Hello lovelies, today I will be discussing Joan Crawford’s old Hollywood diet.

There is an old article from the January 1929 issue of American magazine Photoplay. The article is titled Diet – The Menace of Hollywood. The writer Katherine Albery explains why eating like Joan Crawford and other period stars could be problematic.

‘Diet!,’ Albert writes. ‘It has put one world-famous star in her grave, has caused the illness of many others, has wrecked careers and has become, largely through its practice in Hollywood, the Great American Menace!’

Albery compares the Holywood diet to a correct diet complied by one Dr. Willis ‘from works of the most famous authorities on a diet’. The old Hollywood diet has a zero-calorie breakfast consisting of clear soup and two saltine crackers and a quarter of a pound of tomatoes for lunch totaling 138 calories. For dinner, the 1929 Hollywood diet consists of cottage cheese, two ounces of pineapple, and a glass of buttermilk, bringing the total calorie count for the day to a meager 305 calories. By contrast, the doctor recommended diet that will have you drop two and three pounds per week includes roast beef lunches and a breakfast of scalloped cod and stewed tomatoes.

A cup of hot water (calories – 0)
8 tablespoons of consomme (13Kcal)
Two saltine crackers (100Kcal)
1/4lb tomatoes (25Kcal)
Cottage cheese (50Kcal)
2oz pineapple (50Kcal)
One glass buttermilk (67Kcal)
Total: 305
* Don’t try this at home

Later in life, Joan Crawford had a series with Vogue magazine called “A Second Fame: Good Food,” a series she authored for Vogue in the 1960s.
Vogue documented all of Joan Crawford’s favorite foods, and Ugli fruit, a citrus fruit typically grown in Jamaica, was reportedly the actress’s favorite fruit. Despite the exotic nature of this snack, the recipes Crawford shared in her Vogue interview remind us of a lot of down-home cooking: a spinach salad topped with bacon, a kidney bean salad, and boiled beef flanks.

Joan Crawford’s Fried Apple Rings
4 green apples
¼ pound margarine or butter
Lemon juice
Brown sugar

Core and slice apples into thick rings, but do not peel. Sprinkle with lemon juice—heat margarine or butter in skillet. Fry apples first on one side, then the other, until brown but not mushy. This is a matter of a very few minutes. While frying, sprinkle top sides of apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar to taste. Keep warm until all are done.

While working on a film, Crawford divided breakfast into two mini-meals. Shortly after waking up, she would have a piece of fruit and a cup of tea. An hour or two later, in her dressing room at the studio, she’d have a hard-boiled egg, bacon, or sausage—a protein blast before strutting onto the set and getting down to business. When not working, Texas dame Joan was known to enjoy a plate of huevos rancheros with hot sauce.

Joan Crawford’s devotion to the first meal of the day was such that it was the last thing she ever did. Literally: One May morning in 1977, Crawford rose to make breakfast for her housekeeper and a fan who’d stayed over the previous night. She went back to bed to watch her morning soap operas and called out to the two women to eat the meal she had just prepared. Those were her last words.

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37 thoughts on “Joan Crawford's Secret Old Hollywood Diet Uncovered

  1. Honestly when I think of Joan Crawford the first thing that comes to my mind is Mommie Dearest. I read that book when I was 10 and it scarred me a little. Great actress, though

  2. Not a very nice woman . I do not give any exceptions or excuses to a woman who abused her children.Its not hearsay it’s a fact .
    She was so dedicated to her craft that she forgot about her children.There were so many other talented actresses in history- why her ? Ughh .

  3. I love Joan I just feel so bad for her. She was so misunderstood she had the worse childhood

  4. I love fried apples but forgo the lemon juice due to an allergy. Growing up in the 80s my family used to eat cottage cheese at dinner with peaches or berries on it actually. It wasn’t weird to us and I do not hate cottage cheese.
    I eat spinach salad every week but not with bacon because I’m a pescatarian.
    The way these people ate is so amazing to me, I could never be ok eating pork chops or beef or a boiled egg. I guess I eat weirdly compared to others, I like sugar. I like ugly fruit though. Yummy

  5. Good article. So funny, the adverts came in half way through the film and said "do you want salad or pizza?"!

  6. apparently in whatever happened to baby jane, in the scene where Blanche eats Jane’s chocolates in her drawer, Joan wasnt actually eating chocolates because she didnt like them!!

  7. So glad you mentioned Miss Crawford book. It is a very entertaining read!! Thank you for your great video!!

  8. Hello Laura,
    Thank you for your lovely video on Joan! Love love love it!!! ♥️♥️♥️😊Inna

  9. Lucille ( Joan ) was never my real favourite. Even as a young girl when I watched her she frightened me to bits!lol. Just found out she was my height and had red hair like me too.That was a surprise!

  10. Omg I feel anxious just hearing her diet. Very scary lack of nutrition and I bet that's why she was so mean. If she did take amphetamines too it's no wonder she flipped out. No sleep, alcohol, no food and the 1920s equivalent of meth and well…she hates wire hangers and loves Comet cleanser lol poor woman

  11. I'm so curios as to where you are from..you you the phrase, "quite like" and "woman" for plural (in the US we say, Women when meaning more than one). Not that it matters I just find it interesting lol I LOVE your Chanel 💜

  12. Joan Crawford's exercise drive, and smoking helped with her weight. To me, it looked like she kept the same make-up style. In later years it gave her a hard look. But in her day!

  13. HELLO LAURA ..love your channel . i also have watched " mommy dearest " multiple times , and will do so again : ) . faye dunaway , portrayed joan crawford , brilliantly . to the extent that , one could really see her as joan . she was a brilliant actress , i could never decide , who was better joan or betty davis…………that diet , was crazy……..thank you , for sharing……

  14. It wasn't uncommon for doctors to prescribe amphetamines (speed) to keep your appetite down & energy high .

  15. Sadly diet hasn't changed much in Hollywood now either. I love your videos they're very educating they teach me alot.

  16. I love today's eye look! Any plans to do an Esther Williams/vintage swimsuit video for summer?

  17. You mean she didn’t eat medium rare steak? Like what she tried to make Christina eat

  18. Crawford was known to never, ever eat dessert. It was one way she kept her weight down.

  19. I have a book with the diets of Hollywood actress during golden age, with photos, descriptions of diets of single actress. They eat sane foods and they made sports. Joan Crawford together bette Davis are talented actress.

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