SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) – San Francisco residents are mourning the passing of Vivian Brown, who became a local celebrity along with her twin sister after the two regularly walked 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.

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.

PHOTOS: Celebrity Twins

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.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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