Hedy Lamarr was an actress, film producer and inventor of Austrian American descent. She pioneered the first version of the spread-spectrum that would form the basis of today’s communication systems like Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS.
5 Facts About Hedy Lamarr
She showed interest in acting and inventions at an incredibly young age.
She co-invented the spread spectrum.
She was married and divorced 6 times.
She hardly spent time with anyone in person during her last years.
She was dubbed “the world’s most beautiful woman.”
Inspiration Quotes from Hedy Lamarr
“Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.”
Hedy Lamarr Biography
Hedy Lamarr was born on November 9, 1914 as Hedwig Eva Marie Kiesler. She was the only child of Emil Kiesler, a successful bank manager, and Gertrude Kiesler who was a pianist. Although her father was from a Galician-Jewish family and her mother from a Hungarian-Jewish family, Lamarr was raised as a Catholic.
Lamarr began her acting career at a noticeably young age. She showed interest in theatre and film while she was still a child. At 12 years old, Lamarr won the Vienna beauty contest and she featured in her first film, Geld auf der Strase, at age 17.
Her father would also take her for walks and explain how various technologies functioned. She later became a citizen of the United States in 1953, at age 38.
She went on with her film career and worked with Czechoslovakian and German productions. It was not until 1932 that she was recognized after she played in the German film Exstase. This film made her recognized by Hollywood producers, and it was not long before signed a contract with MGM.
Once she got into Hollywood, she resorted to change her name to Hedy Lamarr. She starred in her first Hollywood film Algiers (1938) which made her a huge star. She was also featured in other popular films like Tortilla Flat (1942), White Cargo (1942), Samson and Delilah (1949) and The Female Animal (1957). In these films, she worked alongside popular actors like Charles Boyer, Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, and Spenser Tracy.
Apart from being a beautiful and talented actress, Lamarr was noted for her work of invention in the beginning of World War II. She was extremely intelligent, and she patented an innovation idea that later made her the mind behind WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth.
Lamarr admitted that invention ideas came naturally to her, and it was something that she found easy to do. When she settled in Beverly Hills, Lamarr met with Howard Hughes and John. F. Kennedy who furnished her with experiment equipment. She took advantage of her downtime from her acting career to experiment and come up with new inventions.
Lamarr admitted that her role was on the creative work of the invention while her co-inventor, George Antheil, did the chemical part. Although she was not particular with how the device worked, Lamarr says that they used a silver matchbox to simulate the wiring of the device.
In 1942, Lamarr and Antheil, patented their “Secret Communication System.” Their patent aimed to solve the problem where enemies blocked signals from missiles controlled by radio during the World War II. This way, the Nazis could not detect the Allied Torpedos.
Although the idea was difficult to implement because of the technology of the time, Lamarr’s idea was significant for the cell phone industry. The military did not also take much consideration especially because the invention came from outside the military.
Currently, several spread -spectrum technologies are used in the Bluetooth technology. These are like those used in the WiFi technology.
Although she was officially recognized for her contribution to technology by the US military, Lamarr did not receive any compensation. Lamarr did not receive the compensation that was right for her ideas. This is despite her idea paving way for the multi-billion-dollar industry.
Marriage and Children
Lamarr was first married by Friedrich Mandi in 1933 to 1937. The couple divorced, and she got married to five other men before her final divorce in 1965. Lamarr had three children and she remained unmarried for the last 35 years of her life before she died.
Lamarr was separated from her son, James Lamarr Loder. This is because James believed that he was adopted, and he went to live with another family when he was 12. The two did not speak for almost 50 years and Lamarr did not include him in her will.
In her final years, Lamarr communicated with the outside world only by telephone. She did not spend time with anyone in person during the last decades of her life. In January 2000, Lamarr passed on in Casselberry, Florida, aged 85. She was cremated as per her wishes and her ashes were spread in Austria’s Vienna Woods.
Become a Lottie Super Fan!- Be the first to hear about new Lottie Dolls- Help to inspire the latest Lottie Dolls and Accessories- Suggest new ideas & activities you’d love to see- Take part in exclusive launch team competitions
*Unsubscribe at any time! We will never share or sell your data.