Jean Harlow was tiny and perfect. In fact, in the 1930s she had one of the most envied bodies in the celebrity world. However, she had to work hard to keep the weight off. She was a lover of good food but whenever she had a movie coming up she would follow a strict diet of vegetables and salads. Her favourite was the Caesar salad, invented by Italian American chef, restaurateur and hotel owner, Caesar Cardini. After she and Clark Gable discovered it, it became a hit in L.A. and, later, around the world. Jean was also a sport fan. She kept fit by swimming, as well as playing tennis and golf.
Mae West had a lifelong love of fitness and went for daily bike rides into her 80s. She once said: ''I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond." She didn't drink. "I never understood drinking. It isn't good for your looks, and it cuts down on what you are. I never wanted to cut down on what I am.''
Greta Garbo grew up Greta Gustafsson, an overweight, big-footed girl from Sweden. When aged 17, she met director Mauritz Stiller, the first of many Garbo mentors, he told her to lose 20lbs. Louis B Mayer of MGM invited Garbo to Hollywood in the 1920s, but warned her that America didn't like fat girls. She then went on a strict diet of spinach for three weeks to achieve the slender figure she became famous for.
She enjoyed long walks and was a huge fan of "tramping about the woods." She was a vegetarian and preferred a frugal breakfast and a light lunch.
Bette Davis, on the other hand, was not an advocate for dieting. She once stated during an interview, published on the Sunday Herald on June 19, 1960:
'' I was lucky to discover the importance of activity. I had always played tennis, swam a lot and ate intelligently - and in moderation, so I never had a problem with my weight or my health.''