Cassandra Peterson is the American actress who is noted for her character as "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark," which she initially used to host the 1980s movie presentation show, Movie Macabre. With the show's success, Peterson was able to then spin off the character into other outlets such as books, home videos and games and is still widely recognized today. Born on September 17, 1951, Cassandra grew up in Randolph, Kansas and Colorado Springs, Colorado. She began her career in Las Vegas, where she was a showgirl and briefly dated Elvis Presley. Subsequently, she then spent several years in Italy where she garnered a brief role in the Frederic Fellini film, Roma (1972). In the late 1970s, Peterson returned to the U.S. and began work in an improvisational acting troupe where she invented the Elvira character. Her big break came in 1981 when KHJ-TV in Los Angeles offered her the horror position for which she became famous.