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Ursula Parrott & Avocado a la Norma Shearer

Author Ursula Parrott + Norma Shearer = Pre-Code fun!

Ursula Parrott authored the book "Ex-Wife" and adapted it for the screen. It was re-titled The Divorcee and Norma Shearer was cast in the lead role. It launched an entirely new chapter in her career and netted her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Parrott also wrote the film Strangers May Kiss for Shearer as well.

Don't miss the exhibit "A Free Soul: The Unexpected Life & Legacy of Norma Shearer" at the Hollywood Heritage Museum. It runs now through the end of October 2023.

Author Marsha Gordon's will be lecturing at the Hollywood Heritage Museum on Saturday, October 7th at 11:00am. Click HERE for tickets.

Don't miss Marsha Gordon's introduction of the pre-code Leftover Ladies at the UCLA Film & TV Archive on Sunday, October 8th at 7:00pm.

Darin will be giving a lecture at Hollywood Heritage on Saturday, October 14th at 11:00. Click HERE for tickets.


This recipe is from a June 1934 issue of Photoplay Magazine and a story called "Choice Hollywood Recipes".


1 avocado

crab meat

1 cup cream

1 egg yolk



cayenne pepper


grated cheese


Slice in half a good size avocado and take out the seed. Mix 1 cup cream and the yolk of an egg in the top half or a double broiler or sauce pan. Mix the sauce with fresh or canned crab meat. Add salt, pepper and a dash of Cayenne pepper along with a large tablespoon of Sherry. Pour this mixture over the avocado halves and spread grated cheese over the top and place in oven.

Special Guests

Darin Barnes has worked in the entertainment industry for almost thirty years. Beginning in production, he moved into talent representation, eventually working with hair and makeup artists. Finding his love for classic films at an early age, Darin is a collector of vintage memorabilia focusing mainly on actress Norma Shearer and recently curated the exhibition “The Unexpected Life & Legacy of Norma Shearer: The Queen of the MGM Lot” for The Hollywood Heritage Museum. Darin is proud of his volunteer work with the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills and currently lives in Downtown Los Angeles.

Marsha Gordon is the author of "Becoming the Ex-WifeThe Unconventional Life and Forgotten Writings of Ursula Parrott". She is a Professor of Film Studies at North Carolina State University, a former Fellow at the National Humanities Center, and the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar award. Marsha is the author of numerous books and articles and co-director of several short documentaries.


The Final Result

We hit a few snags along the way. First off, we used 1 cup of cream with the egg yolk, but the result was very runny and it wouldn't firm up at all. We decided to drain off most of the cream and only use a small amount.

This didn't specify a cook time, which isn't unusual in vintage recipes. We decided to cook at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. At first the result didn't have much flavor. We added a bit more salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Unfortunately I went a bit overboard on the cayenne pepper for the second batch. The avocados were so spicy that I drank two huge glasses of water in a row.

Overall these turned out pretty well and would make a great side dish or appetizer. So far the Avocado a la Norma Shearer and the Chocolate Antoinette are the hits!

Norma Shearer's Canadian Oatmeal Sticks and Pineapple Sweet Salad were misfires, but at least we had fun trying!

Darin and I will continue our quest to leave no stone unturned in making Norma Shearer recipes! Stay tuned!

Here are some of the films written or co-written by Ursula Parrott.

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Thank you for watching and stay tuned for more food, fun and film history.


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