Cassandra Peterson Biography
Cassandra Peterson is an American prominent actress. She is best known for her depiction of the horror hostess character Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. She has appeared on KHJ TV wearing a revealing, black, gothic, and cleavage-enhancing gown as host of Elvira’s Movie Macabre, a weekly horror movie presentation and gained much fame.
Cassandra Peterson Age
She was born on September 17, 1951, in Manhattan, Kansas.
Cassandra Peterson Husband | Kid
She married Mark Pierson in 1981, her then personal manager. They dissolved their marriage on February 14, 2003. Together they had a daughter Sadie Pierson who was born on October 12, 1994.
Cassandra Peterson Height | Weight
She weighs 125 lbs and stands at a height of 5 feet 7 inches.
Cassandra Peterson Early life
She was born in Manhattan and grew up near Randolph, Kansas. Her family moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado after Randolph area was flooded to create Tuttle Creek Reservoir. At the age of one and a half years, she was burned by boiling water in a kitchen accident and required skin grafts over 35% of her body. She spent 3 months on a hospital bed.
During an interview, she stated that as a child she was more fascinated by the horror-themed toys while other girls were more occupied with Barbie dolls. She worked as a go-go dancer in a local gay bar when she was a teen. In 1969, she graduated from General William J. Palmer High School.
Cassandra Peterson Career
Her Early career
She was inspired much by Ann-Margret in the film Viva Las Vegas, while on a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, during high school, she convinced her parents to let her see a live show and she was noticed by the production staff. She later convinced her parents to let her sign s contract.
After graduating from high school she drove to Las Vegas, where she became a showgirl in Frederic Apcar’s pioneering “Vive Les Girls” at the Dunes. In 1971, she had a role as a showgirl in the James Bond film Diamonds are Forever. In 1974, she played the role of a topless dancer in the film The Working Girls. In 1976, she also allegedly posed for the cover of Tom Waits’ album Small Change.
She moved to Italy and became the lead singer of the Italia rock bands Latins 80 and The Snails. In 1972, she got a small role in the film Roma. She joined Los Angeles-based improvisational troupe The Groundlings in 1979, where she created a Valley girl-type character upon whom the Elvira persona is largely based.
In the 1970s, she also modeled for several men’s magazine such as High Society, Man’s Delight, and Modern Man. From 1982-1983, she was a personality on Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM 106.7.
Elvira’s Movie Macabre
She auditioned and won a role in a station where she was needed to host a show. Together with her best friend Robert Redding, came up with the sexy punk/vampire look after producers rejected her original idea to look like Sharon Tate’s character in The Fearless Vampire Killers.
After the first taping, producers received a cease and desist letter. The similarities in the format and costumes, her closing line for each show, wishing her audience “Unpleasant dreams”, was notably similar to Vampira’s closer: “Bad dreams, darlings…” uttered as she walked off down a misty corridor. The court ruled in her favor holding that “‘likeness’ means actual representation of another person’s appearance and not a simply close resemblance.”
Her Elvira character gained notice with her tight-fitting, low-cut, cleavage-displaying black gown. Adopting the flippant tone of a California “Valley girl.” She made frequent jokes about her cleavage. Her campy humor, sex appeal, and good-natured self-mockery made her popular with late-night movie viewers and her popularity soared.
Her Elvira character soon evolved from an obscure cult figure to a lucrative brand. Through the 1980s and 1990s, she was associated with several products including comic books, pinball machines, action figures, Halloween costumes, Halloween decor, model kits, calendars, perfumes, and dolls. She appeared five times on the cover of Femme Fatales magazine. The release of the film Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, in 1988, saw her popularity reach its zenith.
Cassandra and her manager and then-husband Mark Pierson decided to finance a second movie after several years of attempts to make a sequel to Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. She wrote in collaboration with Paragon and co-produced Elvira’s Haunted Hills in November 2000. The film was shot in Romania. Elvira’s Haunted Hills had its official premiere in Hollywood on July 5, 2002. In 2003, the film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
Elvira on home video
She began hosting a home video series called ThrillerVideo, a division of International Video Entertainment (IVE). She hand-selected many of these films. The success of the ThrillerVideo series led to a second video set, Elvira’s Midnight Madness, released through Rhino Home Video. A DVD horror-film collection called Elvira’s Box of Horrors was released in 2004.
Cassandra Peterson Comic books
She appeared in comic books from DC Comics, Eclipse Comics, and Claypool Comics. In the mid-1980s DC published a short-lived series titled Elvira’s House of Mystery. In the 1990s, Claypool took over the series and distributed a new series, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, co-branded with and distributed by Eclipse. The series was distributed solely by Claypool after Eclipse ceased publications.
It ran for 166 issues. Another series also titled Mistress of the Dark in 2012 was announced for a 2013 debut to be written by R.H. Stavis and drawn by Jeff Zarnow. To date, the comic book has never materialized.
In 2017, it was announced that a new licensing agreement was made with Dynamite Entertainment for a multitude of new Elvira-related merchandise, including a new comic book series, trading cards, posters, lithographs, card games, and board games.
Cassandra Peterson Net worth
She has an estimated net worth of $3 million.
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