Happy 70th Birthday to The Barnstable Twins

Patricia “Tricia” and Priscilla “Cyb” Barnstable are a pair of identical twin actress/models from Louisville, Kentucky, born May 23, 1951. They are the daughters of college basketball star Dale Barnstable (1925-2019), who was banned from the NBA for life as a result of the 1951 point shaving scandal. 1951 was quite a roller coaster year for that guy! Fortunately, his daughters grew up to do him proud, becoming local celebrities, and briefly national ones.

In 1971 Patricia won Miss Kentucky and was fifth runner-up in the Miss America pageant. As a pair, the sisters sang and danced in Bob Hope’s 1972 USO tour of Vietnam, and were featured in TV commercials for Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum. Together and separately, the sisters were featured in print layouts in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Brides, GQ, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, etc. 1977-78 they hit their high water mark as regulars on the science fiction parody Quark with Richard Benjamin, which is naturally how I first learned about them. The sisters played beautiful clones named Betty and Betty who piloted an intergalactic garbage scow! During this period, they also made appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Dinah!, The Mike Douglas Show, The Mac Davis Show, Hollywood Squares, and The Love Boat among other things.

After this, they have been best known for hosting celebrity studded Kentucky Derby parties to raise money for charity, and occasionally are still seen on TV in that context. Derby? Horses? BARN STABLE, indeed! I’m sure they hear that joke from clueless guests every year, and I bet they’re very charming and gracious about it.

For more on show business history, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous,