Cassandra Peterson, Elvira's alter ego, was born in Manhattan, Kansas, and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She remembers always being a fan of Ann-Margret. Since Cassandra saw her in Viva Las Vegas (1964), she wanted to be a dancer. Just days after graduating from high school, Cassandra traveled to Las Vegas where, at the age of 17, she became the youngest showgirl in Las Vegas history.

Film and television appearances such as Cheech & Chong's Next Movie (1980) and others followed, but Cassandra was just the typical struggling actress and spent years wondering where her next meal was coming from. It was the fall of 1981, with the birth of her character, Elvira, that it all changed. 

While she has since played herself in many film and television shows, Cassandra Peterson ultimately combines her numerous talents into an intriguing persona which has not only become a Halloween icon but a "vamp" for all seasons.

Elsa Lanchester was born in Lewisham, London, England. Her parents, James Sullivan and Edith Lanchester, were considered Bohemian and refused to legalize their union in any conventional way to satisfy the era's conservative society. Edith's parents even successfully sent her to an asylum for a while, as she refused to wed James even if she wanted to live with him. An older brother, Waldo (b. 1898), completed the family.

As a child, Elsa studied dance in Paris under Isadora Duncan, whom she disliked. When the school was discontinued due to the start of First World War she returned to England.

At that point (she was about twelve years of age) she considered herself capable to teach dancing in the Isadora Duncan style (despite her own scathing remarks about her former teacher's style) and, very enterprisingly, started to give classes to children of her South London neighborhood, with which she earned a welcome bit of extra income in her household.


The original glamour ghoul herself, "Vampira," of late-night 50s TV, was actually born Maila Syrjäniemi (later changed to the easier surname Nurmi) on December 11, 1921, in Petsamo, Finland.


Her uncle was the multiple Olympic medal runner Paavo Nurmi. Maila arrived in the United States with her family as a baby and lived a rather nomadic existence at first as her father was a writer who lectured on temperance.

The Addams Family was a big hit and Carolyn Jones received all the fame she had craved. However, the network decided to cancel the show, despite its success, after only two years. Typecast as Morticia but without the income that a few more years would have provided, she found life difficult and roles few. 

While acting on the road, she married her voice coach, Herbert S. Greene, a man who was not much liked in the industry, and he persuaded her to retire to Palm Springs, California, where she lost contact with many friends.

Yvonne De Carlo Lilly Munster

The most famous role that led Yvonne DeCarlo to pop culture stardom is of Lily Munster in the cult television series The Munsters (1964-1966). The Munsters allowed De Carlo to demonstrate a comic flair that her films had failed to utilize. She also played Lily in the 1966 feature film Munster, Go Home and the 1981 TV movie The Munsters' Revenge.

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