Hedy Lamarr, born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, was an Austrian-American actress, inventor, and film producer. She appeared in 30 films over a 28 year career, and co-invented an early version of frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication for torpedo guidance. Her greatest success was as Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson andDelilah.
About Hedy Lamarr in brief
Hedy Lamarr, born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, was an Austrian-American actress, inventor, and film producer. She appeared in 30 films over a 28 year career, and co-invented an early version of frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication for torpedo guidance. Lamarr was born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, and acted in a number of Austrian, German, and Czech films in her brief early film career. In 1937, she fled from her husband, a wealthy Austrian ammunition manufacturer, secretly moving to Paris and then on to London. There she met Louis B. Mayer, head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio, who offered her a Hollywood movie contract. She became a star through her performance in Algiers, her first United States film. She starred opposite Clark Gable in Boom Town and Comrade X, and James Stewart in Come Live with Me and Ziegfeld Girl. Her other MGM films include Lady of the Tropics, H. M. Pulham, Esq. and White Cargo ; she was also borrowed by Warner Bros. for The Conspirators, and by RKO for Experiment Perilous. She co-founded a new production studio and starred in its films: The Strange Woman, and Dishonored Lady. Her greatest success was as Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson andDelilah. She also acted on television before the release of her final film, The Female Animal. In 1960, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.
Although the US Navy did not adopt Lamarr and Antheil’s invention until 1957, various spread-spectrum techniques are incorporated into Bluetooth technology and are similar to methods used in legacy versions of Wi-Fi. In 2014, the pair were posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for their work in World War II. She was the first woman to be inducted in the hall of fame. She died in New York City on January 19, 2000, at the age of 89. She is survived by her daughter, Hedy, and her son-in-law, Peter Lorre, who was also a film producer, and two step-grandchildren. She had a daughter and a step-son, both of whom are still living in the U.S. Today, Lamarr is remembered as one of the most successful actresses of the 20th century. She also helped improve aircraft aerodynamics for Howard Hughes while they dated during the war. She helped get her mother out of Austria and to the United States, where Gertrud Kieler later became an American citizen. She converted to Catholicism as an adult, and raised her daughter Hedy as a Catholic as well, though she was not formally baptized at the time. She never trained with any of his productions. She stayed in Berlin to work with Russian producer Alexis Granowsky.