Category Archives: Phil’s Famous Fitness

Silver Screen Shape-Up Secrets Of Legendary Hollywood Leading Ladies: Marlene Dietrich

Screen icon Marlene Dietrich has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the first actresses publicly told to lose weight by her studio. Shortly thereafter, she began a punishing weight-loss diet of broth, cottage cheese, and toast, combined with an exercise regimen that included swimming and free weights.

After that initial slim down, Marlene regularly followed the very popular and widespread “13-Day German Diet” to help “shape and tone” her body. Once every six months, she closely followed the structured meal plan which consisted of a precisely calculated, strict sequence of dishes that allows for no deviation. In between meals, the incomparable actress drank only mineral water.

Because the diet is nutritionally inadequate and severely restricts calorie intake, there are a number of disadvantages to following what some refer to as a “calorie-cycling” diet. Cutting calories too low and dropping weight too quickly can result in a litany of negative effects on the body including metabolic slow down and weight gain, muscle loss, lethargy, fatigue and general weakness, headaches and difficulty concentrating, dry or cracked skin, and hair loss. As for Marlene, who lived to be 90 years old, it has been said that she frequently spoke of a feeling of “discontent (hunger) in the stomach” while on the 13-day course.

Throughout her long and storied career, which spanned from the 1910’s to the 1980’s, Marie Magdalene “Marlene” Dietrich successfully traded on her glamorous persona and smoldering physical sex appeal to become one of the highest-paid actresses of the era. We’ll probably never know if it was the extreme diet or her use of Tinseltown magic (body-sculpting undergarments, nonsurgical temporary facelifts (tape), expert makeup and wigs, and careful stage lighting) that helped preserve Dietrich’s signature look, slim figure and energetic on-screen demeanor. But what we do know for sure is that her commanding aura and boundary-pushing performances continue to fascinate contemporary audiences to this day.

Here’s a quick look at the 13-Day German Diet:

As noted above, the following diet is nutritionally inadequate and potentially dangerous. It eliminates food groups altogether and is lacking the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to fully and properly function. It is provided here for informational purposes only. Do not begin or use any aspect of this diet until you have consulted with and received specific approval from your personal physician to do so. If your physician gives you specific permission to begin or use this diet, do so only under their direct supervision at all times. The author of this material strongly recommends that you DO NOT begin and/or use the following diet in any way or manner. Use of this diet and/or any information contained herein is at your sole risk and the author disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained herein.


  • Breakfast: 1 cup of unsweetened black coffee or tea and 1 small cracker.
  • Lunch: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 80 grams of spinach seasoned with a little oil, and 1 tomato.
  • Dinner: 1 small beef or pork cutlet, 150 grams of salad (finely chopped tomatoes and green onions) seasoned with oil.


  • Breakfast: 1 cup of unsweetened black coffee or tea, and 1 small cracker.
  • Lunch: 200 grams of salad (chopped cabbage and tomatoes) seasoned with oil, and dessert choice: 1 medium orange, 2 tangerines, 1 large apple, or 3 plums.
  • Dinner: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 200 grams of lean boiled beef, and 80 grams of green (romaine lettuce) salad.


  • Breakfast: 1 cup of unsweetened black coffee or tea.
  • Lunch: 1 hard-boiled egg, 200 grams of boiled carrots seasoned with a small amount of oil, and 100 grams of cheese.
  • Dinner: 250 grams of fruit salad (apple, mandarin, banana, pear or any other fruit to your taste).


  • Breakfast: 1 glass of fresh apple juice.
  • Lunch: 250 grams of fried or boiled fish, 1 tomato, and 1 large apple.
  • Dinner: 1 small beef or pork cutlet, 150 grams of mixed green salad seasoned with a little oil or lemon juice.


  • Breakfast: 1 glass of fresh carrot juice.
  • Lunch: 200 grams of fried chicken, and 100 grams of mixed green salad with lemon juice.
  • Dinner: 2 hard-boiled eggs, and 1 small grated carrot seasoned with oil.


  • Breakfast: 1 cup of unsweetened black tea and a cracker.
  • Lunch: 200 grams of roast beef and 150 grams of chopped cabbage salad seasoned with lemon juice.
  • Dinner: 100 grams of grated carrots seasoned with oil, and 150 grams of cheese.


  • Breakfast: 1 cup of unsweetened black tea and a cracker.
  • Lunch: 200 grams of fried or boiled chicken.
  • Dinner: 300 grams of any fruit (apples, pears, plums, oranges, or any other fruit to your taste).

Legendary Bodybuilder Actors: Mike Henry

Michael Dennis Henry was a bodybuilding professional football player at the time he entered the acting profession.

Mike played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1958 to 1961 and the Los Angeles Rams from 1962 to 1964. During part of that time, he was under contract with Warner Brothers and played a variety of parts on TV’s Surfside 6, Hawaiian Eye, Cheyenne, and in the feature film Spencer’s Mountain.

Mike’s most prominent role was as Tarzan in three 1960s movies that were filmed back-to-back in 1965: Tarzan and the Valley of Gold, Tarzan and the Great River, and Tarzan and the Jungle Boy. The role of Tarzan came Mike’s way when producer Sy Weintraub (a Rams Fan) saw him in a TV documentary about the football team produced by and featuring Mike. Weintraub had been searching for a “younger Burt Lancaster” type and believed that Mike would be a perfect King of the Jungle for his upcoming film productions and a TV series that he had in early development. Critics agreed, saying that the dark-haired, square-jawed, bodybuilder resembled classic illustrations of the ape-man more than any other actor who had taken on the role before. Unfortunately, Weintraub’s Tarzan productions were less than ideal for Mike who suffered animal bites, food poisoning, numerous infections, a liver ailment, and impossible work schedules in Mexico and Brazil. After completing his final Tarzan film, Mike turned down the television series and sued the producer for maltreatment, abuse, and working conditions detrimental to his health and welfare. Ron Ely starred in the subsequent series.

Mike went on to portray Sergeant Kowalski in The Green Berets with John Wayne, Luke Santee in More Dead Than Alive with Clint Walker and Vincent Price, corrupt Sheriff “Blue Tom” Hendricks in Rio Lobo with John Wayne, and a nasty prison guard in The Longest Yard with Burt Reynolds. Mike also acted with Charlton Heston in three films: Number One, Skyjacked, and Soylent Green.

Mike is probably best known to movie audiences for playing Jackie Gleason‘s character’s dim-witted son “Junior” in the highly popular Smokey and the Bandit comedies, starring Burt Reynolds and Sally Field.

Sadly, Mike retired from acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1988.

Legendary Bodybuilder Actors: William Smith

William Smith is an American actor who has appeared in almost three hundred feature films and television productions.

While serving in the United States Air Force as a Russian Intercept Interrogator with both CIA and NSA security clearances, Bill flew secret ferret missions over the Russian SFSR. He also managed to win both the USAF weightlifting and arm-wrestling championships. After his service, the 6’2” bodybuilder went on to hold a 31-1record as an amateur boxer, win multiple global arm-wrestling competitions, develop exceptionally proficient fighting skills in the martial arts, hone his fluency in five languages and study at Syracuse University, the University of Munich, the Sorbonne in Paris, and finally at UCLA where he graduated Cum Laude with a Master’s Degree.

Often called “the greatest bad-guy character actor of our time”, Bill is probably best known for his portrayal as “Falconetti” in ABC’s Rich Man, Poor Man. But his legions of fans best know the chiseled 200-pound actor as series-regular favorites police Sergeant Danny Keller on The Asphalt Jungle, as Texas Ranger Joe Riley on the NBC western series Laredo and as Detective James “Kimo” Carew on Hawaii Five-O.

Legendary Bodybuilder Actors: Clint Walker

Clint Walker was an iconic American actor and is perhaps best known for his starring role as cowboy Cheyenne Bodie in the Warner Bros. western series “Cheyenne” which ran on ABC from 1955 to 1963.

Born Norman Eugene Walker in Hartford, Illinois, Clint left school at an early age to work on a riverboat before becoming a United States Merchant Marine at the age of 17- during the last months of World War II.

After leaving the service, Clint began his career on screen after working a variety of odd jobs in Brownwood, Texas, Long Beach, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada – where he worked as a doorman at the Sands Hotel.

After appearing in small roles in various films, Clint was hired by Cecil B. DeMille to appear in The Ten Commandments – a casting that caught the attention of Warner Brothers. The famous studio offered him an audition for the lead in a television series set in the Old West that they were developing called, “Cheyenne”. Clint’s striking good looks, imposing physique and easy acting style combined to help him clinch the role of a roaming cowboy hero in the post-American Civil War era.


After “Cheyenne”, Clint moved on to film roles, primarily in Westerns and war movies, including “Fort Dobbs”, “Yellowstone Kelly”  “Send Me No Flowers”, “None But the Brave”, “The Night of The Grizzly”, and “The Dirty Dozen”. He also guest starred in an impressive roster of televisions shows and television movies including “The Jack Benny Program”, “The Lucy Show”, “Yuma”, “Hardcase”,“Killdozer”, “Snowbeast”, “Love Boat”, and “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues”.


The legendary Vince Gironda once called the 6’6”-210 pound actor “the most physically impressive big man I have ever seen. What a natural body!”

Jennifer Nicole Lee

A native of Rochester, New York, Jennifer Nicole Lee (born Jennifer Nicole Siciliano on June 13, 1975) is an American fitness model, motivational speaker, and author.

Her life-long struggle with her weight culminated after the birth of her second child when her bodyweight reached 200 pounds. At that point, and with no fitness experience or knowledge whatsoever, Jennifer undertook a year-long exercise and nutrition regimen that resulted in a 70 pound weight loss and being crowned Miss Bikini America in 2005.


Betty Brosmer

Betty Brosmer, better known by her married name Betty Weider, is an American bodybuilder and physical fitness expert.


During the 1950s, she was a popular commercial model and pin-up girl; standing 5’5” tall, weighing 99 pounds, and sporting 37-18-36 inch measurements.

After she married entrepreneur Joe Weider in 1961, Betty began a lengthy career as a fitness spokesperson and magazine columnist.7 8 9 12 13 18