Cassandra Peterson originally began her career in show business in the early 1970s as a dancer and singer. However, she eventually became famous on television for her career-defining role as horror host Elvira, Mistress of Darkness in the hit comedy show Elvira’s Movie Macabre. Thanks to Peterson’s brilliant portrayal, the character easily achieved cult status after her debut in 1981 and has since become a highly lucrative brand associated with various goods. There have also been two film adaptations of the Elvira character in which Peterson has retained her role as Elvira.
Cassandra Peterson Bio, Age
Cassandra Peterson was born on September 17, 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 had the opportunity to see a live show while traveling with her parents to Nevada, Las Vegas. She was noticed by a member of the show’s production team who offered her a contract right there. She signed the contract, and a few months later she moved to Las Vegas after completing her high school education.
Peterson began performing as a showgirl, and her first big success was the musical revue Vive Les Girls! at The Dunes Hotel in Nevada. She later appeared as an uncredited extra in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and the comedy Roma (1972). The multi-talented artist moved to Italy for a short time, where she began her career as a singer, and after her return to the USA, she began to tour with a musical/comedy number called Mammas Boys. Peterson also modeled for various men’s magazines in Los Angeles. To refine her talent, she began performing with the LA-based improv group The Groundlings in 1979.
In 1981, Cassandra Peterson auditioned and won the role of Elvira, the title character and host of the comedy show Elvira’s Movie Macabre on the LA-based television station KHJ-TV. The role seemed to fit the actress perfectly, as she was fascinated by horror concepts from childhood on. In addition to her own interpretation, Peterson also had the freedom to design a costume for the Elvira character, and she designed the tight-fitting black dress that shows the cleavage and with which the character has identified over the years.
Peterson’s Elvira became easily popular with late-night television audiences because of her eccentric and captivating appearance, coupled with satirical and sarcastic commentary. The character eventually became a highly profitable brand that is now associated with a variety of products, including Halloween costumes, comic books and novels, video games, action figures, model kits, calendars, perfumes, dolls, and more. The talented actress has also recorded several Halloween music albums by Elvira over the years. The Elvira character was also used in the feature film Elvira, Lady of Darkness (1988) and its sequel Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2001).
In addition to her portrayal of Elvira, Cassandra Peterson has had other notable acting achievements, 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
The net worth of Cassandra Peterson is set at an enviable $3 million. As expected, the bulk of her fortune has come from her illustrious acting career, particularly from her career-defining role as Elvira. Thanks to the extensive Elvira franchise, the versatile actress has also been involved in other business ventures, including book publishing.
Where Is She Now?
Cassandra Peterson is still very active in show business and continues to appear as Elvira, Mistress of Darkness, on various television shows. More recently, she has appeared as Elvira on various reality TV series such as Halloween Wars (2015-16) and Storage Wars Halloween “Scariest Lockers” Special (2018). The multi-talent can also be seen in other projects. She lent her voice for a role in the cartoon comedy LEGO Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood (2016).