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Hedy Lamarr – actress and inventor

Hedy Lamarr - actress and inventor

Hedy Lamarr – actress and inventor

Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian and then American film actress popular in 1930-1940 and inventor. She was frequently called the most beautiful woman in motion pictures.
Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler was born on November 9, 1914 in Vienna. She was the only child into the family of Gertrude and Emil Kiesler. Her father was a director of the Bank of Vienna and her mother was a pianist. She grew up in luxury and received an excellent education. Since childhood, she studied music and ballet, was fond of theater and other arts.
At the age of 16 Hedwig left her house, entered drama school, and began to act in films. She made her debut in the German film The Girl in the night club (1930). In the late 1920s Max Reinhardt invited her to Berlin.
Ecstasy (1933), a Czech-Austrian film by Gustav Mahata, brought her world fame. Her nude bathing in a forest lake is innocently enough according the standards of the XXI century, but in 1933 it caused a storm of emotions. The film was banned in several countries and released in rent in a few years with the censor cuts. In the same year she married manufacturer of weapons, Austrian millionaire Fritz Mandl. He was so insanely jealous that he tried to buy up every copy of Ecstasy.

He kept her a virtual prisoner in their castle. In the summer of 1937, after four years of a failed marriage, Frau Mandl escaped from the castle. She left London for New York. On her way there she signed a contract with Luis Mayer, the founder of MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). On his advice she took the alias – Hedwig Kiesler became Hedy Lamarr. Her first Hollywood film was the film Algeria, where she played the role of Gaby. In Hollywood, Hedy Lamarr very quickly got into a row with stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo. She played the role of a mysterious and fascinating foreigner even in her real life. She became one of the brightest movie stars of her time. She was very successful and earned 30 million dollars playing in films. She was also a popular World War II pinup, and participated in war bond and United Service Organization(USO) tours.
Lamarr appeared in her last feature film, The Female Animal, in 1957. Later she had some success as a songwriter and artist in Greenwich Village.
Hedy was married six times and had three children.
In addition to movies, Hedy Lamarr was engaged in inventive activity. In 1942, she patented a system that allowed managing torpedoes remotely. Her birthday – November 9 – is the Day of the Inventor in the German-speaking countries.
In August 1942, Lamarr and Antheil received patent under the number 2292387, Secret Communication System. However, the US Navy rejected the project due to difficulties in implementation. Subsequently, the method of frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) first described in their patent found application not only for the military, but also civilian needs. In particular, modern wireless standards such as GSM, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other are based on FHSS technology.
In 1997, Lamarr was officially awarded for her discovery, but the actress was not at the ceremony.
In early 2014, Lamarr was inducted into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Hedy Lamarr died on January 19, 2000 in Orlando, Florida at the age of 85. The ashes of the actress, according her will, had been scattered in her homeland, in Austria, the Vienna Forest.

Hedy in her childhood

Hedy in her childhood

Interesting facts
– In the movie 1940 Comrade X (directed by King Vidor, with Clark Gable) Lamarr played the role of Russian girl named Feodora and in a number of scenes she spoke Russian.
– On November 9, 2015 in honor of the birth of the actress Google search engine dedicated a doodle to her.
– “Any girl can be charming. She only needs to stand still and look silly “- Hedy said ironically. She knew a lot about charm and was considered one of the most beautiful women of her time.
– Hedy was one of the first and few brunettes who achieved success in Hollywood.
– “My beauty is my curse. I had to play the role of stupid puppets. When I asked for a serious role, directors began to laugh at me, “- said the actress.
– Even as a teenager, she was extraordinarily beautiful, and at least one man committed suicide when she would not marry him.

Hedy Lamarr – actress and inventor