What is the Queen of Darkness Elvira’s Net Worth?

2020 will be the first time in 40 years Elvira doesn’t leave her home on Halloween due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That doesn’t mean she won’t still be celebrating though! Here’s a look at the Queen of Darkness’ career and Elvira’s net worth.

About Elvira

Cassandra Peterson, also known as Elvira, was born in Manhattan, Kansas, on September 17, 1951. As a toddler, she was burned by boiling water that led to her needing skin grafts on 35% of her body. Growing up, she always gravitated towards horror-themed toys rather than Barbie dolls and “normal” girl’s toys. She was elementary school-aged when she saw her first scary movie: House on Haunted Hill. As a teenager, she began dancing as a go-go girl at a local gay bar.

Peterson was inspired by the Ann Margaret film Viva Las Vegas. During a trip to Vegas, she convinced her parents to allow her to go see a live show. Despite only being 17 years old, she gained the attention of some talent scouts at the show. After some persuading, her parents let her sign a contract to perform. Immediately after she graduated, she drove to Vegas and got started as a show girl.

Early Career

In Vegas, Peterson became a showgirl in Frederic Apcar’s “Vive Les Girls!” at The Dunes. While she performed there, she met Elvis Presley, who she dated for a short time. During this time, she began landing small roles in films as well. Peterson first appeared in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever as a showgirl. She also claimed a small role as a topless dancer in The Working Girls in 1974.

It was also during the early 70s that she moved away from the United States and lived in Italy to pursue being a singer in a rock band. She worked with two groups called Latins 80 and The Snails. Eventually, Peterson was introduced to Federico Fellini, a film director, that led to another small part in a 1972 film called Roma. 

Once she moved back to the states, Peterson began touring nightclubs and discos with a music/comedy acts called Mammas Boys. In 1979, she moved on to join the improv group The Groundlings. While working with the troupe, she created a “Valley-girl” style character that provided a lot of the basis for her Elvira character.

Shortly before becoming the horror host she is, Peterson was auditioning for Gilligan’s Island and also worked as a radio personality at KROQ-FM 106.7.

Becoming Elvira

Elvira's net worth

Photo: Orange County Archives

It was the spring of 1981 that Elvira really started to come to life. Six years after the death of Larry Vincent, host of Fright Night, producers began looking for a new way to revive the program. More specifically, they were looking for a female host. Initially, they sought out the 1950s horror icon Maila Nurmi, better known as Vampira. She worked with producers on the project for a very short time but left when the producers would not hire a friend of hers.

That was lucky for Peterson though. The station sent out notifications that it was looking for someone to cast in the role and she went to audition. It was completely up to her how she developed and created the character. So, she and her friend, Robert Redding, invented a sexy, punk vampire. Quickly, Elvira became a brand.

Overnight, it seemed that Elvira products were popping up just about everywhere. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, costumes, comic books, dolls, cards, toys, decor, and a plethora of other things were all created in Elvira’s image.

As Elvira, Peterson has appeared on the cover of Femme Fatales magazine five times. She has also been featured in several films and TV shows as the Queen of Darkness herself, including several movies in the 2000s. But what has all of this done for Elvira’s net worth at the end of the day?

Elvira’s Net Worth: $3 Million

Elvira's net worth

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Most sources have Elvira’s net worth sitting between $2 million and $3 million. Basically, all of this wealth has stemmed from her character “Elvira.” Peterson has not done much outside of Elvira since the character’s creation. Even the endorsements she has landed have her appear as Elvira.

In addition to her work as an actress and pop icon, Elvira has earned some serious cash just by people using her likeness for products. For instance, there are Elvira games, pinball machines, shirts, and various merch with her name or figure on it. It should also be noted Elvira has had a hand in the creation of some Elvira comic books, cartoons, and other content as well.

As far as assets are concerned, Elvira owns a beautiful home in Los Angeles, which she purchased for $925,000 in 2012. She also owns a custom 1959 Thunderbird that is valued at around $45,000.

Right now, she is working on a direct sequel to her 1988 Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. It is rumored she is also working on an animated Elvira series. So, it is safe to say she is continuing to work and use her iconic power as Elvira to earn some cash.

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