02/08/2013 01:10 pm ET Updated Apr 10, 2013

Famous Sister Acts

Before beginning my new book, The Pretty One, a novel about sisters published this week, I decided to research fictional sisters in literature and film, as well as real-life sisters of note.

My conclusion: there are few relationships more intimate, or more enduring, than those between close-in-age sisters. When sisters fight, the attacks are often vicious. If anyone knows your sore points, it's her.

Alternately, when sisters stick together, they're a human force-field, capable of accruing vast quantities of fame, capital, and, in some cases (see the Gabor sisters) men. Whether on account of rivalry, inspiration, or extra hand-holding, sisters also have a way of motivating each other to achieve.

No matter that some of those achievements are dubious. In the slideshow below of famous "sisters acts" of the English speaking world, the power of sisters is on robust display!

16 Famous Sister Acts