GloriaswansonWhy not sprinkle some stardust over your lunchtime sandwiches? In Hollywood’s Golden Era, stars regularly shared their favourite recipes with their fans through articles in fan magazines and promotional booklets. Jenny Hammerton delves into her silver screen recipe archive in order to tempt your lunch hour taste buds.

In a 1934 Silver Screen magazine article entitled “Stars Must Eat!” actress Jean Parker extolled the virtues of the humble sandwich.  She shared some of her favourites fillings with the readers stating, “I think sandwiches are lots more important than people think”.

Well, even us mere mortals must eat, but let’s make it more fun by rustling ourselves up the kind of sandwich that some of our icons would have eaten.  Jean tells us what Gloria Swanson’s favourite luncheon sandwich was:

3 layers wheat toast
Devilled egg, bacon and cheese in separate layers.
Served with fruit.

You could use egg mayonnaise if you can’t be bothered with devilling eggs!


She also lets us know that Greta Garbo’s luncheon sandwich was

Juice of small onion
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
2 tablespoons cottage cheese
2 slices crisp bacon
Rye bread


Elsewhere June Clyde’s shares her favourite sandwich, giving us a new and attractive way of using the humble radish…

Trim and wash 5 radishes and let chill thoroughly.  Chop them, leaving the red skins on.  Mix with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise to which 2 or 3 drops of lemon juice has been added.  Spread the mixture between slightly buttered slices of whole wheat or white bread.  Arrange on a plate and garnish with a little crisp watercress.  This is a refreshing sandwich for a between-meals snack on a busy day.  It should not be made until just before it is about to be served, as the radishes will lose their crispness if left to stand.

This is a very sophisticated sandwich, and perfect for those “reducing to suit fashion”, oh, apart from the mayonnaise of course!
annastenAnna Sten’s Russian Sandwich

If you have a few chums round, why not stun them with the tower of splendour that is an Anna Sten Russian Sandwich?  This is well worth the effort but you’ll need some of those round cookie cutters that come in ever decreasing sizes.

Cut the bread into circles so that they range in size from one-half inches in diameter to four inches.  The largest slice is to be used as the foundation.  Spread it with any kind of jam desired, cover with the next slice in size and spread with cream cheese, then a slice spread with butter, bacon or chicken and lettuce and a little mayonnaise, then a slice with a slice of tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise, then a slice with a slice of cucumber, lettuce and mayonnaise.

The top or smallest slice is not buttered.  Add to it a small piece of fruit and top with a stuffed olive.  Hold the layers together with toothpicks.  Serve on a lettuce leaf.

…and enjoy watching your guests trying to grapple with it!

Finally Ginger Rogers’ Peanut Parsley Sandwich

Sandwiches are not just for lunch – Ginger recommends this sandwich as a tasty midnight snack for an after-theatre party.

Let ½ package of cream cheese stand at room temperature until softened.  Blend in ½ cup finely chopped salted peanuts and ¼ cup of finely chopped parsley.  Mix well.  Spread on buttered bread and then (Ginger advises) cover with another piece of buttered bread.

Scoff the lot then retire to your glamorous Hollywood style boudoir in your ostrich feather trimmed nightgown for your Hollywood style beauty sleep.

If you’d like to know more about what the stars liked to eat please visit

3 Responses

  1. Karin

    What a fun article! But I’m confused – how does one juice an onion, as in the Garbo sandwich?

    • Lena

      No sure Karin, I think you just squeeze it through a muslin cloth.