WiHM: Elvira

WiHM: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Cassandra Peterson as Elvira / Fair use doctrine.On September 17, 1951, the world was gifted with The Mistress of the Dark. Born in Manhattan Kansas, Cassandra Peterson a.k.a. Elvira started her life with a mishap that led to her success. As a toddler, she had accidentally pulled a pot of boiling water down onto her. This burnt about a third of her body and left permanent scarring. After moving to Colorado Springs, CO, at age 7, she endured the harassment of other school children and was extremely shy due to the scarring. She would later use this experience, a place she quoted as “all the freaks come from” to help inspire her Elvira persona.

Growing up, Cassandra’s mother ran a costume shop and she loved playing model for her. She told Biography.com:

I would pick out whatever was the hot costume that year — Ginger from Gilligan’s Island, I Dream of Jeanie, Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke — and my mom would make one in my size, so I would wear costumes to school all the time. Everyone thought I was a total freak. But I knew I would grow up and wear a costume one day, and that’s exactly what happened.

Cassandra Peterson as Elvira / Fair use doctrine.At 17, she became the youngest showgirl in Las Vegas in a show titled Vive Les Girls. After stints overseas as a singer and dancer, she came back to the United States as a star of her comedy show. This led to years of her being part of the best improv groups in LA, The Groundlings, working with famous comedians such as Paul Reubens and Phil Hartman. But, in 1981, the true star was born. She auditioned for a role as a horror movie hostess for a local LA TV station. The show was called Movie Macabre and her hostess name was Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark. She became a household name in no time.

Everyone loved the wickedly vampish hostess and her quirky commentary for the B movies she showed. She was never cruel or mean, just enough of a jab to make it hilarious. She also never took herself too seriously. She loved the persona of Elvira and helped it come to life not just on TV but with successful movies and home videos as well. 1985 brought us her home video series known as Thriller Video. The feature-length film Elvira, Mistress of the Dark was released in 1988. Cassandra co-wrote, produced and starred in it. Next came Elvira’s Haunted Hills in 2001, which she also co-wrote and produced. She is a lady of many talents and quickly became an icon in the horror/Halloween world.

Funko Pop Elvira / Fair use doctrine.Now, over three decades later, Elvira is still adored by millions. You can find Cassandra on the convention circuit where she loves meeting fans. Her licensed image can be found on shirts, purses, pinball machines, Pop dolls and more. A recent photobook Peterson released celebrates 35 years of beauty with over 350 images of the Queen of Halloween. And I suspect that she will hold that title forever.

Your adoring fan forever,
ZombieGurl
Cassandra Peterson as Elvira / Fair use doctrine.


Posted by ZombieGurl

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