San Francisco mourns passing of Vivian Brown _ 1 of 2 twins known for matching hair, outfits

San Francisco residents are mourning the passing of Vivian Brown, who along with her twin sister, became a local celebrity by walking through the city's streets in matching high-end outfits, identical hairdos and cheerful smiles.

The 85-year-old Brown died in her sleep on Wednesday at an assisted care facility in the city, Barbara Farber, director of development for Jewish Family and Children's Services, told the San Francisco Chronicle ( ).

For 40 years, the Brown twins could be seen walking along San Francisco's streets, greeting tourists and locals alike. Standing 5-foot-1 and about 100 pounds apiece, the twins were also seen in commercials, made cameo appearances in films, appeared on talk shows and frequented civic events.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee issued a statement saying Brown was a "truly remarkable woman who represented the best of our city."

Tom Sweeney, the Beefeater doorman at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, said that the twins were the only living attractions photographed as frequently as he is. And their hours were similar.

"Their day began when most people their age were going to bed," Sweeney said.

Vivian's twin, Marian Brown, said in August that Vivian suffered from Alzheimer's disease and had been admitted into doctors' care after a fall in July.

"My heart is aching for her," Marian Brown told The Chronicle on Friday. "We were always so close."

The Brown twins were born Jan. 25, 1927, in Kalamazoo, Mich., with Vivian being the oldest by eight minutes. They moved to San Francisco in 1973. They had no other siblings.

Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Marian Brown were not successful. A call to Farber on Saturday wasn't immediately returned.