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Thursday, November 20, 2014

RIP Marian Brown, Iconic San Francisco Twin

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 3:48 PM

click to enlarge The Brown Twins. - FLICKR/CHRISTOPHERMICHEL
Sad news: Marian Brown, the 87-year-old society dame  who was famous for roaming the streets of San Francisco in orthopedic sandals and leopard print coats alongside her twin sister, Vivian, has reportedly died.

The Brown twins were known for wearing stylish identical outfits and saucy bobbed haircuts, and for dining together at Uncle Vito's pizzeria in Nob Hill. Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, they were valedictorians at Mattawan High School, where they played clarinet in the school band. Both went on to study business education at Western Michigan University and then work as secretaries at the Upjohn Company, according to the Kalamazoo Gazette.

The twins eventually cultivated their own brand identity, moving to San Francisco in 1970 and appearing in numerous commercials. In 1995 they were featured on a 40-foot Times Square billboard to promote Joe Boxer shorts.

Indeed, the Brown Twins had a sharp business acumen. When SF Weekly courted them for an interview in 2008, they offered a tart reply:  "Either we get paid, or we don't do it."

Being a well-dressed twin is a fine calling, but it apparently doesn't pay the bills.

Vivian Brown, the elder twin by 8 minutes, died in her sleep last year after suffering from dementia. Weeks later, Marian celebrated her 86th birthday with a lively fete at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.

We have yet to hear the details of her death.


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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.

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