How Cassandra Peterson, AKA Elvira, Really Started Dating Her Girlfriend

If you're a millennial of a certain age, then you probably remember seeing Elvira, Mistress of Dark and horror television hostess on your TV as you were flipping through channels. Or even if you don't, then you probably know the iconic character and her signature vampiric look from somewhere. In October 2021, Elvira (whose real name is Cassandra Peterson) released her memoir, "Yours Cruelly, Elvira," which pulls back the curtain on her years in Hollywood and reveals how she was able to carve out such a specific cult niche for herself, according to Gizmodo.

In the memoir (via Gizmodo), Peterson explains that she took her first step towards show business when she moved from her childhood home in Colorado Springs to Las Vegas, where she became a Vegas showgirl. While there, Peterson became friendly with the one and only Elvis Presley, who gave her these sage words of advice: "take some vocal lessons, get into singing, and get the heck outta Dodge." Peterson became the Elvira we know her as today when she won the opportunity to replace Vampira as the horror host on KHJ-TV — and the rest was history. But the biggest bombshell to come out of Peterson's memoir was the revelation about her sexuality and her long-term partner, per NBC News.

How did Elvira meet her partner, Teresa Wierson?

According to the Sun, Cassandra Peterson wed Mark Pierson in 1981, and they share a daughter named Sadie. At one point in Peterson's career, her now ex-husband even worked as her manager. However, the duo went their separate ways in 2003, which was when Peterson first met Teresa Wierson. According to Entertainment Weekly, Wierson was a trainer who was fresh off her own split when she moved into Peterson's home. Over time, Peterson's relationship with Wierson blossomed, and she ended up never moving out. In her memoir (via Entertainment Weekly), Peterson recalled the first time she and Wierson kissed — and the moment they went from being 'just friends' to romantic interests. "I told her goodnight and suddenly felt compelled to kiss her — on the mouth," Peterson wrote.

Previously, Peterson had never been interested in women, but this all changed with Wierson. She detailed how her friends and family were aware of her relationship with the trainer, but that she'd opted to keep it a secret from fans for many years. "So 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. I'm happy and relieved to finally allow our secret to see the light of day," Peterson shared, via Entertainment Weekly.