The Collinson Twins
About The Collinson Twins
The Collinson twins are probably best known for their roles in the Hammer Horror movie Twins of Evil (1971), where they stared alongside horror movie veteran, Peter Cushing. This was not their first time on screen though, the girls had also made a few prior appearances in sexploitation movies. Their roles as the voluptuous twins also involved some nudity - a normal thing with 70s Hammer movies - but it also provided them with the chance to do some real acting as well, and was a role they could get their teeth into, rather than just providing them with yet another opportunity for shedding their clothes.
Hammer's Twins of Evil, remains a firm favorite with Hammer fans to this day, and with horror movie fanatics in general. With many people it is also probably one of the first things to come to mind whenever the twins are mentioned.
The other thing the girls are famous for is, of course, being Playboy centerfolds.
Collinson Twins Trivia
The Collinsons were not Hammer's first choice for the role of the twins. They initially wanted to cast Kate O'Mara as one of the sexy sisters, but were unable to find a suitable lookalike to play her twin.
Identical twins Madeline and Mary Collinson were born in Malta, on 21st July 1952. Their father, John Collinson, was a former officer in the Royal Navy, but he did not stick around after their birth, so their mother Adelaide (an ex-model, who later gave birth to a second set of twins) brought them up, with the assistance of the twin's grandmother and aunts.
The girls became interested in acting at an early age, and by the time they were fourteen they had already started to do some modeling and had also appeared on Maltese TV commercials.
Strangely, the girls did not go to the same school. Mary went to a commercial college, but Madeleine attended a convent school. After leaving school, Madeleine began working as a secretary. Then, in April 1969, Mary moved to London and Madeleine followed her three months later.
Playboy Centerfolds (October 1970)
Not long after their arrival in London, the twins were invited to a party. Playboy magazine's managing director, Victor Lownes, was also at the party. He took an instant interest in the girls and invited them to move into his house in London. Lownes also contacted Hugh Hefner, arrangements were made, and the twins flew to Chicago for a Playboy test shoot. Needless to say, the shoot was a success and pictures of Mary and Madeleine were soon wowing hot and sweaty males all over the world.
The Collinsons are not the only twins to have been pictured trying to dodge the staples in the glossy center pages of Playboy magazine, but they were the first-and many fans would argue the best-and it is worth noting they also appeared on the front cover of the magazine, as well as the center pages. Having a playmate (or mates in this case) on the cover was a rare thing indeed, so the editor must have been very impressed by the pair (or should that be pairs).
The Collinson Twins on the Cover of Playboy
More Collinson Twins Trivia
The UK pictures were shot first. The twins then flew to Chicago-and stayed in the Playboy Mansion-for the main centerfold shoot
List of Collinson Twin Movies
- 1969 Some Like it Sexy
- 1970 (69) Halfway Inn (short)
- 1970 Groupie Girl
- 1971 She'll Follow You Anywhere
- 1971 The Love Machine
- 1971 Twins of Evil
- 1971 Permissive
Other Media Appearances
- 1970 Playboy centerfolds (October)
- 1970 The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
- 1970 Impact mag
- 1972 Cinema X
- 1973 Titbits
Where are they now?
When the Collinsons visited America, their appearance on the Johnny Carson Show made quite an impact and offers of work were quick to follow. Columbia wanted them, so did Warner Brothers, but Mary was keen to return to Europe, so the twins went to Milan and pursued a much quieter lifestyle, away from the public eye. It would seem the big time was not for them. They could have had it, but chose otherwise.
It is believed that Mary is still living in Milan. Madeline stayed with her for a while, before returning to Malta, where she worked for the British Council. In the late 1990s she took up residence in Bournemouth (UK).