Ex-showgirl cashes in on horror icon

Aug 27, 2002 6:56 AM

Late night insomniacs and horror movie buffs know her as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, but long-time Las Vegans may recall Cassandra Peterson as a one-time showgirl who once performed with Elvis Presley.

Peterson last week made her triumphant return to Las Vegas with the premiere of her newest film, Elvira’s Haunted Hills at the Palms and the introduction of IGT’s Elvira themed video slot machine at the Luxor

"Now, for just a quarter," cooed the Mistress of the Dark, "every guy in Vegas can get lucky with Elvira!" The new nickel Elvira, Mistress of the Dark video slot machine is a Spooky Slots MegaJackpots Instant Winner game with a top award starting at $100,000.

Elvira’s film is a gothic horror comedy that parodies the classic Vincent Price/Edgar Allen Poe/Roger Corman films of the early 60’s.

Peterson made her Vegas debut in 1969 as the youngest showgirl in the city’s history in the number one rated lounge show, "Vive Les Girls" at the Dunes Hotel.

Her stint in Vegas included a momentous meeting with the King himself, Elvis Presley, who encouraged the 17-year-old dancer to pursue a singing career. Before long she won a featured spot in "Les Girls" crooning "A Good Man is Hard to Find."

Singing evolved into an acting career for the statuesque redhead, who, in 1981, created her famed glamour-ghoul persona which has become an international Horror icon.