|The Dolly Sisters
"Jenny" Dolly Deutsch
|The Dancing Dolly's
"Rosi" Dolly Deutsch
Americana's" ("The Little American Dolls")
The Twins arrived
in Brooklyn, NY when they were just five years of age, Roszika
(Rosy) and Jenny (Yansci) Dolly of the famous
Dolly Sisters were internationally known as a single sex
dance team, a "Tandem act" if you will. They were
not the first sister act to come along, but definitely one
of the best. These sisters were twins who danced on Broadway
plays then in movies. They were managed by their uncle.
Using mirrors, lights and shadow techniques, and identical
clothing they would imitate each others dancing movements
The sisters started ballet training for
something to do with the urging of their mother. The twins
started dancing professionally early in life in local beer
halls and made their American debut in the operetta entitled
"The Maid and the Millionaire" (danced in the
pony ballet) in 1907.
because of their age they would not be allowed to perform
in New York for two more years, frustrated, they entered
the Orpheum Vaudeville circuit and toured the mid west until
1909. Rosie later claimed that the name Dolly was inspired
by a friend who said they were as cute as dolls. They returned
back to New York and the Keith circuit and by 1911 was with
the Ziegfeld Follies, billed as the Dolly twins. It was
here that they got their theme ... "Siamese Twins,"
which they used throughout their career. Later, passing
an important audition for Oscar Hammerstein, the Dolly girls
become international Stage headliners, but in so doing they
find that their private life would be strained.
Jenny married Harry
Fox who is credited for inventing the Fox Trot dance in
1914. Harry Fox sang the song, "I'm Always Chasing
Rainbows," with the Dolly Sisters, in the 1918 Broadway
musical for which it was written, "Oh, Look."
Harry isn't in the film and actually sued the producers
for representing him as a "lowly songwriter,"
he felt it was part of Rosie's "conspiracy to injure
him." His suit was unsuccessful.
Roszika would team up with Martin Brown
and perform erotic Spanish ballroom dances which the audience
adored. On many billings the two girls would be billed as
rivals to create more income at the door. However these
teaming's would not last and the sisters would be back together
again, better than ever.
The twins made a fortune
off of their dancing and performing as well as the various
marriages and more importantly the suitors which included
the Prince of Wales, the Aga Khan, and King Alfonso of Spain,
Department Store tycoon Gordon Selfridge, etc. who would
lavishly shower them with gifts, from a vast amount of Jewelry,
to Rolls Royce's, to Real Estate. Their collection of jewelry
alone was incredibly excessive, but unfortunately, they
were not able to keep it. Gambling is rumored to have played
a part of their fortune as well, having claimed to have
broke the bank in Monte Carlo - four times.
Jennie Dolly was in a serious automobile
accident, driving over a cliff located along the French
Riviera in 1933 with her fiance Max Canstant, they survived
the automobile accident but one of her lungs was punctured,
her skull was fractured, her stomach displaced but, for
her, the worst of it was that the right side of her face
was torn apart. The beauty that had brought her wealth and
fame was ruined. She almost died. -- but, for the next six
weeks, (writes Max Pierce,) "she [underwent]
over 15 painful and unsuccessful plastic surgeries to restore
her beauty, later cursing the doctors for saving her life.
This necessitated the sale of most of her jewelry"
-- a fact which is included in the film. Afterwards looking
exactly as she (Jennie) did before and still able to dance,
but sadly very broke and unhappy, as Hollywood was no longer
calling. However, never recovering mentally or physically
from her 1933 auto accident, Jennie described herself to
friends as a broken shell' and committed suicide by hanging
herself at the Shelton Hotel in 1941. Rosie, who attempted
suicide in 1962, died of a heart attack in 1970.
Note: There were the Dolly Sisters who would later dance Mambo (a Latin dance) in a few foreign Latin movies as
they were credited as doing so. These were not the same girls.