11 Old Hollywood Stars' Favorite Foods

Old Hollywood defines a time when the lives of movie stars were often seen as bigger than their on-screen characters. Also known as the Golden Age of Cinema, this period produced some of the biggest names to ever appear on the silver screen, including Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Marlon Brando (just to name a few). Fueled by tabloids and paparazzi, stars from this period had the full power of the national spotlight. Yet despite their larger-than-life statures, the Hollywood stars of yesteryear were also just normal people with normal appetites.

Now, food may be seen as a status symbol to many modern individuals, with the rich and famous presumed to enjoy the most expensive cuisine at all times. And while stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood certainly enjoyed the finer things in life, they also fueled their bodies with more common, everyday meals.

For instance, when Frank Sinatra wasn't crooning about New York or winning Academy Awards, he enjoyed chowing down on Entenmann's crumb coffee cake or Tootsie Rolls. Likewise, John Wayne fancied himself some cheese grits when he wasn't patrolling the western plains. For anyone interested in peering beyond the celebrity mystique of the stars of yesteryear, here are the favorite foods of several notable Old Hollywood stars.

Marilyn Monroe

Born Norma Jeane Baker (before adopting her more well-known stage name in the 1940s), Marilyn Monroe was the quintessential glamor girl. Starring in iconic films such as "Some Like It Hot" and "The Seven Year Itch," the Hollywood icon was known for her blonde bombshell characters, which helped elevate her status as a sex symbol in the 1950s and 1960s. But contrary to her public image, the starlet had a fairly relatable love affair with food and cooking.

When away from the limelight, Marilyn Monroe loved a variety of foods, ranging from nutritious, diet-friendly meals to delectable desserts. She often started her day by heating up a cup of milk and mixing in two raw eggs with a fork, followed by a multivitamin supplement. This wasn't the only nutritious dish the starlet enjoyed, though, as she also had her own marrow bone soup recipe.

Beyond that, Monroe enjoyed indulging in heartier meals, including steaks, lamb chops, beef bourguignon, and chili. She even had her own unique stuffing recipe that she loved to cook involving numerous ingredients and two hours of prep time. For dessert, she was known to satisfy her sweet tooth with an ice cream sundae (especially from Wil Wright's ice cream parlor in Beverly Hills), rice pudding, or chocolate soufflé.

Judy Garland

Judy Garland was a versatile entertainer who received numerous accolades throughout her career, including a Golden Globe Award, a Special Tony Award, and a Academy Juvenile Award. Perhaps best known for her role as Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" — and her "Over the Rainbow" ballad from the movie — Garland was beyond talented and reached stardom at an early age. However, she felt the pressures of the industry upon achieving fame and struggled with her own self-image, which was perhaps evident in the Old Hollywood star's favorite choice of food.

When it came time to eat, Judy Garland favored one particular salad full of crunch. Affectionately known as the "Over the Rainbow Salad," the dish was originally created by Garland's mother, and was first publicized in the 1939 cookbook "What Actors Eat — When They Eat." The recipe included a mix of ingredients including lettuce hearts, grated carrots, sliced tomatoes, seeded olives, cooked green peas, celery, and chopped endive. The dressing for the salad consisted of olive oil, vinegar, salt, sugar, paprika, and minced fresh garlic.

Of course, Garland's special salad wasn't the only thing she ate. The Old Hollywood star was also known to enjoy spaghetti, steak and kidney pies, and a Coke from time to time.

Frank Sinatra

Although known as one of the great 20th-century vocalists, Frank Sinatra was very much a part of Old Hollywood. He starred in several movies over the decades, such as "Pal Joey" and "Come Blow Your Horn," and received numerous awards for his film work. Beyond his music and film career, the crooner was also known for his love of alcoholic drinks like two-ingredient rusty nail cocktails, and his fine taste in food — so much so that he and his wife Barbara published a celebrity cookbook in 1996.

Among Frank Sinatra's favorite foods are some of the best Italian dishes in existence. A creature of habit, he regularly dined on linguine di pomodoro, fusilli pasta with garlic and anchovies, and veal Milanese. In fact, he enjoyed the ladder dish from his favorite restaurant (Patsy's Italian Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan) so much that the owners developed a recipe in Sinatra's honor called Frank's Veal Cutlets Milanese.

Ol' Blue Eyes also regularly ordered clams Posillipo (essentially clams lightly dressed in red sauce) and stuffed artichokes. For dessert, Sinatra loved biscotti regina –- a crunchy cookie with sesame seeds –- lemon ricotta torte, Entenmann's crumb coffee cake, and Tootsie Rolls.

Clark Gable

Affectionately called "The King of Hollywood," Clark Gable starred in more than 60 films across four decades. He was known for portraying down-to-earth, masculine characters in classic films such as "Gone with the Wind," "It Happened One Night," and "Mutiny on the Bounty." Feeding off of that bravado, the actor even enlisted as a private during World War II. Gable's legacy lives on to this day, including a style of pancakes named after him. After all, a big stack of pancakes was a favorite of the Old Hollywood star (talk about down-to-earth).

In a 1934 article in Modern Screen magazine, Gable's wife at the time, Ria, told the interviewer that the actor was "just a person" who enjoyed "golden pancakes with little pig sausages for breakfast." The article even included a recipe for Gable's favorite pancakes — dubbed "Gable Breakfast Pancakes" — that involved mixing together flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, milk, butter, and egg. Besides flapjacks, Clark Gable also loved to eat stuffed pear salads, pot roasts, and a "Bermuda onion sandwich thick with mustard," as Ria explained further in the same article.

James Dean

Although he only starred in three movies, James Dean left a lasting impression in the world of cinema for his performances — so much so that the American Film Institute ranked him the 18th best male film star of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Known for his brutally honest performances, Dean blurred the line between fiction and reality, helping him become a cultural icon and symbol of teenage disillusionment. Given the "Rebel Without a Cause" actor's rebellious persona, it only makes sense his choice of food reflected that aspect of his personality, as well.

Unlike his gift for acting, though, James Dean's cooking skills were lacking. After all, as noted in the cookbook "Recipes for Rebels," the only cooking the actor appeared to do was for his cat, Marcus. He would combine a tablespoon of Karo syrup, distilled water, evaporated milk, and egg yolk to feed his feline friend, who had been gifted to Dean by Elizabeth Taylor.

Although he wasn't much of a cook, Dean still loved to eat. In an interview with his high school newspaper long before he became famous, Dean revealed he favored his Aunt Ortense's own banana salad recipe. After moving to Hollywood, the actor was known to frequent eateries such as Villa Capri and Hamburger Hamlet, where he would dine on pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, and hamburgers. If money was ever tight, he would enjoy a bowl of chili or leftover abalone salad sandwiches.

Elizabeth Taylor

To say Elizabeth Taylor was beautiful and talented would be an understatement. The two-time Oscar winner was known for her iconic, strong-willed characters in films such as "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," and "Cleopatra." Due to her rumored violet eyes and gorgeous features, the Old Hollywood starlet had several love affairs over the years, including marriages to seven different men. However, her romantic relationships weren't the only affairs in her life, as the actress also loved to eat.

In 1988, Elizabeth Taylor revealed some of her favorites in her autobiography, "Elizabeth Takes Off," which served as part-memoir, part-diet book. Taylor was always one to appreciate a great meal, after all, and she enjoyed eating everything from hot fudge sundaes to a farmhouse breakfast. This consisted of "two fried eggs, hamburger patties, hash brown potatoes and a stack of silver dollar pancakes and maple syrup."

In addition, Elizabeth Taylor loved mashed potatoes and ate them as a side dish with sirloin steak, crispy fried chicken, and roast beef. The actress was also known to enjoy a good burger and fries from time to time. When it came to dieting, Taylor believed the secret was to be happy, keep a sense of humor, and not starve yourself.

Cary Grant

Known for his debonair demeanor, good looks, and sense of comedic timing, Cary Grant was one of the definitive leading men of Old Hollywood. The American Film Institute even named the actor the second greatest male star of Hollywood's Golden Age. Grant ran away from home as a teenager and honed his skills performing in various shows in the United States until he landed his first big contract with Paramount Pictures in 1932. Given Grant's immense amount of talent, it's only fitting he was also skilled in the kitchen.

Cary Grant's favorite dish was a barbecue chicken dream for fans of his famous dish. According to the 1939 cookbook, "What Actors Eat –- When They Eat," the recipe Grant used consisted of several pounds of chicken, A-1 sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, sugar, cider vinegar, chopped onion, and a clove of garlic. The actor would cut the chicken into pieces and brown them in fat. Next, he'd combine the rest of the ingredients and pour the sauce over the chicken in a roaster and bake until tender. While the recipe itself wasn't Grant's own concoction, it was still given the title of "Cary Grant's Oven-Barbecued Chicken."

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando is widely considered one of the greatest actors of all time. With a career spanning six decades, Brando won numerous accolades for his work in films such as "A Streetcar Named Desire," "On the Waterfront," and "The Godfather." Credited as one of the first actors to bring method acting to the mainstream, Brando gained a mythical reputation in Hollywood that extended off-screen — especially when it came to his diet.

Like with acting, when Marlon Brando went big? He went big. So when the actor indulged in his appetites, he really indulged — so much so that his diet has since gone down in Hollywood history. One thing the actor ate was peanut butter, often inhaling an entire jar in one sitting. He also loved cornflakes — even nicknaming himself "Branflakes" in the cereal's honor — though that wasn't all he had for breakfast. He was known to enjoy sausage, eggs, bananas, and pancakes loaded with syrup along with the cereal. The actor was even fond of Pink's Hot Dogs, often stopping there early in the morning and eating multiple hot dogs.

Stories of the Old Hollywood star's diet have also ventured into rumors and legends. For instance, the actor allegedly picked up a frog from a pond and took a bite out of it while filming "Missouri Breaks" (though no further evidence supports this claim). Additionally, Brando once allegedly chewed a lock off his refrigerator that was meant to keep him out.

John Wayne

No single actor on this list personified the idealized American values of the 20th century quite like John Wayne. Whether he was fighting enemy soldiers or riding on horseback through the Old West, Wayne embodied the strong, silent type who operated off of his own principles. With a career spanning over 50 years and over 175 films, the actor was hardworking and true to form –- even when it came to his diet.

When it came to eating, Wayne was a fairly normal guy, favoring good food and grilling out. The Duke loved to grill so much that his family helped publish an official cookbook in 2015 called "The Official John Wayne Way to Grill," containing over 100 different recipes from the actor. Among the many things Wayne liked to grill, steak was at the forefront, and he preferred his rare.

Wayne was also a big fan of cheese grits, oven-fried cornbread, and Tex-Mex cuisine. Additionally, he enjoyed dishes such as chiles rellenos souffle and carnitas with tequila, and even had his own casserole recipe called the John Wayne Casserole.

Bette Davis

Bette Davis is an icon of Old Hollywood due to her larger-than-life persona and her refusal to conform to traditional norms. Appearing in nearly 100 movies throughout her career, Davis was one of Hollywood's most unconventional leading ladies. The starlet continually refused to play unsympathetic characters, which ultimately helped her land roles in a range of genres. But despite this seeming reluctance to conform to society, Davis still knew her way around the kitchen.

One of Bette Davis' favorite dishes to cook was a red flannel hash. The recipe called for corned beef, boiled potatoes, and cooked beets. Instead of pressing down the mixture like a traditional corned beef hash, Davis' recipe simply involved stirring and spreading the mixture evenly. The starlet chopped her ingredients finely so that they retained a uniform size for cooking.

Davis had several other recipes up her sleeves, though, such as her spinach-stuffed filets. This involved spreading cooked spinach on a filet of sole or flounder, then rolling it tightly to cook in a shallow baking dish. She also loved to cook her Boston baked beans recipe that mixed a quart of pea beans with fat salt pork, salt, molasses, dry mustard, and boiling water.

Audrey Hepburn

Known for her stunning beauty and impeccable style, Audrey Hepburn captivated audiences both on and off the screen. Hepburn demonstrated her incredible talent in films such as "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "My Fair Lady." She also showed her kindness time and time again with her humanitarian work helping to feed children through the UNICEF organization. Hepburn was the epitome of class and elegance, yet despite the glitz and glamor, her choice of food was fairly relatable.

Above all the foods Audrey Hepburn loved, pasta was front and center. In fact, the starlet ate pasta almost daily, often using ingredients grown from her own garden. One of her favorite pasta dishes –- pasta al pomodoro – is a timeless classic that's essentially spaghetti with tomato sauce.  Later on, Hepburn's son, Luca Dotti, collected all of his mother's favorite recipes and published them in a book called "Audrey at Home."

Additionally, she was a huge fan of ketchup and used it on everything, including pasta she sometimes served to her son. The "Roman Holiday" star was also one of the first trendsetters for sushi, helping ignite the sushi boom in the 1960s. Hepburn was also a fan of sweets, including madeleines (a French sponge cake), chocolate cake, and vanilla ice cream.