The Hilton sisters and me

Well, I’m in a movie. It’s a documentary called “Bound By Flesh” and it tells the story of Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twins who were sideshow sensations in the ’20s and ’30s — they sang, played several instruments, and appeared in the cult horror classic “Freaks.” Their long trip through the shadier parts of show business ended in the early ’60s, when they landed in Charlotte, broke and looking for work. They spent the last few years of their lives here, and when a Broadway show about them launched in 1997, I wrote a story about their time in town.

A couple of years ago, I got an email from a woman named Leslie Zemeckis. You know the work of her husband, Robert — he directed the “Back to the Future” movies, “Forrest Gump,” “Cast Away,” Denzel Washington’s “Flight.”  Leslie is a filmmaker, too, and she had decided to make a documentary about the Hilton sisters. She came to Charlotte to interview me and a bunch of other folks who knew about Daisy and Violet in one way or another.

The film came out a couple of weeks ago, and it turns out that Time Warner Cable has it on demand — you can also get through iTunes and Amazon and other places. So I checked it out. It’s an interesting look at two women who had a rough but fascinating life, defined by the little ribbon of flesh that connected them.

I’ve done interviews for this sort of thing before where I didn’t make the final cut. But I’m in this one, starting about an hour in, and Leslie lets me yap about the Hiltons quite a bit in the last half-hour. I’ll just have them send the Oscar straight to the house. I hate tuxes.

Here’s the trailer:


A bit of North Carolina trivia: The world’s most famous conjoined twins, Chang and Eng Bunker — they’re the reason people came up with the name “Siamese twins” — ended up living on farmland in Mount Airy. They married sisters and fathered 21 children.









4 thoughts on “The Hilton sisters and me

  1. Fascinating! Glad to have found your blog and looking forward to more reading. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (drop a nickel).

  2. For a brief moment there, I thought you had gone all Hollywood on us and were hanging out poolside at some party with Paris and Nikki Hilton…LOL…I am so happy you made the final cut in this one. Will most definitely try to find it.

  3. Congratulations on making the final cut! I will check it out.

  4. Sad story. Sad life. The way people treat other people never ceases to amaze me. You just gave me a new story I need to write. Thanks.

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