Sunday, May 25, 2014

Daisy & Violet Hilton -- 'Chained for Life'

   Daisy and Violet Hilton were conjoined twins who appeared in the U.S. sideshow and vaudeville circuit in the '30s. They also starred in the B-movie 'Chained for Life'.  Here's a fascinating look into their world...

'The Hilton twins were put into sideshows and carnivals almost from the time they were born. This photo shows them at age 7, sometime around 1915.' - Courtesy of Circus World Museum 

1939 ad that ran in the Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan)

1933. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 'Violet and Daisy Hilton pictured aboard the S.S. Aquitania upon return from a theatrical performance in England.' 

1933 Fresno Bee

 'As Violet and Daisy grew older, they learned to play saxophone, piano and several other instruments. They also sang -- in close harmony, of course.' Undated.  

'Conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton stand with Violet's fiance, Maurice Lambert, in 1934. They applied for marriage licenses in 21 states, but were denied on moral grounds. Violet and Daisy did eventually wed two other men, but the marriages did not last.'

Violet and Daisy pose in a still photo from 'Chained For Life,' their 1951 film. In the movie's fictional story, one twin falls in love with a man -- and the other twin shoots him dead. - Courtesy of Charles Reid 

1952. Sandusky (Ohio) Register. 

1952. Sandusky (Ohio) Register. 

 'Violet and Daisy pose with Charles Reid (left) and Sammy Bell, both members of Purcell United Methodist Church, in September 1962. Reid, who gave the twins jobs at his Park-N-Shop grocery, says: 'I think those were the happiest days of those girls' lives, just getting that little job. They weren't treated very well in show business. And when the show is over, where do you go?' ' - Courtesy of Charles Reid 

'Clayton Hotel at northeast corner of North Church St. and West 5th St., shortly before its demolition in March 1974. Hotel was built in 1913 and had 100 rooms and 50 baths. The Hilton sisters stayed here in the early '60s, as did many entertainers coming through Charlotte.' - Observer file photo

1997. Daisy and Violet were buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery off Freedom Drive. 'It was just like an ordinary funeral,' Leo Wingate says, 'except for there being two in one casket and all.' The Hiltons share a tombstone with a Vietnam vet named Troy Thompson. - Stephanie Grace Lim/Staff


Anonymous said...

I remember as a young child seeing them at the checkout at Park-n-Shop, the first cojoined twins I'd ever seen. Interesting to see their life story.