Cassandra Peterson - Film & Theater Personalities, Birthday and Childhood

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Cassandra Peterson's Personal Details

Cassandra Peterson is an American actress known for her vampish character Elvira

InformationDetail
BirthdaySeptember 17, 1951
NationalityAmerican
FamousFilm & Theater Personalities, Actresses
City/StateKansas
SpousesMark Pierson (m. 1981–2003)
Childrens Sadie Pierson
Birth PlaceManhattan, Kansas
Height170cm
GenderFemale
Sun SignVirgo
Born inManhattan, Kansas
Famous asActress

// Famous Actresses

Cassandra Peterson's photo

Who is Cassandra Peterson?

Cassandra Peterson is an American actress best known for playing the vampish character Elvira on the television show ‘Elvira’s Movie Macabre.’ The show was so successful that she has been called ‘Elvira’ ever since! Her popularity peaked with the release of the comedy horror film ‘Elvira, Mistress of the Dark’. She co-wrote and produced the film, as well as its sequel, ‘Elvira's Haunted Hills’. The character Elvira became so famous that she made several guest appearances on TV shows and movies as Elvira. Before she embarked on an acting career, Cassandra Peterson worked as a dancer in Las Vegas and a pop singer in Italy, singing for an Italian pop-rock band. Peterson made her film debut with a brief role in the James Bond film ‘Diamonds Are Forever’, and was also featured in the role of Queen Sorais in the film ‘Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold’. A gutsy lady, she became the first female to host a national beer ad campaign! Later in her career, she hosted her own reality TV show, ‘The Search for the New Elvira’.

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Childhood & Early Life

Cassandra Peterson was born on September 17, 1951 in Manhattan, Kansas. She grew up in the Randolph area of Kansas until the area was flooded to build the Tuttle Creek Reservoir. Then she, along with her family, moved to Colorado Springs.

When she was a year and a half, she met with a kitchen accident. She accidentally pulled a pan of boiling eggs off the stove, and burned over a third of her body. At school, she was teased for her scars.

Her mother ran a costume business, and whatever costumes she liked, her mother made one in her size, which she wore to school.

She attended General William J. Palmer High School and graduated in 1969. When she was just a teen, she worked as a go-go dancer in a local gay bar.

Career

Cassandra Peterson dreamed of a career in the show business from a young age. At the age of 17, she convinced her parents to let her sign a contract to become a showgirl in Viva Les Girls at The Dunes in Las Vegas.

In 1971, she appeared in a brief role as a showgirl in the James Bond film ‘Diamonds Are Forever’, and was featured as a topless dancer in ‘The Working Girls’ in 1974. She posed as a stripper on the cover of Tom Waits' album ‘Small Change’ in 1976.

In Las Vegas, she befriended Elvis Presley, who encouraged her to become a singer. Acting on his advice, she moved to Italy in the 1970s to become the lead singer of the Italian rock band Latins 80 and The Snails.

After she returned to the United States, she toured nightclubs and discos with a musical-comedy act, ‘Mama’s Boys’, along with seven men. She also posed in the nude for ‘Playboy’ magazine, and modeled for several men's magazines like ‘High Society’, ‘Man's Delight’, and ‘Modern Man.’

In 1979, she joined the Los Angeles-based comedy troupe ‘The Groundlings’ to learn acting and comedic skills. There she created a ‘valley girl’ type character, on which the character of Elvira was loosely based. For a year, she also worked with the Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM.

In 1981, the producers of the horror show ‘Fright Night’ on KHJ-TV wanted to revive the popular show. They held an audition, which was cleared by Peterson. The producers gave her a free-hand to create the image of the horror hostess. She took her friend Robert Redding’s help and created the sexy vampish look of her character ‘Elvira’.

Before the show could be aired, Maila Nurmi, the former host of ‘The Vampira Show’, sent a cease and desist letter to the producers, complaining that the character and costume of Elvira were similar to those of ‘Vampira’. However, the court ruled in favor of Peterson.

The show, ‘Elvira’s Movie Macabre’ was launched in September 1981. It aired B-grade horror movies, and was occasionally interrupted by sarcastic comments from the hostess Elvira. It ran for five seasons.

Within a short period of time, her character ‘Elvira’ became a craze and a brand. The character was soon associated with many products like Halloween costumes and decors, comic books, trading cards, calendars, perfumes and dolls, to name a few.

In order to branch out, she hosted a home video series, ‘ThrillerVideo’ in 1985, which became successful, leading to a second video series, ‘Elvira's Midnight Madness’. The same year, she appeared in a non-Elvira film, ‘Pee-wee's Big Adventure’, followed by ‘Echo Park’ and ‘Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold’ in 1986.

Her popularity as Elvira reached the peak with the release of the feature film ‘Elvira, Mistress of the Dark’ in 1988, where she reprised her role as Elvira. She also co-wrote its script with John Paragon and Sam Egan.

In 2001, she co-wrote and co-produced ‘Elvira's Haunted Hills’. Due to the lack of funds for promotion, she screened the film at an AIDS charity event. Eventually, the film was premiered in Hollywood in 2002 and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival the following year.

In September 2010, ‘Movie Macabre’ with Elvira returned in syndication. Another show ‘13 Nights of Elvira’ started airing in October 2014 on Hulu, an American subscription video platform.

She also appeared as Elvira in comic books from DC Comics, Eclipse Comics and Claypool Comics. While DC Comics published ‘Elvira's House of Mystery’, Claypool Comics published ‘Elvira: Mistress of the Dark’. Two more paperback collections were published—‘Elvira Mistress of the Dark: Comic Milestones-Comics Format’, and ‘Elvira Mistress of the Dark: Double Delights’.

In the 1980s and 1990s, a number of computer games based on Elvira were developed, including Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Elvira 2: The Jaws of Cerberus, and Elvira: The Arcade Game. Some Elvira-themed pinball games were developed as well. The character of Elvira was also featured in the PlayStation 3 game ‘Pain,’ produced in 2007.

Major Work

Cassandra Peterson’s portrayal as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, in the comedy TV show ‘Elvira's Movie Macabre’ was critically acclaimed and loved by the audience. While playing the character, she wore a black gown and black wig and used the tone of a California ‘valley girl’. Her comments were sharp and sarcastic. Soon her character became a popular brand and she reprised her role in other TV productions as well.

Personal Life

In 1981, Cassandra Peterson married her personal manager Mark Pierson. They have a daughter, Sadie Pierson, who was born on October 12, 1994. The couple divorced in February 2003. She once briefly dated Elvis Presley.

Peterson is a vegetarian and was seen promoting a vegetarian diet in a Halloween-themed ad for PETA.

// Virgo Celebrities

Cassandra Peterson biography timelines

  • // 17th Sep 1951
    Cassandra Peterson was born on September 17, 1951 in Manhattan, Kansas. She grew up in the Randolph area of Kansas until the area was flooded to build the Tuttle Creek Reservoir. Then she, along with her family, moved to Colorado Springs.
  • // 1969
    She attended General William J. Palmer High School and graduated in 1969. When she was just a teen, she worked as a go-go dancer in a local gay bar.
  • // 1971
    In 1971, she appeared in a brief role as a showgirl in the James Bond film ‘Diamonds Are Forever’, and was featured as a topless dancer in ‘The Working Girls’ in 1974. She posed as a stripper on the cover of Tom Waits' album ‘Small Change’ in 1976.
  • // 1979
    In 1979, she joined the Los Angeles-based comedy troupe ‘The Groundlings’ to learn acting and comedic skills. There she created a ‘valley girl’ type character, on which the character of Elvira was loosely based. For a year, she also worked with the Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM.
  • // 1980
    In the 1980s and 1990s, a number of computer games based on Elvira were developed, including Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Elvira 2: The Jaws of Cerberus, and Elvira: The Arcade Game. Some Elvira-themed pinball games were developed as well. The character of Elvira was also featured in the PlayStation 3 game ‘Pain,’ produced in 2007.
  • // 1981
    In 1981, the producers of the horror show ‘Fright Night’ on KHJ-TV wanted to revive the popular show. They held an audition, which was cleared by Peterson. The producers gave her a free-hand to create the image of the horror hostess. She took her friend Robert Redding’s help and created the sexy vampish look of her character ‘Elvira’.
  • // 1981
    The show, ‘Elvira’s Movie Macabre’ was launched in September 1981. It aired B-grade horror movies, and was occasionally interrupted by sarcastic comments from the hostess Elvira. It ran for five seasons.
  • // 1981
    In 1981, Cassandra Peterson married her personal manager Mark Pierson. They have a daughter, Sadie Pierson, who was born on October 12, 1994. The couple divorced in February 2003. She once briefly dated Elvis Presley.
  • // 1985
    In order to branch out, she hosted a home video series, ‘ThrillerVideo’ in 1985, which became successful, leading to a second video series, ‘Elvira's Midnight Madness’. The same year, she appeared in a non-Elvira film, ‘Pee-wee's Big Adventure’, followed by ‘Echo Park’ and ‘Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold’ in 1986.
  • // 2001
    In 2001, she co-wrote and co-produced ‘Elvira's Haunted Hills’. Due to the lack of funds for promotion, she screened the film at an AIDS charity event. Eventually, the film was premiered in Hollywood in 2002 and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival the following year.
  • // 2010
    In September 2010, ‘Movie Macabre’ with Elvira returned in syndication. Another show ‘13 Nights of Elvira’ started airing in October 2014 on Hulu, an American subscription video platform.

// Famous American

Cassandra Peterson's FAQ

  • What is Cassandra Peterson birthday?

    Cassandra Peterson was born at 1951-09-17

  • Where is Cassandra Peterson's birth place?

    Cassandra Peterson was born in Manhattan, Kansas

  • What is Cassandra Peterson nationalities?

    Cassandra Peterson's nationalities is American

  • Who is Cassandra Peterson spouses?

    Cassandra Peterson's spouses is Mark Pierson (m. 1981–2003)

  • Who is Cassandra Peterson childrens?

    Cassandra Peterson's childrens is Sadie Pierson

  • How tall is Cassandra Peterson?

    Cassandra Peterson's height is 170

  • What is Cassandra Peterson's sun sign?

    Cassandra Peterson is Virgo

  • How famous is Cassandra Peterson?

    Cassandra Peterson is famouse as Actress