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 children on the side. Two twin girls turned out to be 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 she was ready to buy babies from her. Who would refuse such a lucrative offer! Thus 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 in detail the condition of the babies 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 twins' mother, 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 surname 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 mom didn't buy the babies out of charity at all. She immediately realized: you can make a fortune on these children. At that time, all kinds 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 with well-off people, and even surrounded by loving children.

Daisy and Violet had a different fate. 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.

The audience was touched by watching the girls perform a duet on the piano and violin. Their performances in the UK and Germany drew 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 born impresario and actively engaged in the process of exploiting 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 entry to the family on the grounds that their adopted daughters were physically handicapped. 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 created 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 have not seen 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 sisters' whole life was under their complete control.

God forbid they had to show obstinacy — the owners threatened to immediately send their wards to a shelter for handicapped children. The girls were not even allowed to go outside — after all, 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 Violetta 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 adulthood — they were 23 years old. But it is not known how long they would have endured their servile position if it had not been for chance. 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 $ 250,000 for moral damages. The Mayers took the sisters to a lawyer.

That's where the girls laid out the whole truth-the uterus. When the Mayers left their charges alone with a lawyer, they admitted that they were tired of the dictates of the owners. The details of their lives shocked the lawyer so much that he advised him to immediately sue the Mayers and even personally took up the case.

And they seemed to break loose. 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 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 the other. 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' luxurious 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 Violetta is sitting on the other side of the door and painting her nails at this moment. Harry Houdini himself taught girls to abstract when one of them wanted to talk to a man live. The couple in love whispered and giggled, and the second sister, turned away, carefully read the 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 musician Maurice Lambert. However, they never managed to get married: not a single 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 abandoned Violetta.

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

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 public did not forgive their idols for such deception. And the popularity of the sisters began to fall rapidly after that.

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: after all, it turned out that the second sister, an innocent, had to go to prison with the killer.

Violetta 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 movie theaters all over the country. In 1961, in such a cinema in North Carolina, this film appeared for the last time: 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 kind 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 had 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 bodies, bound forever, were discovered by the police after the shopkeeper became alarmed that his employees had not been coming 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: 30th | Sisters | Siamese twins

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