When it comes to fashion and food, or popular culture and food, one may think: what do the fabulous people eat (if anything)? I know that I’ve been having a love affair with the Chinese take-out lunch special (I come from a small town where there were no food deliveries). I once told my dentist at an appointment that I couldn’t be shot full of Novocain because we were having white beans for supper. Diets have never been something that I like to think about or want to try, but, as we all know, the rich and famous diet almost constantly. When Joan Crawford was feeling like she needed to watch her weight, she would eat nothing but saltines and mustard with a black coffee chaser. Sounds delicious, right? She did, however (when she wasn’t dieting) love dining at the 21 Club and ordering her steaks rare with an iceberg salad.
Marlene Dietrich’s favorite meal was hotdogs and champagne (but Shirley MacLaine said that she knew her to only eat a full meal every three days). Speaking of hotdogs, Orson Welles supposedly ate about twenty frankfurters in one sitting at Pink’s Hotdogs in Hollywood. As far as the famous overeaters go, Orson is one of the most well-known (the same goes for Marlon Brando). I’ve always been fascinated by people who are glamorous and lead glamorous lifestyles but who also eat like real people; having shared a pizza with Nick Cave, I know that this exists.
One of the most gorgeous women to ever live is Elizabeth Taylor (this is not negotiable) and even she went through the gamut of jokes directed at her weight: when she was married to John Warner, Elizabeth Taylor was not very happy as the wife of a senator so she drank too heavily and enjoyed eating too much. She would tell Barbara Walters in an interview how much she adored potatoes and, then later, recall “I was so fat.”
Then there are the vegetarians and the vegans who seem to always remain thin but this is a trend that has become more popular over time because of America’s heart health issues (most notably Bill Clinton having to give up his beloved McDonalds after a heart attack). A star who was known for eating very little (almost nothing) is Vivien Leigh; she would mostly just drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes: this was, sadly, the least of her problems. Whether a star eats too much or too little, we are always fascinated by the way they live and eat. Being a foodie, I especially love hearing about the snacks associated with my favorite people. For one, Oprah loves potato chips (obsessive-compulsive eating is an emotional problem that she has openly talked about on air) and even told Lindsay Lohan when she was discussing her addiction not to go to Europe: Europe to a recovering alcoholic/drug addict would be like Oprah, in her own words, getting invited to the Lay’s Potato Chip factory.
We all know that Jerry Seinfeld loves cereal (so much that there were always boxes littering the cupboards on the famous sitcom) and that Wendy Williams always talks about food on her morning talk show. She went as far as to roast the end of a Slim Jim with a Bic cigarette lighter. Finally, since she just passed away and is one of the greats, Joan Rivers loved coffee and M&M’s, and always had this snack backstage before a performance.
By Katherine Sloan