Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Lyn Wilde R.I.P.

Lyn and Lee Wilde, the Wilde Twins
Lyn Wilde, who with her sister Lee was one half of the Wilde Twins, died on September 11 2016 at the age of 93. Lee died before her on September 7 2015.

Lyn Wilde was born on October 11 1922 in East St. Louis, Illinois. Her sister Lee was born several minutes before her, on October 10 1922. As little girls they sang at their church. They were around 16 when they began singing hymns at 6:00 AM every day on local radio station WTMV. After they graduated high school they received their own radio show, The Sundown Club, on radio station KXOK. In 1940 they began performing on the showboat the Admiral. It was not long before they were singing with Ray Noble and His Orchestra.

In 1941 Lee and Lyn Wylde made their film debut in the short subject "Jingle Belles". It was in 1942 that the Wilde Twins became vocalists with the Charlie Barnett Band and later Bob Crosby and His Orchestra. That same year they made their feature film debut in Juke Box Jenny. The Wilde Twins went onto sing in the films Reveille with Beverly (1943), Presenting Lily Mars (1943), and Two Girls and a Sailor (1944). Lee and Lyn Wilde made their acting debut in Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble in 1944. They appeared in the films Twice Blessed (1945), Campus Honeymoon (1947), and Look for the Silver Lining (1949). They sang in the film Till the Clouds Roll By (1949).

In 1942 Lyn married Jim Cathcart. Her sister Lee married Jim Cathcart's brother Tom in 1947. Lee Wilde retired from show business, but Lyn continued to appear in various films for several years. Those films included Tucson (1949), Sheriff of Wichita (1949), Show Boat (1951), Invitation (1952), The Belle of New York (1952), Bronco Buster (1952), Has Anybody Seen My Gal (1952), I Love Melvin (1953), and The Girl Next Door (1953).

The Wilde Twins were certainly pretty. They were also very talented singers. Lee and Lyn Wilde had mellifluous voices and, given that they were twins this should not be surprising, they could in perfect harmony. For me, and I am guessing this is true for many others, one of the high points of any given MGM musical from the Forties was when the Wilde Twins performed. They were also fairly good actresses, with a knack for comedy. I really wish that MGM had utilised them more often than they did. Lee and Lyn Wilde, the Wilde Twins, may not be household names like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, but classic film buffs will remember them for many years to come.

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