The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen

The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen

by Frank DeCaro


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780757315961
Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/03/2011
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 899,808
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Frank DeCaro (New York, NY) is heard each weekday morning on his own live national call-in program, "The Frank DeCaro Show," on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, which now boasts more than 25 million subscribers. His guests have run the gamut from Ernest Borgnine to Tom Ford—on one three-hour show!—and his following across North America is as loyal as it is diverse.
An accomplished home cook and an even better eater, DeCaro writes the "Now Remember" column for CBS Watch magazine. Previously, he wrote the "Style Over Substance" column for The New York Times. A graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, he has written for myriad publications including The New York Times Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Newsweek, Vogue and TV Guide.
Both a writer and a performer, DeCaro co-created the 2010 YouTube sensation "Betty White Lines," a rap tribute to the Golden Girls star which was featured on the Today show, Showbiz Tonight, and dozens of blogs, and got more than 100,000 hits in its first week online.
In addition, the award-winning DeCaro is the author of the groundbreaking A Boy Named Phyllis: A Suburban Memoir, which Vanity Fair called "hilarious" and The Advocate credited as opening the door for David Sedaris and "the gay American humorist as everyman." His follow-up work, a coffee table biography called Unmistakably Mackie: The Fashion and Fantasy of Bob Mackie, earned a B+ in Entertainment Weekly. Visit the author at and

Read an Excerpt

Make Room for Dinner
Father may have known best on classic TV shows, but never in the kitchen. The breadwinner was never the bread baker in the '50s and '60s. Maybe TV was just reflecting the gender roles of the day, but cooking was usually a woman's job. You didn't see Howard Cunningham (Tom Bosley) at the stove on Happy Days. That was Mrs. C's bailiwick. (The show premiered in the 1970s, I know, but it was set in the 1950s.)
If a family was lucky, or a wife was liberated, food preparation was the domestic's duty. Mike Brady (Robert Reed) and his wife Carol (Florence Henderson) had Alice (Ann B. Davis) to whip up pork chops and applesauce on The Brady Bunch. Danny Williams (Danny Thomas) charged Louise (Amanda Randolph) with making everything from lasagna to matzo ball soup on Make Room for Daddy. And Mrs. Livingston (Miyoshi Umeki) saw to it that Eddie (Brandon Cruz) and Mr. Eddie's Father (Bill Bixby) didn't starve on The Courtship of Eddie's Father. If you didn't want to hire someone, you could always play the widower card and rook a relative into kitchen duty. Steve Douglas (Fred MacMurray) and his Three Sons not only had Bub (William Frawley), but when he split, they got Uncle Charlie (William Demarest) to cook for them. Off screen, though, TV dads did cook. The men whose recipes appear in this chapter were secure enough in their manhood to don an apron, grab a spatula, and do it. If they can, so can you, Daddy-O.
T V lovers remember him as the soft-spoken father on My Three Sons, but filmgoers know him best cast as the insurance agent in on the con in Double Indemnity. Working from the late 1920s to the late 1970s, MacMurray appeared in such varied fare as The Absent-Minded Professor and its sequel Son of Flubber, the stylish sex comedy The Apartment, and the killer-bee disaster movie, The Swarm. He is said to have valued time spent with his own family so much that he made sure all of his scenes for My Three Sons were shot first. That may have made life hell for his cast mates, but he sounds like a pretty good real-life dad. His pot roast is enough for three sons or more.

Fred MacMurray's Flemish Pot Roast
In a heavy Dutch oven, brown meat in oil, turning to brown both sides. In a separate pan, sauté onions until pale golden color. Sprinkle with flour and cook 2 minutes. Pour in beer and bring to a boil, stirring. Then pour over meat. Add brown sugar, vinegar, bay leaf, garlic, and salt. Cover and simmer 2 hours, or until juices are slightly thickened. Strain juices into a bowl. Spoon onions into a vegetable bowl. Carve meat. Pass sauce and onions at the table with the meat.

4–5 pound beef
chuck roast 1 tablespoon oil 4 medium onions, sliced 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flour 1 (12-ounce) can of beer 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon vinegar 1 bay leaf 2 cloves garlic 1½ teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons parsley

Danny Thomas 1912-1991
As Danny Williams, the nightclub Comic and father on the long-running sitcom popularly known as Make Room for Daddy, Danny Thomas was a fixture on television for more than a decade, surviving one wife (Jean Hagen), getting another (Marjorie Lord) and, for a while, even playing pop to an Italian exchange student portrayed by Annette Funicello. He was dapper and funny and loud; and no one has ever done a better spit take. Behind the scenes, he was an executive producer on such TV series as The Mod Squad, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. As a real-life dad, he had an effect on television, too, by producing three children, two of whom, Marlo and Tony, went on to work in the business. Marlo starred in the early feminist sitcom That Girl, while Tony executive produced The Golden Girls. Danny Thomas's greatest accomplishment, though, was probably his founding of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a legacy to which his children dedicate themselves today. He was a proud Lebanese-American and his recipe for fatayer reflects that.

Last Bites
Thomas liked to make cameo appearances on the series he produced. His most famous was on The Dick Van Dyke Show in an episode called 'It May Look Like a Walnut!'—a sci-fi spoof featuring a closetful of walnuts and written by series creator Carl Reiner. Thomas played Kolak, an alien from the planet Twilo, in the 1963 installment of the classic comedy.

Danny Thomas's Fatayer
Combine flour, oil, salt, dissolved yeast, and water and mix well. Knead until smooth. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1½ hours. While dough is rising, combine lamb, onions, lemon juice, yogurt, pine nuts, and spices. Roll dough thin and cut out in 3-inch rounds. Fill dough patties with meat mixture. Shape into half moons, and score a vent for steam to escape. Place on a greased baking sheet, brush tops with oil and bake in a 375° oven for one hour.

8 cups flour 3 tablespoons oil 1 tablespoon salt 1 packet cake yeast,
dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water 2½–3 cups lukewarm water 3 pounds lamb, coarsely ground 4 medium onions,
chopped fine 1–2 cups fresh lemon juice ½ cup plain yogurt ¾ cup pine nuts, sautéed lightly in butter Salt, pepper, and allspice,
to taste

What People are Saying About This

"Frank DeCaro has the most delectable treats I've ever tasted -- and the recipes aren't bad either! My dying wish is to have one of my recipes in The Dead Celebrity Cookbook II. Anyone for the Queen of Mean's 'So-Good-You'll-Slap-Yo-Mama Chicken 'n Waffles'?" --Lisa Lampanelli, comedienne

Lisa Lampanelli

"Frank DeCaro has the most delectable treats I've ever tasted -- and the recipes aren't bad either! My dying wish is to have one of my recipes in The Dead Celebrity Cookbook II. Anyone for the Queen of Mean's 'So-Good-You'll-Slap-Yo-Mama Chicken 'n Waffles'?" --Lisa Lampanelli, comedienne

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

"Hankering for star-powered recipes? With this laugh-out-loud encyclopedia of Hollywood culinaria, Frank DeCaro brings out the real 'celebrity chefs' in spades. Or with a spade." -- Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, best-selling authors of more than twenty cookbooks including Lobsters Scream When You Boil Them and 100 Other Myths About Food and Cooking.

Rosie O'Donnell

"I love these dead celebrities! They're the stars I grew up watching and they deserve to be remembered even if they were more talented on screen than they were in the kitchen. Frank clearly worships them as much as I do, and after reading The Dead Celebrity Cookbook you will, too." -- Rosie O'Donnell

Michael Musto

"Celebrities die--eventually--but their recipes live on thanks to Frank DeCaro's thorough and thoroughly delicious book. DeCaro's dry wit is tasty, and judging from these yummy concoctions, most of these celebs died really happy!"--Michael Musto, Village Voice

Brini Maxwell

"I adore this book so much I find myself on the horns of a dilemma--make the recipes or kill myself so I can be in the sequel." -- Brini Maxwell, author of Brini Maxwell's Guide to Gracious Living and creator of

Simon Doonan

"Finally, Frank DeCaro has put his sick obsession with dead celebs to some good use! Hilarious and bursting with usable recipes. Even if you do not know how to turn on the toaster oven, you will adore this gossip-filled cackle-fest." -- Simon Doonan, author of GAY MEN DON'T GET FAT.

Bob Smith

"Frank DeCaro's two obsessions - food and the famous - have been hilariously united in The Dead Celebrity Cookbook. Reading Frank is like breaking your diet with your funniest best friend." – Bob Smith, author of Remembrance of Things I Forgot.

Customer Reviews

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The Dead Celebrity Cookbook 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
babs181 More than 1 year ago
Frank DeCaro really brings to live the dead celebrities highlighted in the cookbook. I love that most recipes are fairly simple and the commentary regarding each celebrity really makes this more than a cookbook, it is an entertaining read as well!
Rb1330 More than 1 year ago
This book is more than a cookbook. First of all, it's written by the hilarious Frank DeCaro of Sirius XM and a one time Daily Show regular. It has 145 stars of stage and screen, each with their own unique recipes. No, these recipes did NOT kill them. I've tried a few and they're actually quite good (my personal favorite is Robert Reed's Beef & Biscuit Casserole). Frank writes anecdotes about each person in the book, and frankly, if you just want to skip the recipes and read these, it's worth the price. Halloween is coming and wouldn't it be perfect to have a dead celebrity party with a menu that includes these recipes? I'm sure Madeleine Kahn's foot cookies would be the perfect treat. Actually, its the only cookbook I've read all the way through.
gincam on LibraryThing 8 months ago
If you are a foodie and film fan, then you will think you have died and gone to heaven when you read "The Dead Celebrity Cookbook"! Recipes and reflections are blended together with rollicking, rowdy, revelry, and a smashing time will be had by all! Author Frank DeCaro enlightens and entertains with facts and food finds from legendary stars of stage and screen, and the results are delicious. I love to sit down with a cup of coffee and read a cookbook. Since this book is filled with as many stories as it has recipes, it is one of the most readable and enjoyable cookbooks that I own. The chapters are categorized by the contributor's claim to fame, such as: "Musical Munchies"; "Sitcom Moms Really Cook"; "Dance This Mess Around"; and "A Feast of Funny Fellows". The skill level of the chefs ranges from kitchen-capable to titan of take-out, and the recipes run the realm between truly taste tempting to seriously strange and somewhat scary. Dom Deluise's "Doodlewoppers"--who knew?!? Just kidding--those "Doodlewoppers" sound like darn good cookies!!! "The Dead Celebrity Cookbook" is a decadent delight from cover to cover. The amazing range of recipes is as equally appealing as the royal roster of legendary luminaries from the world of entertainment. A "must have" for the kitchen library of true devotees of the silver screen and the silver palate. Review Copy Gratis HCI Books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very funny, if macabre, and chalk full of infotainment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many of the recipes are redundant; even though it's from a different celebrity and there may be some changes in the ingredients, there are several versions of several recipes. It's interesting to read the background about some of the celebrities, but I didn't find any "drop dead" (if you will excuse the pun) recipe that I had to try immediately. However, for younger people who didn't know some of these people, the history might be interesting to them.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen by Frank DeCara is an interesting and entertaining cooking/pop culture. Written with wit,humor and bursting with usable recipes. It has some of Hollywood's famous stars,from Mike Douglas to Rue McClanahan and over a hundred in between. It includes profiles,ponderings,menus,and recipes.What a delightful book with a wonderul collection recipes from days gone by and the stars who enjoyed them.A must read for anyone who enjoys Hollywood,stars gone by, and of course recipes. I enjoyed "The Dead Celebrity Cookbook". This author has created a treasure to be shared with others and to keep in your kitchen. Received for an honest review from the publisher.Details can be found at Health Communications,Inc. and My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews. RATING:4 REVIEWED BY: AprilR
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No Judy Garland pill mixing Receipes, Dean Martin drink Recipes, or anything from Barbara Striesand. What is in the book is good it just isn't complete.