Two Notorious Twins Made Millions From Their Raunchy Theater Acts In The 1920s

Rozsika and Yansci Deutsch lived extraordinary lives. As teenagers, the twin girls left Hungary and started new lives in the United States. They took up dancing, and it wasn’t long before they became famous — and they were pulled into a world of excess and debauchery. The girls lived on the edge, alongside the rich and the famous... but such lifestyles rarely end well, and tragedy awaited them. This is the story of the infamous Dolly Sisters.

The dawn of the celebrity culture

We clearly live in a celebrity culture nowadays, where people are obsessed with the lives of the rich and famous. But during the early days of the 20th century, things were quite different. Show business, as we know it, was in its infancy, with only a small number of entertainers really beginning to capture people’s attention. Rosie and Jenny Dolly, as they styled themselves, were two such pioneers.

A cultural phenomenon

Nobody in those days had ever quite seen anything like the Dolly Sisters: the identical twins became a cultural phenomenon. Stars of the stage and eventually the silver screen, their act and beauty enraptured people — including a host of astonishingly rich men. As we’ll come to later, rumor even has it that a certain British royal pursued one of the starlets...

A lavish lifestyle

And it wasn’t just royals who were interested in the Dolly Sisters. Business tycoons also fell under their spell, showering them with riches. The girls used this wealth to fund their lavish lifestyle, which included a severe gambling addiction. Rosie and Jenny blew a whole lot of money in their time.

No way to live

This was an unsustainable way of life, and things eventually did come to a head for the famous twins. A tragic accident kickstarted a decline from which the Dolly Sisters would never truly recover. Their tale — exciting, lavish, and fascinating as it was — ultimately ended in terrible tragedy and ruin.