Billy and Bobby Mauch
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.
Billy (left) and Bobby (right).
Robert Joseph Mauch
July 6, 1921
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||October 15, 2007 (aged 86)|
Santa Rosa, California, U.S.
|Years active||1937 — 1943|
|Spouse(s)||Georgia "Gigi" Shattuck Culhane (1971-2007) (his death)|
William John Mauch
July 6, 1921
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||September 29, 2006 (aged 85)|
Palatine, Illinois, U.S.
|Years active||1936 — 1951|
|Spouse(s)||Marjorie Barnewolt (1953-2006) (his death)|
|Children||William J. Mauch II|
Billy and Bobby were born in Peoria, Illinois, to Felix, an employee of the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad and his wife, Marguerite (née Burley). Billy was older than Bobby by ten minutes. 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.
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, 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. Their turn in 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 and each of them $350 per week.
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."
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!.
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, but married in 1971. They had no children. He died, aged 86, at a nursing home in Santa Rosa, California.
- Mary Rourke (October 24, 2007). "Robert J. 'Bob' Mauch, 86; teen actor and his identical twin appeared in 1930s films". The Los Angeles Times.
- Hevesi, Dennis (October 25, 2007). "Bobby Mauch, Actor Who Played Opposite Twin, Dies at 86". The New York Times.
- Tom Vallance (October 24, 2007). "Bobby Mauch/'Prince and the Pauper' child star". The Independent.
- "Cinema: Mauch Twins & Mark Twain". Time magazine. May 3, 1937. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- "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.