18 May 2012

Pili y Mili

Blond twin sisters Pili and Mili Bayona (1947) were a popular comedy duo in the Spanish cinema as Pili y Mili. Their films were engaging examples of European teen pop culture of the 1960’s.

Pili y Mili
Spanish postcard by Bergas, no. 461.
Extraordinary Physical Resemblance
Pili y Mili were born as Pilar and Aurora (Emilia) Bayona Sarriá in Zaragoza, Spain in 1947. They enjoyed a short career in theater and magazines in Barcelona. Then they were discovered by producer Benito Perojo in the early 1960’s and they moved over to the cinema. Their film debut was the musical comedy Como dos gotas de agua/Like two drops of water (1963, Luis César Amadori). Their next light entertainment films included Dos chicas locas, locas/Two crazy, crazy girls (1964, Pedro Lazaga), Whisky y vodka/Whisky and Vodka (1965, Fernando Palacios) and the comic Western Dos pistolas gemelas/Sharp-Shooting Twin Sisters (1965, Rafael Romero Marchent) with Sean Flynn, the son of Errol Flynn and Lily Damita. Pili & Mili joined the boom of commercial films with other child prodigies like Marisol. In their situation comedies they exploited the comic possibilities from mistaken identity situations (which twin is which?) because of their extraordinary physical resemblance.

Pili y Mili
Spanish postcard by Ediciones Traje-Fher / Mandolina, no. 502, 1964. Photo: Producciones Benito Perojo.

Pili y Mili
Spanish postcard by Ediciones Traje-Fher / Mandolina, no. 503, 1964. Photo: Simon Lopez / Producciones Benito Perojo.

Huge Success in Mexico Between 1963 and 1970 Pili and Mili had a huge success in Spain, Italy, Mexico and other Latin American countries. Their lightweight films included Vestidas y alborotadas/Dressed and riotous (1968, Miguel Morayta) with Alberto Vázquez, Agáchate, que disparan/Crouch, who fire (1969, Manuel Esteba) with Hans von Borsody, and La guerra de las monjas/The war of the nuns (1970, José María Fernández Unsáin). But the formula had worn out and the duo split. Their final film was La princesa hippie/The Hippie Princess (1970, Miguel Morayta). Then at 22, Mili fell in love in Mexico and retired from show business. Pilar started a solo career. She appeared in the Mexican thriller El club de los suicidas/The Suicide Club (1970, Rogelio A. González) starring Enrique Guzmán, the Latin American adventure drama El tesoro de Morgan/Morgan’s treasure (1971, Zacarías Gómez Urquiza) and the Mexican comedy El derecho de los pobres/The right of the poor (1973, René Cardona). Since then Pilar has continued to work for Spanish and Mexican TV and played small roles in the theater. She also appeared in more films like the Spanish productions Los fieles sirvientes/The faithful servants (1979, Francesc Betriú) and the romantic drama En penumbra/Among the Shadows (1985, José Luis Lozano) with Miguel Bosé. Pilar Bayona is married to actor Alberto Alonso and mother of Mother of actress Alba Alonso (1980).

Scene of Whisky y vodka/Whisky and Vodka (1965). Source: Soryeye777 (YouTube).

Scene from Vestidas y alborotadas/Dressed and riotous (1968). Source: Ilemusg (YouTube).

Sources: Antón Castro (Spanish), Gran Enciclopedia Aragonesa (Spanish), Wikipedia (Spanish) and IMDb.

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