Sarah Michelle Gellar will play identical twins Siobhan Martin and Bridget Cafferty in RINGER on the CW this fall. I got to wondering just how frequent the portrayal of identical twins on television is, when both twins are played by the same actor.
There are the perhaps trivial examples of characters in sitcoms with an evil twin. Those would be Barbara Eden in I DREAM OF JEANNIE, and Lisa Kudrow in FRIENDS. David Hasselhof had an evil twin in one episode of KNIGHT RIDER (which was almost a sitcom).
Patty Duke played both twins, neither of them evil, in THE PATTY DUKE SHOW (a sitcom) in the early 1960’s.
But in dramatic television, there are only two instances I can find of identical twins played by the same actor, and both of them happened in 1996.
In SAVANNAH, on the WB, George Eads (Nick Stokes on CSI) played twins Travis Peterson and Nick Carelli. Peterson was murdered early on. And in the series TWO, which was syndicated, Michael Easton portrayed the twins Gus McClain and Booth Hubbard, one of whom (I can’t remember which) frames the other for murder.
So there has never been an instance of a TV drama in which both female identical twins have been played by the same actor before RINGER.