Born 1951 in Manhattan, Kansas, American actress, writer and singer Cassandra Peterson had a small role as a showgirl in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and played a topless dancer in the film The Working Girls (1974).
In the early 1970s, Peterson moved to Italy and became lead singer of the Italian rock bands Latins 80 and The Snails. Introduced to film director Federico Fellini by the producer of a documentary on Las Vegas showgirls in which she had appeared, she landed a small part in the film Roma (1972).
In 1979, she joined the Los Angeles-based improvisational troupe The Groundlings, where she created a Valley girl-type character upon whom the Elvira persona is largely based.
Peterson is best known for her portrayal of the horror hostess character Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Peterson gained fame on Los Angeles television station KHJ-TV wearing a revealing, black, gothic, cleavage-enhancing gown as host of Elvira’s Movie Macabre, a weekly B movie presentation.
Take a look at these stunning photos to see portrait of Cassandra Peterson as Elvira in the 1980s.
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