Sure, when you hear about the Hilton sisters, you probably think of celebrity heiresses, Nikki and Paris. But before they teetered onto the scene, there was another set of talk-of-the-town Hilton sisters: Daisy and Violet. And their glamor, scandals and tabloid buzz still puts Nikki and Paris to shame, believe me.
The original Hilton sisters weren't blond fashion plate heiresses. Far from any silver spoon, the twin sisters were born in England in 1908 to unmarried woman, Kate Skinner.
Seeing that the girls were attached at the hip, their mother believed it was God's punishment. So she sold her children to her boss, Mary Hilton.
Mary Hilton was seeing dollar signs and set about teaching the girls how to perform, convinced that they'd be marketable as performers.
By age 3, Daisy and Violet were out on tour.
Hoping to catch a piece of the American dream, Mary Hilton took the family act to America. She staged a media uproar to get the girls accepted into US immigrations after they were rejected for being "medically unfit."
In America, Daisy and Violet were successful vaudeville performers, touring all across the country.
Upon Mary Hilton's death, Daisy and Violet were placed in the care of Mary's daughter, Edith.
Edith and her husband, Meyer, saw the girls as no more than a paycheck and the girls had no one but each other for support.
At the height of their fame, they made an unheard of $5,000 a week.
But they never saw a dime of it. “We were [lonely], rich girls who were really paupers living in slavery," Daisy said of this time in their lives.
Edith and Meyer kept them constantly under threat of institutionalization should the girls ever try to leave.
But by age 23, the girls had befriended famous escape artist Harry Houdini. He encouraged them to embark on their own and the girls successfully took Edith and Meyer to court. They were released from their contract and given $100,000 to start a new life.
They soon became famous ladies-about-town. They were at the height of fashion.
And were involved in several scandalous love affairs.
For awhile, Violet was engaged to orchestra leader, Maurice Lambert.
Daisy later married actor Harold Estep, but it was short-lived and annulled after a week and a half.
They claim to not have been bothered by each other's boyfriends. Houdini had taught them how to mentally retreat to a private place to "get rid of each other" when they needed to.
The twins appeared in Todd Browning's famous 1932 film, "Freaks."
Although they lived the high life in their vaudeville days, the Hilton sisters squandered their money. As vaudeville gave way to film, they struggled to stay afloat, turning to burlesque to keep working.
The sisters finally opened a hot dog stand in Miami in 1955 and ultimately lived out the rest of their days in Charlotte, North Carolina.
When Violet passed away from a terrible flu in 1969, Daisy refused to be separated from her sister. Daisy died several days later and, in keeping with their wishes, the twins were buried together in a custom made coffin.
The Hilton sisters loved each other until the end. Their extraordinary story has inspired several books and a TONY-award-winning musical.
Via: Messy Nessy Chic