Horror legend Elvira’s collection heads to Julien’s Auctions
BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- Julien’s Auctions has announced its spine-tingling event Property from the Collection of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark will take place in October 2021 in Beverly Hills and live online at juliensauctions.com. The exclusive auction celebration of the career of American actress, writer, singer, pop culture icon and sex symbol, Cassandra Peterson, known the world over as “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” will showcase a frightful collection of her personal memorabilia, including her signature black gown, props and costumes from her television series and films as well as jewelry, a pinball machine and other Elvira ephemera from the pioneering horror host who was the first ever to be syndicated throughout the U.S. on national television.
Cassandra Peterson began her career in entertainment as a Las Vegas showgirl and appeared in the James Bond film Diamonds are Forever and Federico Fellini’s Roma. In 1979, she joined the Los Angeles based improvisational group The Groundlings where she created a California “Valley Girl” character which would evolve into her iconic persona as Elvira. In 1981, Peterson was offered the role of horror host of Los Angeles KHJ-TV’s Movie Macabre, a local late-night movie show featuring B horror, sci-fi and genre movies. Peterson’s Elvira character attracted immediate attention and raised eyebrows for her tight-fitting, cleavage-enhancing black gown and vampire/punk look. Her campy humor and sexy gothic appearance made her a beloved cult figure with late-night viewers of the show which was soon re-titled Elvira’s Movie Macabre. Her popularity soared and the Elvira brand grew into an empire during the 1980s-1990s that included Halloween costumes, comic books, action figures, trading cards, pinball machines, décor, Halloween albums, model kits, perfume, beer, dolls and more. In 1985, Elvira began hosting a successful home video series called Thriller Video with horror and genre films chosen by Peterson which led to a second video set, Elvira’s Midnight Madness and the DVD horror-film collection Elvira’s Box of Horrors.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Elvira-themed computer games Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Elvira 2: The Jaws of Cerberus and Elvira: The Arcade Game were released. Elvira was also one of the characters in 2007 PlayStation 3 game Pain and in 2017’s Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare “Absolution.”
On the radio, Elvira was a personality on LA’s KROQ-FM and on the big screen, Peterson produced, wrote and starred in the films, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) and Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2001). The latter film screened at AIDS charity fundraisers across America and made its official premiere in Hollywood where Elvira arrived in her Macabre Mobile, the 1959 Thunderbird from the film, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. The film would later be screened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. In 2010, Elvira’s Movie Macabre returned to television syndication in the U.S. and in October 2014, Peterson reprised her role in Hulu’s 13 Nights of Elvira.
Peterson is the author of Elvira novels (co-authored by John Paragon) Transylvania 90210, Camp Vamp, and The Boy Who Cried Werewolf. In the 2000s, her reign as Halloween empress continued with appearances on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Halloween Wars, AMC’s Talking Dead, Celebrity Ghost Stories, Oddities, Counting Cars, Fangasm, Face Off and the TV reality series Search for the Next Elvira. In 2016, Peterson published a large format photo retrospective “coffin” table book for Elvira’s 35th anniversary. Elvira has been a voice character in several animated films including Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island and Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo and various episodes of the animated TV series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She also appeared in the 2019 documentary film, In Search of Darkness.
“Julien’s Auctions is honored to present for the first time at auction this thriller collection from the Queen of Halloween, Elvira,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions. “For over three decades, Cassandra Peterson has delighted millions of fans from the television screen to Comic Cons all over the world with her iconic character and trailblazing brand as one of Hollywood’s most recognizable horror personas of all time.”
Highlights of the auction include: one of the three original signature Elvira long black gown costumes used from 1981 – 1986 (estimate: $3,000 – $5,000); a gold wooden framed “oil painting” look portrait of Elvira created by photographer David Goldner and used in several film and TV productions from 1997 – 2010 including, The Search for the Next Elvira, and Elvira’s Movie Macabre (estimate: $400 – $600); a large carved wood partners desk on which Cassandra Peterson co-wrote the films Mistress of the Dark and Haunted Hills (estimate: $600 – $800); a large concrete outdoor water fountain with a lion’s head water spout (estimate: $600 – $800); Peterson’s pair of Prada “Elvira” pumps worn for photo sessions (estimate: $300 – $500); Elvira, Mistress of the Dark 1987 film script with an embossed cover with handwritten notes by Cassandra Peterson (estimate: $300 – $500); a screen worn black pane’ velvet robe used in the feature films, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and Elvira’s Movie Macabre (estimate: $300 – $500) and a screen worn black velvet cloak designed by Jane Booke for the film, Elvira’s Haunted Hills (estimate: $1,000 – $2,000); a pair of 1987 Frederick’s of Hollywood screen worn black marabou slides used in the films Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and Elvira’s Haunted Hills (estimate: $300 – $500); screen worn “Can Can” dance costume, including the infamous “Applause” panties, used in the musical number, “Le Music Hall,” from the film, Elvira’s Haunted Hills (estimate: $300 – $500); a stage worn “Tassel Twirling Costume” consisting of a Swarovski crystal encrusted long sleeve bodysuit, bra with beaded tassels, and wrap skirt with rhinestone dagger pin created by costume designer Michael Schmidt for the 2017 Elvira Show at Knott’s Scary Farm, a version of the finale costume from the film, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark; plus, a screen used steel chain link pentagram steering wheel seen in the film, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (estimate: $600 – $800); a custom chrome cast Elvira hood ornament with acrylic bat wings, designed by Brian Cooper for George Barris Studios –an exact replica of the hood ornament that is currently on the Macabre Mobile (estimate: $600 – $800); plus, a figural light-up slot machine topper with Elvira seated on a red chair with skulls and bats (estimate: $600 – $800), an Elvira’s House of Horrors 2019 Stern pinball machine, personal jewelry, including a solid silver devil and a solid gold angel earring set and a solid silver skull and crossbones bracelet gifted to Peterson by her ex-husband and manager Mark Pierson and more.
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