Marian and Vivian Brown – The Kalamazoo Twins Who Became Famous in San Francisco
Marian and Vivian Brown were identical twins who were well known in Kalamazoo. They were seen often walking downtown on the Mall and in the Milwood neighborhood. But they truly came to fame after they moved to San Francisco.
The twins were Southwest Michigan natives having been raised in Mattawan, graduating from high school there in 1945 and settling in early adulthood in Kalamazoo. They attended Western Michigan University and earned business degrees.
The sisters moved to San Francisco in 1970. They became regulars on the social scene in San Fran and came to fame
in a 1988 Reebok advertisement, which led to appearances in talk shows and modeling in advertisements. They appeared on television with Richard Simmons, Tom Snyder and Vicki Lawrence. They were featured in over 25 television advertisements over the years. Corporate advertisements in which they appeared included IBM, San Francisco Chronicle, Pay Less, Virgin Atlantic, Joe Boxer, Macy's, AT&T, Dell Computers, and Apple Inc. The Brown Twins appear in an establishing shot in the film 9 to 5, ostensibly set in Los Angeles. While in Kalamazoo, the twins were frequently seen on the downtown Kalamazoo Mall always dressed identically from head to toe.
Vivian Brown died in 2013 after suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Marian died the following year.