|Collectors World Online
Interview with Elivira
Mistress of the Dark
by Mark S. Orr
Collectors World Online 2004© - 2013©
Elvira's alter ego, Cassandra Peterson, was born in Manhattan, Kansas and raised in Colorado
Springs, Colorado. Cassandra remembers being mesmerized by Ann-Margret. "I always wanted to be
a dancer, ever since I saw Ann-Margret in 'Viva Las Vegas'." Just days after graduating from high
school, Cassandra fled to Vegas where, at the age of 17, she became the youngest showgirl in Las
Cassandra's desire to emulate Ann-Margret led to an evening with the legendary Elvis Presley, who
saw her perform and encouraged her to pursue a singing career. Off to Europe, Cassandra toured
extensively as lead singer for an Italian rock band. Eventually settling in Rome, where she became
fluent in Italian, Cassandra met renowned director, Federico Fellini, who cast her in his classic film,
Returning stateside, Cassandra formed her own nightclub review, "Mama's Boys", which toured the
national club circuit. In the late 70's, she joined the satiric improvisational troupe, The Groundlings,
which also produced such notables as Phil Hartman, Pee Wee Herman, Jon Lovitz and Julia Sweeney.
There she honed her now renowned comedic skills as both a writer and performer.
Film and television appearances such as "Cheech And Chong's Next Movie", "Fantasy Island", "Happy
Days" and "St. Elsewhere" followed, but Cassandra recalls, "I was your typical struggling actress. I
went to every audition, took a million acting, dancing and singing lessons and spent years wondering
where my next meal was coming from."
It was the fall of 1981, with the birth of her character, Elvira, that it all changed. While she has since
played herself in many film and television shows including "Echo Park", "Alan Quartermain" and "Pee
Wee's Big Adventure", Cassandra Peterson ultimately combines her numerous talents into an
intriguing persona which has not only become a Halloween icon, but a "vamp" for all seasons.
The following is a Collectors World Online Mark Orr exclusive interview with the Mistress of the Dark!
|Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, how you got into show
business, how Elvira came to be?
I was born in Manhattan, KS., (the Little Apple) and lived there until I was 7, then moved to Colorado
Springs CO, where I lived until I was 17. At age 17 I moved to Vegas where I worked as a showgirl at
the Dunes Hotel, then moved to Europe where I toured with an Italian Rock band....after a million
other jobs and a lot of years, I finally settled in LA where I began work with the Groundlings, a
famous comedy Improvisation group and eventually ended up getting an interview for a horror
hostess on a local station.
I am a huge collector...most notably of bobblehead dolls. Can you tell us about the Elvira
Sorry, I have almost no info on that. I know it was made by Strike Zone and I think they made about
1000 and sold them all. I signed about a hundred I think. That's all I know.
*Update 2013 - The Elvira bobblehead doll is a very hard to find collectible. I could find none on
eBay in June of 2013.
Are there plans for a new Elvira bobblehead doll?
No plans for a bobble head at this time, but am working on a 9"-18" non-articulated maquette from
|All photos were taken by Ian St. Ian except where noted ...and are copyright protected and can be used
with permission only....2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013-2014-2015-2016
Collectors World Online.Com
Mark Sean Orr Collectors World Online Photography, Genealogy and More!
We know you are a horror buff...what's your favorite (and least favorite) horror movie of
all time and who are your favorite (and least favorite) actors?
Favorite: House on Haunted Hill
Least Favorite: Slasher movies
Favorite actor: Vincent Price
Least Favorite: Paris Hilton in House of Wax
Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. We pass out candy to approximately 300 ghosts
and goblins each year, and turn our home into a haunted house.
Do you have a tradition on Halloween or an appearance that you make every year on
Every year of the last 25 has been different. The only continuity I've had is when I was doing my live
singing/dancing Halloween revue at Knott's "Scary Farm' for 18 years here in CA. It's the biggest
Halloween venue in the U.S.
I cram in lots of other appearance that night also, including a U2 concert appearance, ringing the
closing bell at the NY stock exchange, being the Grand Marshall for the Halloween parade in the
village and taping numerous TV shows for the same day.
We love all your work...do you have a favorite film, TV show or appearance that you've
I've done so many over the last 25 years....hundreds and hundreds, but perhaps one of the most
exciting was my first big one on the Tonight show with Johnny Carson. That was in 1982, a week
after KHJ-TV aired the 3-D thriller "The Mad Magican" with both the movie and myself having been
broadcast in 3-D. (From the time of the shows announcement, more than 2 million pair of 3-D
glasses were reportedly sold in the Los Angeles area).
Can you tell us about your musical career and if you plan on making more
I have 5 DVD's and a couple of vinyl albums out but no plans to make anymore at this time.
I'm a collector of vinyl records......is there anything "Elvira" out there on vinyl?
Yes...Vinyl Macabre and 3/D TV from 1981 or 2.
(Elvira's "Vinyl Macabre Oldies but Ghoulies Vol. 1" from 1983 can still be found on eBay in the $20-
30 price range).
Elvira and the Vitones 3-D TV (Rhino Records, 1982)
Vinyl Macabre (Rhino Records, 1983)
Elvira Presents Haunted Hits (Rhino Records, 1987)
Elvira Presents Monster Hits (Rhino Records, 1994)
Elvira Presents Revenge of the Monster Hits (Rhino Records, 1995)
Elvira's Gravest Hits (Shout! Factory, 2010)
Can you tell us about some of the Elvira licensed products out there? (I know there's an
Elvira pinball machine that I would love to get my hands on).
I've had over 350 licensed products over the years including 2 pinball machines, a video game, a
slot machine, my own beer and a perfume.
How can people join the Elvira fan club and mailing list...... and do you sign autographs
via the mail?
Go to Elvira.com or My Space to the Elvira page. Yes, I sell signed photos at Elvira.com.
*Fans can purchase an 8 by 10 photo of Elvira (autographed) for $45.00 on her website.
Elvira calendars can be purchase for $21.99
What charities have you been involved with?
Animal Rights and AIDS charities have been my specialties, however I try to help whatever good
cause comes along whenever I'm able.
Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions...and happy haunting!
Thank you Mark.......take care.
Mark S. Orr
|Hitting the shelves this October comes the new Electric Tiki Design
'Elvira Maquette,' a resin foot tall, fully painted and detailed statue
of, you guessed it... Elvira! Elvira's Tooned up Maquette is one in
a long line of tooned up statues paying tribute to some of pop
cultures biggest icons. Retailing around $125.00 with a limited
edition release of only 750 pieces this will instantly become a
collectors item. Be sure to grab one ASAP!
PRESS RELEASE- 2003
ELVIRA AUTOGRAPHS A WICKEDCOOLSTUFF.COM EXCLUSIVE!
(North Hollywood) - May 1, 2003 - WickedCoolStuff.com today announced that
TV and movie icon Elvira, will be signing her new bobble head figure
exclusively for the online retailer. Only a limited edition of 100 collectible
bobbleheads will be signed and numbered by Elvira (actress Cassandra
This is the first bobblehead made of the actress, Horror Movie Hostess, animal
rights activist and Celebrity "Spooksperson" Elvira. The regular versions of the
bobblehead will also be available at WickedCoolStuff.com and other retailers.