In medieval England lived a poor, unmarried, hated by all barmaid named Kate Skinner. She gave birth to Violet and Daisy, two beautiful children who were sewed onto each other, from birth. Violet and Daisy were joined in the hips. Kate believed this was a punishment from God for all her sins. People called her “the cursed lady”. Kate had no choice but to give her children to her employer Mary Hilton. Or they would have died of hunger.
Mary offered them her surname, Violet and Daisy Hilton. Mary had other plans. She was carrying Daisy and Violet into the bar, when someone asked her “Why?”, she replied, “To make money out of these monsters!”
She exhibited Violet and Daisy in front of the customers at the pub, selling postcards with their photographs and laying the babies naked on tables. She also took tips from customers for touching or holding the two-year-old conjoined babies. Violet and Daisy was introduced to circus at the age of three, they travelled across Germany, Australia, and the United States.
Mary Hilton passed away and the girls were tossed around moving from one home to another. Finally, they stayed with Mary Hilton’s daughter, Edith Meyers. She was a greedy woman who never let the girls to eat, drink or sleep but ruthlessly “trained” the girls to dance and play instruments.
Beating them up for mistakes, for any complaints a customer made and even for talking to each other unnecessarily. Meyers convinced the girls that they were worthless and will be soon sent into an asylum.
But they made a breakthrough, in 1936, the Hilton sisters were in the headlines of Bob Hope’s tours. They played clarinet, saxophone along with singing and dancing. At the peak of this popularity they earned $5000 a week, but did never saw a penny!
“ We were rich girls, who were really paupers living in practical slavery”
- Daisy Hilton
Abiding to the advice of their best friend, Harry Houdini, they approached a lawyer. The filed a case against Meyers. They got $100000 from the Meyers. The twins were finally free and went to parties, searched for love and started their celebrity lives. They had their own show “Hilton sisters Revue”. They travelled across the world, earned millions. Slowly, getting spoilt by the luxuries.
By this time one of them was planning to get married. But the government did not agree This is because the officials considered the granting of marriage licenses to a man and just one of the sisters as a sort of a bigamy (one man for two women).
They starred in their biopic “ Chained for Life” and “Charlotte”. It was not very well appreciated by the people. One fine day, they were abandoned by their manager, left with no money or property.
These two superstars who once ruled the film, music and dance industries, were now forced by circumstances to work in a grocery store. After a few days Daisy Hilton passed away, but Violet was unable to go out and ask for help with her dead sister attached to her. Violet died after a few days.
Life of Hilton sisters is not a sad story of two exploited women. They both fit into a unique moment in American media history. They were trendsetters and “breaking the limits” idols of their time!
The saddest part of the Hilton twins’ story is that they could have been separated without any harm, because they did not share any internal organs. Still, they claimed that they wanted to stay together, always. And they did!