30 Things You Didn’t Know About Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

"My name's Elvira, but you can call me tonight."

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark has made a tremendous impact on popular culture. For over four decades, she’s delighted audiences with her witty one-liners and nearly poked the eyes of many with her cleavage. But there’s more to this iconic character than a valley girl voice and a black bouffant hairstyle. Elvira, born Cassandra Peterson, has been working in show businesses for 50 years and in that time, she’s done many impressive things. Take a peek at 30 fascinating facts you might not have known about Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and let us know your favorite fact from this list in the comments section on social media.

Elvira’s real name is Cassandra Peterson and she was born in Manhattan, Kansas.

As a child, she was scalded by boiling water and needed skin grafts on over 35% of her body.

1959’s “House on Haunted Hill” was her first horror movie.

As a teenager, she worked as a go-go dancer in a local gay bar.

She was inspired to become a Las Vegas showgirl after seeing the 1964 film “Viva Las Vegas.”

After graduating from high school, Elvira moved to Las Vegas and became a dancer in the “Vive Les Girls!” show at The Dunes.

While working as a showgirl, Elvira met Elvis Presley and they went on one date.

Elvira appeared as a showgirl in 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever” and as a topless dancer in 1974’s “The Working Girls.”

Elvira believes that she’s the model for Tom Waits’ “Small Changes” album, however, she has no memory of shooting the photos.

During the early 1970s, Elvira moved to Italy and performed as the lead singer in two rock bands: Latins 80 and The Snails.

Elvira auditioned for the role of Ginger Grant for a “Gilligan’s Island” television movie in 1981.

Prior to hosting “Elvira’s Movie Macabre,” Larry “Seymour” Vincent played the horror host of “Fright Night” on KJH-TV.

The show’s producers initially intended to revive “The Vampira Show” with 1950’s horror host Maila Nurmi.

Elvira auditioned for and won the role of the horror host in an open casting call.

Elvira had creative control of her character’s image and initially intended to model the character off Sharon Tate’s character in 1967’s “The Fearless Vampire Killers.”

Nurmi sent a cease and desist to the show’s producers, claiming that the characters were too similar.

Elvira’s closing line for each show was “Unpleasant dreams.”

Elvira’s feature film, “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark” debuted in 1988.

Despite being a box office flop, this film remains a cult classic.

Elvira appeared on the cover of Femme Fatales magazine five times.

The sequel to her first film, “Elvira’s Haunted Hills” debuted in 2001.

“Elvira’s Movie Macabre” was revived in 2010.

Elvira appeared in Hulu’s “13 Nights of Elvira” in 2014.

Elvira is currently developing another feature film and an animated project.

Elvira filmed a CBS pilot in 1993 called “The Elvira Show,” which never aired.

Elvira has appeared in three horror video games: “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark,” “Elvira 2: The Jaws of Cerberus” and “Elvira: The Arcade Game.”

Three Elvira pinball machines named “Elvira and the Party Monsters,” “Scared Stiff” and “Elvira’s House of Horrors” have been created.

Elvira appears as a character in 2016’s “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.”

Elvira played a non-Elvira character, Biker Mama, in 1985’s “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.”

Elvira plans to release an autobiography on September 21, 2021.