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Billy and Bobby Mauch

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Billy and Bobby Mauch
Billy (left) and Bobby (right).
Born
Robert Joseph Mauch

(1921-07-06)July 6, 1921
DiedOctober 15, 2007(2007-10-15) (aged 86)
OccupationActor
Years active1937 — 1943
Spouse(s)Georgia "Gigi" Shattuck Culhane (1971-2007) (his death)[1]
Billy Mauch
Born
William John Mauch

(1921-07-06)July 6, 1921
DiedSeptember 29, 2006(2006-09-29) (aged 85)
OccupationActor
Years active1936 — 1951
Spouse(s)Marjorie Barnewolt (1953-2006) (his death)
ChildrenWilliam J. Mauch II

William John Mauch (July 6, 1921 – September 29, 2006) and his identical twin brother, Robert Joseph Mauch (July 6, 1921 – October 15, 2007), were child actors in the 1930s. They had starring roles in the 1937 film The Prince and the Pauper, based on the novel of the same name by Mark Twain.

Early life

Billy and Bobby were born in Peoria, Illinois, to Felix, an employee of the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad and Marguerite Mauch, née Burley.[2] Billy was older than Bobby by ten minutes. They began singing and acting in radio at the age of seven[2] and later appeared in print advertisements before signing a contract with Warner Bros.

Career

After moving with their mother to Hollywood in 1935, Billy was cast as the young title character in the film Anthony Adverse because he resembled Fredric March,[1][2] who was to play Adverse as an adult. His brother Bobby was his stand-in for the role, but the brothers, whose voice and appearance were almost indistinguishable, later claimed that they had freely alternated who would play the part in the takes.[3] They were cast as lookalikes in The Prince and the Pauper (1937), in which they co-starred with Errol Flynn and Claude Rains, and were each paid $350 per week.[2] The picture earned them the cover story in the May 3, 1937 issue of Time magazine.[4]

The twins went on to appear together in three films based on the Penrod stories by Booth Tarkington, but Bobby ended his acting career shortly afterwards.

Billy and Bobby both attended Loyola High School in Los Angeles before graduating from the Mar-Ken School for professional children, in Hollywood. During their senior year, they ran jointly for the office of class president under the campaign slogan "Two Heads Are Better than One."[1]

In 1943 the brothers appeared in the Broadway play Winged Victory, then saw actual military service together in World War II, stationed in the Pacific.[1][2]

After the war, Billy continued to play minor roles in films, the last of which was the comedy Bedtime for Bonzo (1951), which famously starred Ronald Reagan and a chimpanzee.

Interested in the technical aspects of movie-making, both brothers eventually found employment in that field. Bobby became a film editor whose work included the 1950s television series Dragnet.[1] In 1950 Billy became a sound editor for Warner Brothers and went on to work on more than 300 films and television shows. He created the sound effects for the car chase in Bullitt and the giant ants in Them!.[5]

Personal life

Billy and his wife Marjorie, who were married 53 years, had one son, William J. Mauch II, named after himself. Billy died, aged 85, in his home in Palatine, Illinois.

Bobby Mauch married professional figure skater Georgia "Gigi" Shattuck, whom he first met at the Mar-Ken School in the 1940s,[2] but married in 1971. They had no children. He died, aged 86, at a nursing home in Santa Rosa, California.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Mary Rourke (October 24, 2007). "Robert J. 'Bob' Mauch, 86; teen actor and his identical twin appeared in 1930s films". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hevesi, Dennis (October 25, 2007). "Bobby Mauch, Actor Who Played Opposite Twin, Dies at 86". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Tom Vallance (October 24, 2007). "Bobby Mauch/'Prince and the Pauper' child star". The Independent.
  4. ^ "Cinema: Mauch Twins & Mark Twain". Time magazine. May 3, 1937. Archived from the original on March 29, 2007. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
  5. ^ "William J. Mauch/Sound Effects and Dialogue Editor/1921-2006". Editors Guild Magazine. January–February 2007. Archived from the original on January 29, 2010. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
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Billy and Bobby Mauch
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