“Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.” –Hedy Lamarr
Born Headwig Eva Maria Kiesler on November 19, 1914 in Austria,
Lamarr appeared in her first film when she was 17.
In 1932, her appearance in the German film Extase brought her to the attention of Hollywood producers.
Her trademark voluptuous figure and seductive voice quickly made her a sex symbol.
netting her the nickname of “The Most Beautiful Woman in Film.” Lamarr has a total of 35 film credits,
Only the “Secret Communications System” was eventually fruitful. Her other ideas,
such as an improved stoplight, were not well documented
After retirement, Lamarr stepped out of the spotlight. Later in life,
police arrested her twice for shoplifting (once in 1991 and once in 1996).
However, neither case resulted in a conviction.
Lamarr passed away in her Florida home on January 19, 2000 at the age of 86.
Lamarr’s case is not one of stolen credit. Rather,
the US military simply did not have the technology to develop her
invention at the time of its design (the invention was patented in 1941).
Fortunately, Lamarr received credit for her invention before her death. In 1997
she received both the Electric Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award and the BULBIE Gnass Achievement Award.
Lamarr was the first woman to receive the latter reward, which was considered “the Oscar of inventing.” Later,
an episode of the television show Dark Matters featured the story behind the “Secret Communication System.”