Ghoulish greetings, all you devilish darlings! The one and only Cassandra Peterson, best known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, turns 70 years old on September 17th. Let’s celebrate her last night of being 69!
Cassandra Peterson was born in Manhattan, Kansas in 1951. In her own words, “I was born at a very early age, an age that was too young to have a sense of good judgment, which I understand doesn’t kick in until around thirty. Unfortunately for me, it still hasn’t.”*
In her early career she was a go-go dancer, a Vegas showgirl, a singer in Italian pop bands, and possibly maybe the woman on the cover of Tom Waits’s album Small Change. (She doesn’t remember most of the ’70s, and assumes that Waits wouldn’t remember either, but she agrees it kind of looks like her.) She was a member of the seminal improv troupe The Groundlings, performing alongside Paul Reubens, Phil Hartman, Edie McClurg, and John Paragon.
A few weeks before turning thirty, her self-imposed deadline for when she’d retire her struggling showbiz shingle for good, she landed the horror hostess gig that became Elvira’s Movie Macabre. She seized this stroke of luck, saying “Opportunity only gives you knockers once!”* Since then she’s starred in her own feature films, written several books, released popular pinball games, and appeared in comics, cartoons, video games, and the fantasies of most everyone with a sense of humor and a libido. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, is still killing it forty years later.
Post like it’s your last night being 69!
*Cassandra Peterson’s autobiography (“Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark”), is coming out on September 21st. I can’t wait to get my hands all over it.