Elvira, Mistress of the Dark Biography
Cassandra Peterson was just another struggling actress during the 1970s. In the early 1980s, as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, she put the "vamp" in vampire and introduced horror movies on a Los Angeles television station. From there she launched a career as a cleavage-rich spokeswoman for all things spooky and campy, including a syndicated TV show, a movie and a merchandising blitz that cranked out everything from perfume to pinball machines.
Peterson is a longtime supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA); in a much-publicized 1991 incident, she turned down an offer to perform as an elephant trainer in the TV extravaganza Circus of the Stars.