Elivra, Mistress Of The Dark
Elivra was born Cassandra Perterson in Manhatten, KS. From a early age she had stars in her eyes. At the tender age of 17 she left home to become the youngest showgirl in Las Vegas history, at least according to the books. Ms. Peterson eventually moved to Europe to pursue a singing career as a lead singer in some rock band.
This is where she made a breakthrough performance in "Fellini Roma", she then came back to the States where she made appearences on Happy Days as well as many other shows and movies. Elvira the Mistress of the Dark was born in the fall of 1981.
In the late spring of 1981, when Larry Vincent (who starred as host Sinister Seymour of a local Los Angeles weekend horror show called Fright Night ) died, show producers began searching for his replacement. Deciding to use a female host, producers set out in search of a sexy comedian. Cassandra auditioned against 200 other horror hostess hopefuls, and won the role. Producers left it up to Cassandra to create Elvira's image. She and best friend Robert Redding, came up with the sexy punk/vampire look after producers jeered her original idea to look like Sharon Tate in The Fearless Vampire Killers . What followed was Elvira's Movie Macabre featuring a ditzy valley-girl type character named Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. With heavily applied drag queen style horror make-up and a black wig concealing her flame-red hair, the transformation from Cassandra Peterson to the sexy Elvira was so drastic that no one ever recognized her out of costume.
Wow are the only words that come to mind after
seeing Elvira, Mistress Of The Night!
The Elvira character rapidly gained notoriety with her tight fitting, low cut black gown which showed more cleavage than had ever appeared on local Los Angeles television before. The movies featured on Elvira's Movie Macabre were always B grade (or lower). Elvira reclined on a red Victorian couch, introducing and often interrupting the movie to lampoon the actors, the script, and the bad editing.
Adopting the flippant tone of a California valley-girl, she brought a satirical, sarcastic edge to her commentary, but never in a crass or mean-spirited manner.
And like a macabre Mae West , she revelled in dropping sexy double entendres as well as making frequent jokes about her eye-popping display of cleavage.
Her campy humor and good-natured self-mockery made her all the more appealing to late-night movie viewers and her popularity soared.
At the same time Elvira was embraced as an icon of the waning 1980s punk movement as well as the emerging Goth subculture.