Chaplin twins separated following sister's death

FOR decades they were inseparable, identical twins who dressed, thought and spoke as one.

The astonishing Chaplin twins made headlines around the world for their bizarre life as near-perfect clones of each other.

Freda and Greta walked in step, ate in tandem, had the same mannerisms and, incredibly, often appeared to speak simultaneously.

But now Freda is facing the rest of her life alone - after the death of Greta at the age of 64.

The pair lived in Moor Lane, York, in the same house where they were born in 1943. and in 1981 their remarkably close life was exposed to the world.

A lorry driver took them to court claiming they had hounded him for 15 years.

In court they dressed identically and spoke exactly the same words virtually as one, with only the briefest moment between one starting and the other following.

The two were jailed for a month for breaching the peace but the case - and the twins in particular - proved fascinating for media around the world.

One report at the time of the court case said their deputy headmaster placed the blame for their extreme closeness on their mother.

"It was quite clear that they had a doting mother who never allowed them a separate identity," he said.

The pair were said to have been ordinary children until the age of about 11 when they became dependent on each another. They would scream when teachers made them sit apart in school, and would resist efforts to distinguish or divide them.

The closeness continued right to the end. "You could not part them," said one neighbour.

"They used to come here and if I gave them biscuits they would both reach for the same biscuit at the same time."

Greta died of cancer and carcinomatosis in June. Freda is now thought to be in a care home.

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