With audiences instantly falling in love with her wild look, Elvira has been a pop culture icon over the last four decades with the year-old Peterson still happily donning her costume even today. Long before she ever put on the black wig and lined her lips with crimson red lipstick after adjusting her skin-tight black dress, Cassandra Peterson knew she was special. Born on September 17, in Manhattan, Kansas, she was raised in Randolph before a flood forced the family out of their home. Three years later, she took an even bigger risk when she played a topless dancer in the exploitation film The Working Girls. Then, in , she caught a huge break when producers opened a casting call for a hostess with plans to bring back the s weekend horror series Fright Night.