Cassandra Peterson’s iconic role as Elvira made her rise immediately to fame. She flourished in many movies, and she was well known as an advocate for animal rights and HIV and AIDS Awareness.
Cassandra Peterson got 35% of her body skin grafted because of a tragic childhood accident, leading her to seek a sense of belongingness in the monsters of horror movies.
Cassandra Peterson’s Early Career
Cassandra Peterson was born on September 17, 1951, in Manhattan City in Kansas, United States. Albeit she was born in Kansas, she was raised in Colorado. She is most known for her iconic role as Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark, but before she acquired fame, she had to begin her career in the entertainment industry very early on.
At the young age of 17, she started her job as the youngest showgirl of all time in Las Vegas City, Nevada, joining the Vive Les Girls program in the Dunes Hotel. When the legend Elvis Presley gave her a new direction with his advice, Peterson journeyed to Europe to become a singer and an actor.
Peterson starred in many films from Italy, one of which was Roma by the esteemed Federico Fellini. Peterson also became the lead singer of a rock band, touring all over Europe.
Confident with her success, she returned to the United States, performing in America as Mama’s Boys’ lead, a musical-comedy routine. When she put down roots in Hollywood, she spent half a decade with the Groundlings, Los Angeles’ most prominent comedy group specializing in improvisation. (Source: IMDb)
The Rising of Elvira
In the early 1980s, Peterson pursued the horror hostess role in a television program in Los Angeles. In the same year, Peterson’s show, Movie Macabre, and her original distinguished character, Elvira, quickly rose to the ranks of fame.
Peterson was also skilled in co-writing, producing, and performing in her shows such as Elvira: Mistress of the Dark and Elvira’s Haunted Hills. Her most recent works in the late 2000s were The Search for The Next Elvira and Elvira’s Movie Macabre.
With the platform Peterson acquired with her famous character, Elvira, she didn’t hesitate to bring light to many issues. From fighting for animal welfare and spreading awareness about HIV and AIDS, it was evident that Peterson’s dedication to many causes was a reflection of her inner beauty. (Source: IMDb)
Peterson’s Childhood Accident
Peterson recalls that her interest in all things spooky and horrific is rooted in a terrifying childhood burning incident.
Because of the burning accident she experienced as a child, Peterson struggled with over 35% of her whole body covered by blistering burn marks. To fix the burns throughout her body, she needed to undergo many operations of skin grafting. The tragic incident isolated her, and she felt entirely different from other people because of the physical and emotional marks it left. Consequentially, she developed a fixation with monsters. (Source: Looper)
I was severely burned, and I felt like a little like a monster myself. I think I related to people like Frankenstein and The Mummy. The burns made me feel like an outcast and a loner. I certainly was not popular, I was a major geek.Cassandra Peterson
(Source: Contact Music)