Horror hostess Cassandra Peterson, best known as her alter ego, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, has announced a release date for her 272-page autobiography, ‘Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark.’
Peterson first debuted the character in 1981 as the host of the television horror show ‘Movie Macabre’.
Although Peterson would only host ‘Movie Macabre’ until 1985, the character of Elvira would obtain cult status and become a recognized symbol in the horror industry, making guest appearances in numerous television series over the years and appearing in her own 1988 feature film ‘Elvira: Mistress of the Dark’ and again in 2001’s ‘Elvira’s Haunted Hills.’
The character of Elvira has even gone on to appear in comic books, including the 1986 DC Comics series ‘Elvira’s House of Mystery’ and, later, in the 1993 Claypool Comics series ‘Elvira, Mistress of the Dark’ which ran for 166 issues. Most recently, she appeared in the Dynamite Entertainment 2018 series ‘Elvira: Mistress of the Dark’ which ran until 2020.
The character of Elvira has also been immortalized in action figures, trading cards, statues, and dolls. She even has her own pinball machine.
This book, which is scheduled for release on September 21, 2021, will give us an inside journey into the life of Cassandra Peterson and what it took to bring this iconic character to life.
The official book synopsis by Hachette Books reads:
The woman behind the icon known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, the undisputed Queen of Halloween, reveals her full story, filled with intimate bombshells, told by the bombshell herself.
On Good Friday in 1953, at only 18 months old, 25 miles from the nearest hospital in Manhattan, Kansas, Cassandra Peterson reached for a pot on the stove and doused herself in boiling water. Third-degree burns covered 35% of her body, and the prognosis wasn’t good. But she survived. Burned and scarred, the impact stayed with her and became an obstacle she was determined to overcome. Feeling like a misfit led to her love of horror. While her sisters played with Barbie dolls, Cassandra played with model kits of Frankenstein and Dracula, and idolized Vincent Price.
Due to a complicated relationship with her mother, Cassandra left home at 14, and by age 17 she was performing at the famed Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas. Run-ins with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Tom Jones helped her grow up fast. Then a chance encounter with her idol Elvis Presley, changed the course of her life forever, and led her to Europe where she worked in film and traveled Italy as lead singer of an Italian pop band. She eventually made her way to Los Angeles, where she joined the famed comedy improv troupe, The Groundlings, and worked alongside Phil Hartman and Paul “Pee-wee” Reubens, honing her comedic skills.
Nearing age 30, a struggling actress considered past her prime, she auditioned at local LA channel KHJ as hostess for the late night vintage horror movies. Cassandra improvised, made the role her own, and got the job on the spot. Yours Cruelly, Elvira is an unforgettably wild memoir. Cassandra doesn’t shy away from revealing exactly who she is and how she overcame seemingly insurmountable odds. Always original and sometimes outrageous, her story is loaded with twists, travails, revelry, and downright shocking experiences. It is the candid, often funny, and sometimes heart-breaking tale of a Midwest farm girl’s long strange trip to become the world’s sexiest, sassiest Halloween icon.
You can pre-order your copy today by visiting HachetteBooks.com.