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Stewart and Cyril Marcus
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    (June 2, 1930-July 1975)
    Born in Binghamton, New York
    Identical twins
    Found dead in their Manhattan apartment (July 17, 1975)
    Inspired the David Cronenberg film 'Dead Ringers' (1988)
    They were so inseparable that they not only went to the same college, same fraternity and same med school, they shared a cadaver in anatomy class.
    Dr. Joseph Rovinsky, the chief resident in gynecology at Mount Sinai Hospital, said, 'They were arrogant, resentful of criticism, disobedient of orders.'
    After his divorce, Cyril began abusing barbiturates and amphetamines.
    As Cyril's behavior became increasingly bizarre - he threw a tray of instruments at a nurse; he allegedly ripped the anaesthetic mask off a patient in an operating room - Stewart began taking his place with patients and in front of medical boards.
    Stewart began abusing drugs as well.
    A month before their deaths, they were charged with 'unprofessional conduct.'
    Their once elegant apartment became a dump of old newspapers, half-eaten meals and empty pill bottles.
    Perhaps fittingly, they were confused for each other one last time when the morgue put the wrong names on the toe tags, until dental records established which twin was which.
    They were hailed as 'miracle workers' by their patients for their successful infertility treatments.
    They were immaculate dressers (at least until near the end).
    Since no drugs were found in their systems and a bottle of Dilantin, an anticonvulsive used to treat seizures during narcotic withdrawal, was found in their apartment, the coroner speculated they had made a last attempt to kick drugs only to die from the effects of withdrawal.
    Cronenberg initially denied that 'Dead Ringers' was based on their lives. (Because 'identical twin gynecologists follow a conjoined path into madness, drug use and death' is right up there with 'boy meets girl, boy loses girl' in the cliched plot department.)

Credit: C. Fishel

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