Filled Under: Wilde Twins
Lee and Lyn Wilde
Lee and Lyn Wilde, sometimes billed as The Wilde Twins, are twin sisters, who appeared in films of the early to mid 1940s. Born in East St. Louis, Illinois, Lee is the older of the two, born shortly before midnight of October 10, 1922, with Lyn born in the early hours of the following morning on October 11, 1922.
They began singing with their siblings in church, and by their teens were singing hymns for their local radio station, as well as performing in Illinois and Kentucky. They graduated from East St. Louis High School in 1939 and landed their own radio show “The Sundown Club” on local radio station KXOK. In 1940 they were singing on the Admiral, a Mississippi river boat before landing a job with Ray Noble and His Orchestra in Chicago. Their first gig with the band was at the Palmer House on New Year’s Eve 1940. They toured with the band for eleven months. In 1942 they joined the Charlie Barnett Band and made their movie debut singing “Fifty Million Nickels” with the band in the film “Juke Box Jenny” (1942) starring Harriet Hilliard. In April 1942 the sisters joined Bob Cosby and his orchestra and toured with them for several months which led to another featured film appearance in the Judy Garland film “Presenting Lily Mars” in 1942. Joe Pasternak was impressed by them and signed them to a seven-year contract with MGM studios. They played small roles in “Andy Hardy’s Blonde Trouble” (1944), followed by “Twice Blessed” in 1945, a film written specifically to introduce them to a wider audience. The twins were in nine films together up to 1949 when Lee retired from film. Lyn went on to appear in another six films in mostly uncredited roles and left film in 1953.
Lyn and Lee married two of the Cathcart brothers, Jim and Tom, respectively. Lyn and Jim Cathcart have two children together, Carter and Lee Ann (named after Lee). In 1970, Jim Cathcart died unexpectedly. Lyn remarried to Dwight Oberlink in 1973 but was widowed again in 1996 when Oberlink passed on. Lyn has four grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, three step-children, seven step-grandchildren, and nine step-great-grand-children!
Lee and Tom Cathcart have two children , a son Bill and a daughter Kathy. They have two grandchildren.
Both sisters retained their love of music after they left show business and remained active, in 1989 recording a reunion album titled “Back to Together Once Again” and continuing to perform occasionally into the 1990s. Both sisters are still very active in various organizations and functions.