys. Peterson also modelled for different men’s magazine’s in Los Angeles. In order to hone her talents, she began performing with the LA-based improvisational troupe The Groundlings in the year 1979.
In 1981, Cassandra Peterson auditioned and won the role of Elvira, the titular character and the hostess of the comedy show Elvira’s Movie Macabre on the LA-based television station KHJ-TV. The role seemed to be a perfect fit for the actress as she had been fascinated with horror-themed concepts right from childhood. In addition to bringing her own interpretation, Peterson was equally given the freedom to develop a costume for the Elvira character and she came up with the tight-fitting cleavage-showing black dress which the character has come to be identified with over the years.
Peterson’s Elvira easily became popular among late-night TV audiences for her eccentric and captivating looks, coupled her satirical and sarcastic commentary. The character eventually became a highly profitable brand which has come to be associated with a variety of products, including Halloween costumes, comic books and novels, video games, action figures, model kits, calendars, perfumes, dolls and so much more. The talented actress has also recorded several Elvira Halloween music albums over the years. The Elvira character was equally adapted into a feature film Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) and its sequel Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2001).
Beyond her portrayal of the character Elvira, Cassandra Peterson equally has other notable acting credits including the films Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1987), Ted & Venus (1991) and All About Evil (2010).
Cassandra Peterson’s Net Worth
Cassandra Peterson’s net worth is pegged at an enviable sum of $3 million. As expected, the greater chunk of her wealth has accrued from her illustrious acting career, particularly her career-defining role as Elvira. Thanks to the vast nature of the Elvira franchise, this versatile actress has also been involved in other business ventures including the publishing of books.
Where Is She Now?
Cassandra Peterson is still very much active in the show business and has continued to appear as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark on different TV shows. In recent times, she has been featured as Elvira on different reality TV series like Halloween Wars (2015-16) and Storage Wars Halloween “Scariest Lockers” Special (2018). The multitalented star also features in other projects. She lent her voice to a role in the animated comedy film LEGO Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood (2016).