Billy and Bobby Mauch

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Bobby Mauch
Born Robert Joseph Mauch
(1921-07-06)July 6, 1921
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
Died October 15, 2007(2007-10-15) (aged 86)
Santa Rosa, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1937 — 1943
Spouse(s) Georgia "Gigi" Shattuck Culhane (1971-2007) (his death)
Billy Mauch
Born William John Mauch
(1921-07-06)July 6, 1921
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
Died September 29, 2006(2006-09-29) (aged 85)
Palatine, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1936 — 1951
Spouse(s) Marjorie Barnewolt (1953-2006) (his death)
Children William J. Mauch II

William John Mauch (July 6, 1921 – September 29, 2006), known as Billy, and his identical twin brother, Robert Joseph Mauch, (July 6, 1921 – October 15, 2007), known as Bobby, 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[edit]

Billy and Bobby were born in Peoria, Illinois, to an employee of the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad and his wife. They began singing and acting in radio at the age of seven and later appeared in print advertisements before signing a contract with Warner Bros. in 1935 which netted each of them $350 per week.

Career[edit]

After moving with their mother to Hollywood, Billy was cast as the young title character in the film Anthony Adverse because he resembled Fredric March,[1][2] who played 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 freely alternated who would play the part in a given take.[3] Their turn in the The Prince and the Pauper, in which they co-starred with Errol Flynn and Claude Rains, earned them the cover story in the May 3, 1937 issue of Time magazine.[4]

The twins later starred in three films based on the Penrod stories by Booth Tarkington. Bobby quit acting shortly afterwards, but Billy continued to play minor roles in a number of other films, the last one being the comedy Bedtime for Bonzo (1951), which famously starred Ronald Reagan and a chimpanzee.

Billy and Bobby Mauch 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."[2]

The brothers served together in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II and were stationed in the Philippines. They appeared in the 1943 Broadway play Winged Victory, later made into a movie directed by George Cukor.

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

Personal life[edit]

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

Bobby Mauch married Georgia Shattuck, a former figure skater, in 1971. They had no children. He died at the age of 86 at a nursing home in Santa Rosa, California.

References[edit]

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

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