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Seeing Double: A Look Back at Wrigley’s Doublemint Twins

1950s | September 19, 2018

Jean Sagal, Liz Sagal (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

The Wrigley Company, a chewing gum manufacturer, introduced its “double strength” peppermint gum, with twice the flavor, in 1914. The advertising department quickly capitalized on the word “double” by including twins as their spokespeople. Beginning in 1939, Wrigley introduced their Doublemint twins, but they used drawings of twins to illustrate the concept of “double”. But starting in 1959, they hired twin models to appear in their print ads and commercials. Let’s take a look at some of the more memorable Doublemint Twins. 

Prior to hiring real twins, Jayne and Joan Knoerzer, Wrigley used illustrations of twins.

Jayne and Joan Knoerzer, the First Set of Twins On Television

Wrigley employed the first set of twins to appear on television. Jayne and Joan Knoerzer, 21-year old twins from Hammond, Indiana, were the original Doublemint Twins. Professional singers, the twins had no plans to become actresses and models until they signed their contract with Philip K. Wrigley in 1959. Jayne and Joan showed fans how they could “double your pleasure, double your fun” by doing fun activities together, like playing tennis and riding bikes together. 

Terrie and Jennie Frankel Took Their Twin Fame to Vietnam With the USO

Chicago natives Terrie and Jennie Frankel were both musically gifted and often accompanied their father to the Great Lakes Naval Hospital to perform for the patients there. They signed with the Wrigley Company to be the next generation of Doublemint Twins in the late 1960s, at the height of the Vietnam War. The identical twins, Terrie and Jennie, quit their gig as Double mint Twins when they turned 18 in 1968 and were old enough to join the USO. They entertained the troops in Vietnam. Even though the twins had music scholarships to Roosevelt College upon their return from their USO tour, the two decided to form a girl band instead and signed up for another USO tour. 

The Mackrell Twins Appeared in Other Twin Commercials

In the 1970s, June and Patricia Mackrell signed on to be the Toni Twins, representing Toni Home Perms. But soon, Wrigley came calling. Wrigley has been in the business of using twins in its commercials a lot longer than Toni Home Perms and being a Doublemint Twin was a more prestigious gig, so June and Patricia took their twin star power to the gum company. 

Linda and Lisa Yokubinas Were Doublemint Twins for Ten Years

Linda and Lisa Yokubinas, who became Doublemint Twins in 1985, were the twins that held their status as Doublemint Twins the longest, ten years. In addition to hefty paychecks, the twins got to go to various locations, like the Canadian Rockies and Hawaii, to shoot chewing gum commercials. Like most of the Doublemint commercials, the ads simply showed the twins having fun and enjoying each other’s company…a pretty cushy job for the identical twins. 

The Sagal Twins all grown up

The Twin Sisters of “Married…With Children” Actress, Katey Sagal, Were Doublemint Twins

Liz and Jean Sagal, whose sister is Katey Sagal of “Married…With Children” fame, were Doublemint Twins in the 1980s. After their stint with Wrigley, the Sagal Twins starred in the 1984 TV show, “Double Trouble”, that enjoyed a rather brief run.  

Before “Sister, Sister”, the Mowry Sisters were Doublemint Twins

Tia and Tamera Mowry, who went on to star in their own hit television show, “Sister, Sister”, were Doublemint Twins in the 1990s. The Mowry Twins, who only appeared in one commercial for Doublemint, were not the first African-American Doublemint Twins, however. That distinction goes to New York twins, Sharon Sansaverino and Sheryl Valenti, who lent their smiling faces to the Wrigley Company in the late 1980s. 

These Doublemint Twins Later Spoofed Themselves

When Denise and Dian Gallup became the Doublemint Twins, they enjoyed the notoriety that came with being the iconic spokesmodels for the chewing gum company. But several years later, in 1987, the Gallup twins spoofed their Doublemint gig in a cameo appearance in Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs.” 

The Daniel Twins Worked for Wrigley Before “Sweet Valley High”

In the early 1990s, Brittany and Cynthia Daniel, who are technically fraternal twins, not identical twins, joined the Doublemint Twin family. A few years later, they landed the roles of the Wakefield twins, Jessica and Elizabeth, on the television series, “Sweet Valley High” which was based on the popular book series by Francine Pascal. 

From Doublemint Twins to Playboy

Identical twins Patricia and Priscilla Barnstable were so popular as the Doublemint Twins that they were later asked to pose for Playboy magazine. Although they were wholesome and cute as chewing gum models, the Barnstable twins projected an entirely different image during their Playboy photo shoot. 

Doublemint Twins for a New Millennium

Wrigley resurrected the Doublemint Twin commercials for the new millennium. In 2005, Nicole and Natalie Garza landed the gig and appeared in a series of throwback, nostalgic Doublemint gum commercials. The Garza twins wore vintage clothes and copied some of the antics of their predecessor twins, such as riding a tandem bicycle. The talented twins even sang in the ads, which advocated for enjoying the simple things in life…like chewing gum…in an era when technology was beginning to encroach on all aspects of life. 

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Karen Harris

Writer

Karen left the world of academic, quitting her job as a college professor to write full-time. She spends her days with her firefighter husband and four daughters on a hobby farm with an assortment of animals, including a goat named Atticus, a turkey named Gravy, and a chicken named Chickaletta.