Cassandra Peterson Hid Her Romance with a Woman for 19 Years after Falling in Love at 50

Getting to know one’s true identity and falling in love can happen at any age. As a result, Actress Cassandra Peterson’s love life started heating up at age 50.

Cassandra Peterson is a renowned actress and singer. She is best known for portraying Elvira’s horror hostess character in the 1988 horror-comedy movie “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark.”

Peterson’s character is known for her dark and seductive ensemble. The garments comprise of a long black dress with a slit and a plunging neckline, a bouffant hairstyle, a ruby ring, and snake-shaped earrings.

Cassandra Peterson dressed as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark in past episode of “The Goldbergs” on ABC in September 2021. | Photo: Getty Images


Since gaining fame as Elvira, Peterson used her dark character to spotlight worthy causes close to her heart. Some of her work has benefitted animal welfare and HIV/AIDS prevention.

The 70-year-old actress has spent more than three decades establishing the Elvira brand. She has developed it into an international cult icon and a hallmark of Halloween and horror.

Just as she captured the imagination of thousands with her alluring dark mistress character, the movie actress recently caused a stir after sharing surprising details about her sexuality.

Cassandra Peterson at the Mercy For Animals 20th Anniversary Gala on September 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images


Before revealing her shocking secret to the public, Peterson was previously married to her ex-husband Mark Pierson for 22 years. Pierson is also an actor who appeared in his ex-wife’s movies.

Pierson also starred in other films such as “Midnight Madness” and “Heavy Metal Heaven.” After more than two decades of marriage, the pair divorced in 2003. They share a daughter, Sadie, 27.

In her autobiography, “Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memories of the Mistress of the Dark,” Peterson wrote that she was secretly in a relationship with Teresa Wierson. She shared they connected shortly after her divorce. 


Peterson first spotted Wierson at Gold’s Gym in Hollywood and was immediately attracted to her, mistaking her for a man at first. Their friendship grew into an official relationship. The actress said:

“And then the relationship just got deeper, and then we’ve been together for 19 years, and it’s fantastic.”

In her autobiography, the acclaimed actress referred to Wierson as “T.” Peterson also shared that the couple thoroughly discussed plans of including Wierson in the memoir.

Having lived a private life, Peterson is now adapting to having her relationship with Wierson known publicly. Likewise, she is adjusting to the labels associated with her sexuality. She stated:

“People have said, ‘Oh, you’re bi.’ And I said, ‘Well, I guess I am now! It wasn’t until I turned 50!’ I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s been great.”

Although Wierson prefers to keep their relationship a secret, Peterson said it’s nice to live their lives truthfully. Peterson added in her book that she hated it when they lied in public.

One of the lies Peterson details in her book was introducing Wierson as her assistant. She further explained that she felt tired and embarrassed about being dishonest.

However, Peterson emphasized that her partner understands her career as a public figure. Consequently, keeping their relationship a secret was mainly a career move due to Elvira’s influential character. 

She describes Elvira as her “personal brand” that she needed to protect for several years. It was also through the enigmatic character that she learned how to keep her relationships private at all times.

The talented actress also admitted that she felt remorse for not being more candid to her fans. She is especially remorseful knowing that Elvira’s character has enjoyed a vast following from the LGBTQ+ community.

Over the years, Peterson has considered retiring Elvira multiple times, briefly feeling trapped by her creation.

Peterson feared that she felt hypocritical for playing “straight” Elvira. Although she expressed some regrets, it seems that several fans continue to support the iconic actress.

Since she came out, many members of the LGBTQ+ community have celebrated Peterson. Reflecting on her unforgettable character, she said she compared her popularity to singers Madonna and Cher.

A Twitter user expressed joy that Peterson is now comfortable flaunting her true self in public, wishing her and Wierson happiness. Another congratulated the actress’s fearless revelation. 

“The fans will still love you,” wrote another joyful fan, who also noted that their beloved icon and her longtime partner can finally express and enjoy themselves in public. 

Peterson recalled moments when people would come up to her to speak about Elvira. She shared that many would tell her that Elvira was relatable for them as they, too, felt like outcasts growing up.

Elvira’s realistic character deeply struck a chord with her fans, according to Peterson. It also made her feel emotional when a few of her fans would thank her for saving their lives.

Over the years, Peterson has considered retiring Elvira multiple times, briefly feeling trapped by her creation. Amid her retiring thoughts, she continued working on her character.

It was hard for her to comprehend that her memorable character touched so many lives. According to Peterson, if they relate so much to Elvira, she has done an excellent job.

Besides her relationship with Wierson, Peterson has opened up about some troubling encounters. One included the late NBA star Wilt Chamberlain, regarded as one of the greatest players in sports history.

In one of the chapters of her memoir, she recounted harrowing details of how industry predators exploited her. She also accused Chamberlain of sexual assault that happened in the 1970s. 

She also stated that she used to be close friends with Chamberlain until the basketball star allegedly attacked her at his Bel-Air mansion.


Peterson revealed she was still working as a showgirl when she met him. She shared that Presley talked to her all night and advised her to leave Las Vegas and pursue showbiz at one of his iconic parties.

Although they only hung out once, Presley’s advice made a lasting impact on Peterson. Now, she is one of the iconic actresses in Hollywood. She said it was the best advice she had ever gotten. 

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