Everybody Loves: Cassandra Peterson

Cassandra Peterson (born September 17, 1951) To think of Cassandra Peterson simply as her most famous character- Elvira Mistress of the Dark would be doing her a disservice. Before she was 18, she became one of Las Vegas’ youngest showgirls: “I was 17 and had to get a signed thing from my parents—it was pretty unbelievable that they did it. But that was under severe threats from me.” While in Las Vegas, she briefly dated Tom Jones and Elvis Presley, who encouraged her to become a singer. Following Presley’s advice, Peterson moved to Italy, where she sang in an Italian pop-rock band and had a small part in Fellini’s 1972 movie Roma. Returning to the US she posed for Playboy and Tom Wait’s  Small Change LP, though she doesn’t recall doing it. “I don’t remember having done it. But of course, I don’t remember a lot of stuff I did in the 70s. But it looks like me!” In the spring of 1981, she was hired by KHJ-TV in LA to host the Movie Macabre series for $350 a week. For the hostess role, they wanted a character who was vampy and dressed all in black, a take-off of Morticia Addams (not Vampira) of The Addams Family – “Not quite witch, not quite vampire, just kind of a cross.” The rest is history as the Elvira character grew and grew and grew. Over the past decade, Peterson has been working to franchise the character: “Not quit Elvira right now—as someday I’m going to have to—but, sort of doing what Bozo the Clown did. I love basing my entire career on a clown. Bozo—for anyone old enough to remember him—was wearing tons of make-up too so that he could go out and get a lot of other actors to play Bozo to make various appearances and do TV shows across the country. I started thinking, ‘Hmmmmm. Bozo”. A sense of humor too, man-o-man. At 61, Peterson is still going strong as Elvira. “I like being two people. I like having a normal side and a weird side. I feel like I have two, two, two lives in one. And I just get do so much cool stuff.”

From ” Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”

With Paul Ruebens at “PWBA” premier

On the cover of Tom Waits’ ‘Small Change’ LP

‘Small Change’ out-take

Cassandra at 61

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Posted on October 10, 2012, in Everyone Loves... and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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