Today is the birthday of Lucio and Simplicio Godina (1908-1936). This pair of Filipino conjoined twin brothers were first exhibited in Coney Island as boys until thwarted by the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. As they had no legal guardian, they were adopted by the Philipine ambassador to the U.S., who gave them an education, and they actually learned to play several sports and several musical instruments. In 1929 they married an (unconjoined) pair of Filipino identical twins and formed a vaudeville act that consisted of patter, music and dancing. In 1936 Lucio died of pneumonia. The pair were successfully seperated (the first time this had ever been done), but unfortunately Simplicio died as well a few days later (of cerebro-spinal meningtitis).
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc