Cassandra Peterson, the actress best known for playing horror-movie hostess Elvira, has just come out in a new memoir.
In “Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark,” Peterson writes about her 19-year relationship with a woman, trainer Teresa Wierson. Although the couple were out to friends and family, they kept the relationship publicly secret for Peterson’s career. “I worried that if I announced I was no longer living the ‘straight life,’ my fans would feel lied to, call me a hypocrite, and abandon me,” Peterson writes.
She also recounts how she met Wierson, whom she originally mistook for a man at the gym where they both worked out. The two became friends, and moved in together after their previous long-term relationships ended (Peterson’s to husband and manager Mark Pierson). In the memoir, Peterson writes about how she suddenly had the urge to kiss Wierson one night after they returned home from a movie.
“I think I was even more surprised. What the hell was I doing? I’d never been interested in women as anything other than friends,” she recalls. “I was stunned that I’d been friends with her for so many years and never noticed our chemistry. I soon discovered that we connected sexually in a way I’d never experienced.”
She adds, “For the first time in my life, I’m with someone who makes me feel safe, blessed, and truly loved.”
Peterson invented the character of Elvira after she was cast to play the horror movie host for a Los Angeles television station in the 1980s. The persona, known for her campy humor and low-cut black dress, became a cult favorite.