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Famous Twins - The Top Ten List of the Most Famous and Not So Famous Twins of All Time

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Robert writes eclectic and informative articles about a variety of historical subjects including unusual events and people.

Twins

Twins

This is a list of the top ten most famous and not so famous twins of all time. Some of these twins you will recognize. And in some cases both of twins are both famous, while in other cases only one twin is famous and the other is so little known that you probably didn't even know they had a twin.

1. Romulus and Remus

These legendary founders of Rome were said to have been the sons of the Roman god of war, Mars, and to have been raised by wolves. If that wasn't enough, they went on to found the City of Rome which grew into the greatest empire that the world has ever seen.

Unfortunately a dispute between the two twin brothers led to Romulus killing Remus. Which apparently is why the city was afterwards called Rome and not Remulus. It's a remarkable myth full of rich symbolism and improbable occurrences. Not only are twins rare, but twins raised by wolves have to be an even rarer thing. An interesting modern interpretation of this myth states that the "wolf" in the story was not of the four footed variety, but rather a female prostitute, since it seems that "she wolf" was one of the Roman slang terms for members of the oldest profession.

Elvis - Jailhouse Rock Music Video

2. Elvis Presley

What?! You mean Elvis had a twin brother?!

Yes, it's true. Elvis had a twin brother. Unfortunately, his twin brother Jesse Garon died at birth. I bet the guy would have made the ultimate Elvis impersonator.

Of course, if you believe the conspiracy theories that Elvis is still alive ... maybe Elvis's brother didn't die at birth but instead lived on into adulthood and is now buried in Elvis's place, allowing Elvis to enjoy his retirement.

What Is It Like Being Twins?

3. Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren

These twin sisters both became advice columnists and gave out advice for over fifty years, suggesting that their genes may have had something to do with their career choice.

4. Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen started their careers on the 1980s sitcom "Full House" where they each played the same character. Because of laws limiting the hours that children their age could work, the producers hired twins and got the laws by having the twins split the acting between them. As a result, in a move guaranteed to create an identity crisis and require years of therapy, both Olsen twins played one half of the same character.

Now all grown up, Mary-Kate Olsen apparently knows how to help drug overdose victims because she was the first person that Heath Ledger's housekeeper thought of calling when she discovered Ledger unconscious. Calling 911 allegedly was not her first choice.

Did You Know?

Did you know that ...

  • the word "twin" comes from the Anglo-Saxon getwinn, which means "that which is divided"
  • twins born to members of the Galoa, an African tribe, are always named Wora and Yeno. Wora means "first born" and Yeno means "second born"
  • identical twins do not have identical fingerprints
  • According to the Guinness Book of Records Twins Days in Twinsburg, Ohio is the largest annual gathering of twins in the world.
  • You have a Google Twin.

5. Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski

Jarosław and Lech Kaczyński - hardly household names in this country but they are quire famous in their native Poland where they started as child actors and then became its Prime Minister and President (at the same time). There is hope for the Olsen twins too.

These twins' rise to power reminds us of those other famous leaders, Romulus and Remus. Hopefully they will not have a murderous falling out like their mythical counter parts.

Tegan and Sara - Back in Your Head Video

6. Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara Quin are identical twins and indie singer-songwriters. Although not superstars, their albums and songs have been praised in the music media and fellow musicians. Their CDs have been featured on several influential "best of" lists. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine named their album So Jealous as one the best 50 albums of the year.

Twin Partners in Crime

Twin Partners in Crime

7. The Kray Brothers

The Kray Brothers (Reggie and Ronnie Kray) were notoriously violent underworld bosses that dominated London's East End in the 1950s and 60s. They were implicated in arsons, extorsion schemes, and the murder and torture of rivals. These gangsters were eventually caught and convicted in 1969 and sentenced to life in prison.

A common trope in movies and books is that of the evil twin, and how to tell the innocent one from the criminal. In this type of story line, the evil twin tries to get away with it by blaming his brother or sister, which is something that actually worked in Singapore where a man avoided the death penalty for smuggling drugs by blaming it all on an evil twin, which may not even have existed. The Kray brothers' mistake was to both go into crime, which made it impossible to put the blame on the other one, since they were both guilty.

Siamese Twins

Siamese Twins

8. The Siamese Twins

Chang and Eng Bunker were two conjoined twins from Thailand (formerly known as Siam) that immigrated to the Southern United States. They became world-famous. Their condition and birthplace (Siam) gave rise to the term "Siamese Twins".

Despite being joined together, the original Siamese twins enjoyed successful lives. They became rich farmers, married (two non-identical sisters), had children. Incredibly, the Siamese twins were accepted as respected members of White pre-Civil War society and were even slave owners.

Their conjoined status created some oddities in their personal lives. When the twins first married they set up a communal household but their wives did not get along and so the twins set up separate homes, with the twins dividing their time between each home.

9. Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake had a twin sister Laura Katherine who died shortly after birth. He sometimes mentions her in the liner notes of his CDs. Many twins who survive the death of their other twin find it very difficult to cope because it is like losing a part of yourself.

10. Patty and Selma Bouvier

These gorgeous ladies are the surprisingly single twin sisters of Marge Simpson, on the cartoon show the Simpsons. If any twins out there are looking for love, these gals are a great catch!

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© 2008 Robert P

Comments

Rachel on December 21, 2014:

Never-mind. This article popped up when searching identical twins. I see now that it isn't about identical twins, just famous twins.

Rachel on December 21, 2014:

Some of those I know are not identical twins. It's well known that the Olsen twins are not identical. Also, identical twins cannot be of two different sexes.

Linda on December 31, 2012:

What about Maurice and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees. I can't believe they weren't on the list!

Magdaleine on November 20, 2012:

The Siamese Twins story is very interesting. thanks for sharing

Robert P (author) from Canada on March 29, 2012:

@Leah - maybe this will the topic of a new hub on famous movie twins.

Leah on March 29, 2012:

Leah and Luke Skywalker?

Averi&Alexis on February 21, 2012:

This is very intresting, I Also am a twin and I Am Very Intersted with all of this... We are Fraternal twins.. we were born in New martinsville, we are at the age of 12 now.

hanna on February 15, 2012:

this is pretty interesting. i mean really what if you could clone some of them and than they could have there twin back? how cool would that be.

leslie on February 07, 2012:

Very cccoooollllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shermia Trueheart from Texas, USA on January 29, 2012:

Phillip and Lillian DeVille should have been up there as well. Fred and George Weasly from Harry Potter, Tia and Tamara Mowry from Sister Sister, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum from Alice and Wonderland, Dylan and Cole Sprouse from The Suite Life.

An extra tidbit: Twins consisting of different sexes CAN'T be identical. :D

bethan on January 23, 2012:

what about phil and lil from the rugrats?

Sharon Oktober South Africa on January 16, 2012:

I think the most talented twins of all time is Maurice and Robin Gibb

HAHAHAHAHAH on January 10, 2012:

KOOL

Tena W. on January 02, 2012:

l first saw Chang and Eng Bunker in a Guiness Book of World Records about over 50 years ago. A shame they could have no privacy.

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on December 23, 2011:

An interesting hub with an equally interesting title & information! Vote Up!

Adrianne on December 15, 2011:

I was seriously hoping to see the Kaulitz twins (Bill and Tom) on this list..

They're the lead singer (Bill) and guitarist (Tom) of the German band Tokio Hotel. (AMAZING band, btw. Definitely my favorite ^-^ )

They're identical, but they're styles are so different you'd never guess it!

Gedsy on November 16, 2011:

Very interesting article. I came to read about Tegan and Sara and stayed for the Siamese twins.

caleb on October 13, 2011:

i am an identical twin it would be amazing to find a talent we could share with the world

Da Man on September 08, 2011:

John Elway had a twin sister

Reece on August 20, 2011:

What about Jedward :O

cathy on June 28, 2011:

How many twins have been born to Hollywood actors, say, the last five years? There's been a lot! Maybe it is in the water. But that is a baby boom!

Yvette on June 28, 2011:

Remember Jacob & Esau from the Old Testiment?! Those twins had more of an impact on the world than any others mentioned.

Redempta on June 28, 2011:

Then there is Tia and Tamera Mowry.

Renee on June 17, 2011:

Here's a link for the world's oldest living twins....100 years old! http://www.knoxvilledailysun.com/lifestyle/2011/wo...

Jayne Seymore (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) has twins, Johnny and Kris

As a mother of idential twins, one of the most fascinating events for multiples that we have ever participated in was Twins Days in Twinsburg, OH. We went one year when the girls were about 8 and there were 3000 set of multiples registered at that time. It was awesome!

http://www.twinsdays.org/

Lisa on June 17, 2011:

There's always Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush. They played Carrie on Little House on the Prairie.

Robert P (author) from Canada on June 16, 2011:

Hi Cathy I - I am sorry to hear about the loss of your twin. I think it is certainly possible that you have a connection with your twin that survives death.

Cathy I from New York on June 16, 2011:

It's nice to know so much about other twins. I too was a twin whose partner died at birth. I always feel this odd sense of loneliness in the midst of the most joyous occasions. Also in my dreams, there is always a small child leading me or helping me.

Recently I mentioned this to my sister, and to my surprise she said it probably is my twin. I had never thought about this before, but somehow I think she is correct.

marjoriewa on June 13, 2011:

Ashton Kutcher is a twin.

Maria on June 13, 2011:

Ashton Kutcher has a twin brother. They seem to have a sweet relationship. I'd like to know more...

Betty Ross on June 13, 2011:

How about the twins on Antique Roadshow?

M.K. Williams on June 13, 2011:

I think the twin dogs are called litter mates! :)

bob zani on June 13, 2011:

What about Karl and Groucho Marx?

Blog_reader on June 13, 2011:

You lot are crazy! You're naming twins that nobody knows, like yourself. Hilarious! Anyway, like a few others have said, what about Tia and Tamara Mowry. They had their own show, "Sister, Sister". C'mon, give them their props. Not to mention, they never got strung out on drugs either! They are two respectable women, unlike those Olsen twins...

pen_addict from Mississauga, ON on May 27, 2011:

this stuff is hilarious

Robbin on April 16, 2011:

Don't forgot the Nelson twins Matthew and Gunnar. They have rock band named Nelson and they're rocking.

KittyKat on April 16, 2011:

I'm the mom of identical twins. What about Ricky Nelson's twin sons.

? The musicions.

gayle king on April 16, 2011:

Great topic and very interesting,would like to know more.

JoAnna C on April 16, 2011:

Fascinating. Truly needs to be updated. I did not know that Linda Hamilton had a twin. It is extra hard on a twin that looses their twin at birth. Life is a bit lonely and they require more closeness from their family. My first grandson was a twin.

Anony on April 16, 2011:

How did the Siam Twins have kids if they are conjoined and have two different wives. WOW! imagine that! haha i wanna know more about them... but not really....it is kinda gross.

ytwo on April 16, 2011:

Great article but I find it funny that the title is Famous IDENTICAL Twins and they list Justin Timberlake and his SISTER. I am the mother of 2 sets of faternal twins so I'm sometimes amused that people sometimes forget there are several types of twins that are not identical

GA on March 07, 2011:

Quin twins are the best!

Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on March 04, 2011:

You should build on this one. There certainly are more and this is a great subject. Two of my friends have identical twin boys. In both cases, those little guys are "double trouble"! So much fun. Thanks for the fun.

Pamela Dapples from Arizona. on February 21, 2011:

I never knew about most of these. Some of this information is sure sad and some is incredible and some is incredibly sad.

Dupadupa on February 08, 2011:

Wow to all of you

Jenna Rae on January 09, 2011:

What about the kelly twins? Mark and Scott?

Tabatha on November 20, 2010:

Great Hub! Now that I have twin girls I am now more aware of people that are twins and people that are having twins! There are a lot of us out there!

Tabatha

http://Stuff4Multiples.com

Holodeck on November 16, 2010:

Don't forget Linda Hamilton. Her identical twin sister Leslie Hamilton Gearren was Linda's double in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). Leslie is seen when Sarah is remembering playing with John at the park and when the T-1000 is impersonating her.

AND the most famous conjoined twin in the world is Andy Garcia(famous for the Godfather2). He was born as a conjoined twin. His twin was no bigger than a tennis ball and was surgically removed. All that remains is a scar on his shoulder.

And most of all don't forget that Linda Hamilton is a timeless beauty and talent

just saying on November 12, 2010:

no mention of the Mowry twins(tia and Tamara)?

OMG on November 12, 2010:

where r the sprouse twins :D

Paula on November 12, 2010:

what about me and my twin sister, Pearl.

Guess we're on the 'not so famous' list. lol

Carl on November 12, 2010:

The Olsen twins were nice at one time, but yet when one got strung out on drugs and beside they both look scary. What a waste!

yelwa on November 12, 2010:

Winklevoss

awesome on November 06, 2010:

How did the Siamese twins have kids???

Terry Mosser on November 06, 2010:

Jayne, Joan, and Jane Boyd Knoerzer - three of the most gifted ladies of the Chicago Social Scene and Television Commercial Industry. Art Knoerzer was a smart man when he married Jane Boyd and together they brought Jayne and Joan to this world. Hammond Bishop Knoll HS Cheer Leaders, Members of the Indiana Un. Bells, Doublemint TV Twins. They brightened The Un. of Notre Dame Campus when both attended the Military Ball and Jayne was one of the high lites of the Senior Prom.

lvkenny420 on November 06, 2010:

what about the bella twins?

Lucian Gemini on November 06, 2010:

Yea. What about Tia & Tamara?

NightHawk on November 01, 2010:

Who would add the most to the world if they had a twin just like them? I'm thinking of Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Alba, Lucy Liu and Halle Berry.

Gail on November 01, 2010:

What about the Bush twins (Pres. George and Laura's daughters)

SarBear on September 14, 2010:

WOW!!!!!!!!!

I didn't know Elvis Presley had a twin!!!! :)

signif on July 24, 2010:

i don't get how the siamese twin get to get married.................what kind of married life were they having..

Akinyemi T michael on May 29, 2010:

i really love this twins they are wonderful despite the fact that the conjoined twins they are still doing well..that nice,amazing justin timberlake is a twins wao that's cool

Akinyemi T michael on May 29, 2010:

i really love this twins they are wonderful despite the fact that the conjoined twins they are still doing well..that nice,amazing justin timberlake is a twins wao that's cool

ashley on May 25, 2010:

i want to know if i have a famous twin............

Channing on April 22, 2010:

What about The Psychic Twins who predicted 9/11 on national radio?

They were Tyra Banks' top two shows last year! You should check them out.

Amazing!!!

Lynds on April 17, 2010:

HELLO!

They're missing the Kaulitz twins!

They are the best twins ever! They're both in a band, both gorgeous, and their styles are so different. One's goth/scene and the other is gangster... with a lip ring!

And their accents are totally adorable.

Ema on March 11, 2010:

No Dylan and cole sprouse.. =(

Bertha Knight on March 11, 2010:

The first black twins to be born in Crystal City Tx. Bertha Fay McNeil and Brenda McNeil. 49 years old. We were the second set to be born to my DaD. My Mom had two sets. My brother had a set of twins to they were the first black twins to be born in Carrizo Springs we were all in the news paper. They are 42 years old now.

Sara Jane Witkin Berman on January 29, 2010:

What about my brothers the Witkin twins? Joel-Peter Witkin artist, and Jeroma Witkin , painter.

molly macdougall on December 18, 2009:

cool what about the rousos

fred on October 19, 2009:

I have twin dogs

Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on October 15, 2009:

Hello, quotations. when I was editing my hub on Raising Twins, your post appeared. I was looking for famous twins, then. Thanks for your hub. I've linked it.

Courtney on September 24, 2009:

Your forgot the Kaulitz twins :)

beth on August 31, 2009:

i'm a twin, i remember my mum was terrifed when she found out she was having twins, as her mums twin was still born, and so was hers nanas and so was m dads mums. but we both lived, i'm relieved to know :)

Stephanie on August 18, 2009:

Great hub quotation! Was wondering where you got most of this info from? I have to write a report.

elur on July 19, 2009:

where's all the rest??

era_smart on February 09, 2009:

what about dylan and cole sprouse?

Loey on December 03, 2008:

Wow, you don't like the Olsen twins: do you? Some very tacky rude comments.

keKe on December 03, 2008:

what about tia and tamera?

sean on November 20, 2008:

so coollllllllllllllllllllllll!

dawei888 on October 29, 2008:

hey - i'm a twin! nice to read your hub. are u a twin too?

Maylinda Arons on July 11, 2008:

Thank you for mentioning Patty and Selma.

MOmmagus on April 06, 2008:

Cool!

Sheila Martin on February 26, 2008:

I can remember seeing a picture of Chang and Eng when I was small and being so inspired by how they took life by storm.

Beyond that, I have always wondered about and admired the skills of tailors and dressmakers who plan and sew the clothing for conjoined twins!

Tony Sky from London UK on February 25, 2008:

Great hub,! very interesting and a double thubs up;)

DJ Funktual from One Nation Under a Groove on February 24, 2008:

Thanks quotation! I was kidding about them actually. If you like 80s nostalgia check out https://spinditty.com/playlists/The-250-Greatest-8...

Robert P (author) from Canada on February 24, 2008:

Thanks for the comment DJ - but actually the Thompson Twins weren't twins at all. The three band members were not related, although Tom and Allanah of the Thompson Twins did get married to each other and later divorced. Your question brought back some memories so I looked the Twins up. Here is a link to a site you might find interesting: http://www.thebubbleburst.co.uk/bb.php?entry=Thomp...

DJ Funktual from One Nation Under a Groove on February 24, 2008:

Great HUB. What about The Thompson Twins? LOL

Robert P (author) from Canada on February 23, 2008:

Thanks everyone for the feedback! I enjoyed writing this hub.

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on February 23, 2008:

Fascinating! As the mom of twins, the whole idea of one dying at birth (or before) was terrifying. I had no idea about Elvis and JT. Thanks for a great hub!

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 23, 2008:

I didn't know about the crime bosses in London. Great information. I read all of The Toff crime mysteries by John Creasey, set in the East End.

PCaholicDotCom from USA on February 23, 2008:

8. The Siamese Twins - Interesting tidbits... thanks for the great info!

Peter

Maddie Ruud from Oakland, CA on February 22, 2008:

Great hub! I had no idea Justin Timberlake and Elvis both had twins who died at birth!

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