Foxy Ladies #7: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Everybody knows Elvira, so I'll refrain from the lengthy biography on this edition of Foxy Ladies.  Instead, I'll just serve up some facts about Cassandra Peterson that I found interesting. Her career was wonderfully varied and full of surprises, and I'm always intrigued by unexpected celeb connections. So sit back and enjoy the Elvira images and sound bites!

Cassandra Peterson was cited in The Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest dancer to work in Las Vegas (age 17). She performed at the Dunes hotel in Las Vegas, where she became "friends" with none other than Elvis Presley! The King convinced her to take up singing and leave Sin City - sage advice which she followed.

Cassandra toured Italy with a rock group called I Latins Ochanats. There she became fluent in Italian and had a chance encounter with Fellini, who put her in his film Roma (1972).

In 1971 she had a very small part as a showgirl in Diamonds Are Forever. She also is a showgril on the cover of Tom Waite's album, Small Change.

Elvira has appeared on over 500 television shows. Her varied TV credits include The Fall Guy, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, CHiPs, and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Cassandra Peterson performed topless in the 1973 film Working Girls. When it was released on video, it was actually renamed Elvira Naked.

Cassandra Peterson was a performer at the legendary Groundling Theater in Los Angeles. Fellow performers included: Phil Hartman, Paul Rubens, Larraine Newman and Jon Lovitz.  Six Groundlings participated in her film Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

Cassandra Peterson went to the same high school as mega-athlete Lance Armstrong.

An “Elvira Day” has been declared both in Los Angeles and Atlanta. She is also the Honorary Mayor of West Hollywood, California.

Cassandra Peterson auditioned for the role of Ginger Grant in the TV movie The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island (1981).

Cassandra Peterson's hometown is now completely underwater. Randolph, Kansas was completely submerged by a flood, and is still at the bottom of Tuttle Creek Lake.

Cassandra Peterson claimed that when she was 12 she had a strange Ouija board experience: “I was doing it alone, just playing, and it started moving by itself. It told me I was one of the witches who were hanged in Salem. I was totally scared.” She locked the Ouija board in the closet and never touched it again.

Elvira claims that she lost her virginity to Tom Jones (while she was a dancer in Vegas).

When she was three years old, she knocked over a pot of boiling Easter eggs, fusing her eyelids, scalding off much of her hair, and permanently scarring 35 percent of her body.


  1. Wow. That is some career and life. I should pop in Elvira's first flick in ye olde DVD player.
    Great pix also!

  2. I love Elvira. I've been a big fan of hers since I first saw her.

  3. I've watched Pee Wee's Big Adventure about a million times and only JUST realized that Cassandra Peterson was the biker babe in the bar who says, "I say let me have him first!"

  4. I thought the Elvira, Mistress of the Dark movie was a tear-up. Loved it back in the 80s - does she still do Elvira?

  5. I read about Elvira's "deflowering" by Tom Jones as she described it in Pamela Des Barres' book Let's Spend the Night Together. Apparently, he was a bit of a dick afterwards, being none too sensitive about her burn scars.

  6. I had a huge crush on her as a lad. I had the poster of her in a bathing suit under a full moon on my bedroom ceiling....my parents were quite concerned.

  7. Thanks for the comments everybody!

  8. Elvira still shows up around the nation and the convention circuit.
    She shows up at the San Diego Comic-Con almost every year both in full Elvira AND as Cassandra. She even premiered her movie "Elvira's Haunted Hills" there for an enthusiastic audience. (straight to DVD, check it out)

    Cassandra is extremely pleasant to her fans, of all ages, which cannot be said of all the "stars" who attend conventions.

    If you go to IMDB you will be surprised to see how man films she has appeared in over the years.

  9. She is one great diva of the night. Halloween night that is.

  10. I worked with a guy who had the good fortune of seeing her sans Elvira makeup eating in a Milpitas (CA) restaurant. He said she was very friendly, consented to not only an autograph but a photo.