Tantalizing Tuesday: Hedy LaMarr

heddy lamarr

Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.


Hope and curiosity about the future seemed better than guarantees. That’s the way I was. The unknown was always so attractive to me… and still is.

–Hedy LaMarr

I heard somewhere that Hedy Lamarr felt her looks were more of a detriment in her life than a help, though she know how to use them to get her way in Hollywood for a time, until it was over. And it was over fast. I have been fascinated by her story for some time. There are elements in it that are so sad. But we shall press forward and focus on the bright spots.

You can’t blame me for being interested in a lovely Austrian lady that Hollywood at a certain point seemed to give up on just because her face was older; who was married six times, the first time to a munitions dealer who knew both Mussolini and Hitler; a woman who was a brilliant inventor, but was not acknowledged for it or her invention utilized until she was in her 70’s and 80’s.

It’s not the first time you’ve heard me say how sexy I believe brains are. It won’t be the last. Hedy, born Hedvig Kiesler in Vienna was an intelligent woman. But first, this is how I remember her best–on the silver screen.

I watched her eat a plum with Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah

In The Strange Woman she played a woman who could get anything from a man if she wanted it badly enough. She went through men like I change my socks, and seemed to get away with it, at least at first.

In 1941 Hedy Lamarr and George Anthiel acquired a patent for a communications system they were sure could be helpful to the allies during World War II.

Hedy newspaper

But it was not utilized at that time and wasn’t fully acknowledged until the age of the cell phone, when her invention of Spread Spectrum Technology became the advent for the wireless technology in every cell phone, lap top, blue tooth, GPS and the U.S. military’s guided missiles.

hedy with proofs

Hedy loved to tinker and had a laboratory in her home.

hedy lab.jpg

I heard a rumor that Howard Hughes fitted her trailer on a film set with a minature version of her inventor’s table so she could continue her work there.

In 1997, Hedy LaMarr recieved the BULBIE Gnass Spirit of Achievement award for a lifetime of inventing. I can’t help but see so clearly how the world of film and glamour underestimated and under-utilized what she was capable of.





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