The life of Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton

The life of Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton

Categories: Children | History | North America

When they were born, their mother decided that this was the punishment of the Lord. Apparently, God wanted to punish her for having had children on the side. The two twin girls were not what normal babies should be: the right hip of one of them was firmly fused with the left hip of the other.

The mother even thanked the midwife when she said that she was ready to buy babies from her. Who will refuse such a favorable offer! So began the difficult and at the same time bright life of Daisy and Violet Hilton, the most famous Siamese twins of the 1930s.

The life of Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton

The birth of Siamese twins is always a sensation. And the doctor who delivered the babies in the English city of Brighton on February 5, 1908, described the condition of the babies in detail in a special medical journal. It turned out that the girls had grown together in such a way that it was not possible to separate them — one of them, most likely, would not have survived the operation.

It is not known how the further life of the mother of the twins, 21-year-old Kate Skinner, who sold her children, turned out. But Daisy and Violet, bought out by a midwife, a certain Mary Hilton, received the name of the foster mother and from the age of three began to perform in front of the public!

The life of Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton

Yes, the new mother did not buy the babies out of charity at all. She immediately realized: you can make a fortune on these children. At that time, all sorts of freak shows were very popular, in which people with congenital physical disabilities performed.

Of course, the hosts of the show exploited them in every possible way. However, there were many among them who managed to earn decent money and end their lives quite well-off people, and even surrounded by loving children.

Daisy and Violet had a different fate waiting for them. They were the complete property of their foster mother and her family. In an autobiography written in 1942, the sisters called Mary Hilton a domineering and cruel woman. She literally drilled the girls and punished them for the slightest offense.

However, to be fair, we note that it was she who gave them a good education, taught them to sing and play various musical instruments, and they reached certain heights in this art. On the stage, the little girls looked like lovely live dolls, just sitting next to each other: both have light curls on their heads, cute dresses, bows on their shoes.

The audience was touched, watching the girls perform a duet on the piano and violin. Their performances in the UK and Germany attracted crowds.

However, the audience did not like the show in Australia. But it was there that Mary Hilton's own daughter, whose name was Edith, found a husband. Mr. Mayer turned out to be a natural impresario and was actively involved in the process of exploiting the talented twins. One day he suggested: what if we take the girls to America? That's where you can make real money!

But it was not so easy to get to America. The US authorities refused the family entry on the grounds that their adopted daughters are physically disabled. Then Mary Hilton threatened to make a fuss in the press and finally got permission.

The life of Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton

Yes, the game was really worth the candle. The twins ' performances made a sensation in the New World. They toured all over the country with great success. The girls earned 5 thousand dollars a week — a huge amount at that time. But they themselves did not see a cent of their fee. All the money was appropriated by the foster family.

When their" tamer " Mary Hilton died, it didn't get any easier. All power over the girls was seized by the daughter of the deceased — Edith. She and her husband turned out to be even more cruel cerberus. The entire life of the sisters was under their complete control.

God forbid they had to show obstinacy — the owners threatened to immediately send their wards to a shelter for disabled children. The girls were not even allowed to go out on the street — because passers-by would see them! And then who will pay money for the show, if you can watch the twins for free…

However, Daisy and Violet were not completely isolated from society by their owners. After all, the sisters were willy-nilly connected with the world of show business and performed on stage together with other actors. Their best friend was the world-famous illusionist Harry Houdini.

It was he who once gave the idea to the young stars to "divorce" their owners through the court. At that time, the girls had already reached the age of majority — they were 23 years old. But it is not known how long they would have endured their servile position, if not for the case. During the next tour, the sisters became friends with their agent William Oliver.

The life of Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton

They spent so much time together that Mildred, Oliver's wife, became jealous of her husband's artists. When later at home he received a postcard from his sisters, which was signed with the cute phrase "With love", Mildred was furious and filed for divorce. During the proceedings, the offended woman demanded that the sisters pay her 250 thousand dollars for moral damage. The Mayers took the sisters to a lawyer.

It was there that the girls laid out the whole truth-the uterus. When the Mayers left their wards alone with a lawyer, they admitted that they were tired of the dictates of the owners. The details of their life shocked the lawyer so much that he advised him to immediately sue the Mayers and even personally took up this case.

And the court sided with the girls: he released them from the contract and ordered the Mayers to pay them compensation of 100 thousand dollars. Finally, the twins received the long-awaited freedom, US citizenship and money to start a new life.

And they seemed to break out of the chain. Away with matching dresses and blonde curls! The sisters dressed in the latest fashion — each in their own way, cut and dyed their hair, started drinking, smoking and having fun at parties. Their life became the subject of endless social gossip, which increased the popularity of actresses and brought them a lot of money.

The life of Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton

There were rumors that girls were having affairs with one or another. True, the details of these novels were not reported to the public, but the press wrote that a special telephone booth was installed in the sisters ' chic apartments, which provided them with some isolation from each other.

For example, when Daisy wants to be alone with a fan, she closes herself in a booth, and at this moment Violetta is sitting on the other side of the door and painting her nails. Harry Houdini himself taught girls to abstract when one of them wanted to communicate live with a man. The couple in love were whispering and giggling, and the second sister, turning away, was carefully reading a magazine.

The life of Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton

Both sisters even managed to get married in turn. And every time with a scandal. In 1934, Violetta announced that she was engaged to the musician Maurice Lambert. However, they never managed to get married: no American state wanted to accept their application for marriage, citing a violation of moral norms. As a result, the groom lost his nerves, and he left Violetta.

Then it was Daisy's turn. She managed to legalize the bond of love with the actor Harold Estep. However, for an unknown reason, the marriage was dissolved after a week and a half!

A few years later, Violetta was going to get married again. The sisters ' manager, Terry Turner, launched an entire advertising campaign, telling about the love of Violetta and the dancer James Moore. The wedding took place at a new, newly opened stadium in Dallas.

But... two weeks later, the couple divorced! Violetta herself admitted that Moore was a homosexual and they played the wedding just to entertain the audience. But the audience did not forgive their idols for such a deception. And the popularity of the sisters after that began to fall rapidly.

However, time also worked against them. The twins, alas, were getting old. Now they were just attractive middle-aged women who sing well. Their physical inferiority did not excite the imagination of the audience as much as before. In addition, a rampant lifestyle was very expensive, and it was not possible to save decent money.

The life of Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton

In 1951, the sisters tried to regain interest in themselves by starring in the film "Forever Bound". According to the plot, it was a tragic story of Siamese sisters, one of whom killed her sister's lover, and the court had to decide what to do with the criminal: it turned out that the second sister, an innocent, had to go to prison together with the killer.

Violet and Daisy have invested all their savings in this film. However, it failed at the box office. There was a hope that the tape would bring at least some money if it was shown in car theaters all over the country. In 1961, this film appeared for the last time in such a cinema in North Carolina: the sisters ' manager simply ran away with all the proceeds, leaving his clients alone and without money.

The life of Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton

Fortunately, the world is not without good people. The owner of a grocery store in the local town of Charlotte took former show business stars to work for him. From now on, the sisters lived in a trailer and stood behind the counter, selling potato chips. Perhaps there was still a glimmer of hope in their souls to regain their former glory: every day they came to work dressed and made up as if they were going to perform on stage.

But the miracle did not happen. On the eve of the new year, 1969, Daisy was felled by the Hong Kong flu. In the first days of January, she died. And a couple of days later, Violetta followed her into the other world. Their forever bound bodies were discovered by the police after the owner of the store was alarmed that his employees had not come to work for several days. The sisters were buried, as they had bequeathed, in the same coffin. The place in the cemetery was paid for by benefactors.

Keywords: North America | History | Children | Siamese twins | 30s | Sisters

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