Undressing The Legend Of “Elvira!”
She is one of the most iconic horror goddesses of all time – the legendary “Elvira”! Fans know her as Cassandra Peterson, an Actress / Producer / Writer who has built an incredible career.
Thanks to my friend Angel, who just shared the photo of Cassandra below:
What a classic picture.
Here’s a deeper dive into the life and career of Actress Cassandra Peterson- who catapulted to fame as TV Horror Hostess “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” – a character she created that blew up on Los Angeles television station KHJ-TV.
This macabre character wore a revealing, black, gothic, cleavage-enhancing gown as she hosted “Elvira’s Movie Macabre”, a weekly horror movie presentation.
But Cassandra was much, much more!
Yes, Cassandra got her start in the entertainment business as a Model, and what a provocative Model she was! Here’s the story:
Cassandra was born on September 17, 1951, and grew up in Kansas and Colorado, and after graduating high school, Cassandra went to Las Vegas, where she became a showgirl at The Dunes casino.
Cassandra got into the Guinness World Records as the youngest showgirl in the history of Las Vegas. She also played a cameo role in the 1971 James Bond film, “Diamonds Are Forever,” as part of the same show.
Cassandra briefly dated Elvis as well as Singer Tom Jones.
In the early 1970s, she moved to Italy, where she met Director Federico Fellini, who gave her a small role in his 1972 film “Roma”.
But while Cassandra was working on her acting career, she also modeled for a few men’s magazines – and these photos would perhaps never have achieved the notoriety they did if it hadn’t been for her natural comedic talent that was also being honed at the time.
That’s because, in 1979, Cassandra joined the Los Angeles improv troupe “The Groundlings,” where she developed another persona as well : the gothic horror Queen “Elvira” was born!
Peterson’s Elvira character wore a tight-fitting, low-cut black gown, and she spoke with the flippant tone of a California “Valley girl.”
The combination made her a star!
She loved to make jokes about her cleavage, and in an AOL Entertainment News interview, Peterson said:
“I figured out that Elvira is me when I was a teenager. She’s a spastic girl. I just say what I feel and people seem to enjoy it.”
Her popularity reached its zenith with the release of the 1988 feature film “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark!”
Here is the trailer:
Elvira also made a sequel years later, but she appeared in films as Cassandra Peterson as well:
Cassandra co-starred with Pee Wee in his debut film, and starred in “Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold”, released in 1987, along with Richard Chamberlain and a very young Sharon Stone!
However, with success comes attention, and the attention that Cassandra received was all about her earlier modeling work:
As I mentioned earlier, this is Cassandra Peterson BEFORE she was “Elvira!”
In the early ’70s, Peterson modeled for several men’s magazines, such as High Society, Man’s Delight, and Modern Man.
After her “Elvira” success, these pictures were published again to capitalize on her TV success…and they are provocative indeed!
Ultimately, she published books, appeared in movies, TV shows, had video games and home videos all with her as “Elvira”…even pinball machines!
I have to give credit to an incredible story about her career – with tons of material and insight…check it out on “Flashbak.com” here:
As you can see, Elvira’s photo shoots were anything but demure…
So how did Elvira feel about these photos? Here is a great quote from her:
“It was easy for me to do nude scenes all the time because I had been a showgirl for a while, and all you wear is G-string. Basically, that’s what I wore in movies. Topless was no problem for me.”
And here is more proof!
I applaud Peterson for her honesty – and she’s far from the only movie star to pose for provocative pictures:
That’s right: Linda Blair went from a head-turning performance in “The Exorcist” to turning heads with this adult photo shoot!
Click here to see the whole story, with more photos:
Cassandra Peterson has built a great career out of her creativity and hard work – and her earlier modeling career was no different than many of the iconic women in the entertainment industry:
Dorothy Stratten twas a Playmate Of The Year and well on her way to building a terrific movie career before tragedy struck – here’s a look at her career:
Stratten was one of many Playboy Playmates who used the magazine to propel their careers:
Karen Price was a Model and then Actress – before becoming an acclaimed stunt woman – and you can read all about it by clicking on my story here:
If you like these stories, you can go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!
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Bravo Cassandra Peterson on your iconic career!
Categories: Artsploitation, Books / Media, Camp Cult Classics, Cult Classics, Exploitation Films, Grindhouse, Horror films, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Talent / Celebrites
John, I LOVED Elvira, and bought the VHS tape as soon as it was available. She was so sexy! But I had no idea about her back story, so thanks for filling in the blanks.
Best wishes, Pete.
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Love her! Great attitude and body. Always wished she’d do a nude Playboy pictorial as Elvira but she probably didn’t want to damage her franchise.
Don’t blame me her. But we still have her earlier exceptional modeling work to enjoy.
And Elvira did publish sexy photos like this: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/405324035183572696/
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Thanks for sharing!