This week is the 100h birthday of achingly beautiful actress, brilliant scientist, author and compulsive shoplifter Hedy Lamarr. She was married six times and slept with Hitler (so says a biographer). She is an amazing example of everyone’s ability to have many interests and explore all of them. The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.
NAME: Hedy Lamarr
OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Pin-up
BIRTH DATE: November 09, 1913
DEATH DATE: January 19, 2000
PLACE OF BIRTH: Vienna, Austria
PLACE OF DEATH: Orlando, Florida
ORIGINALLY: Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler
BEST KNOWN FOR: Extraordinarily beautiful, Hedy Lamarr was a Austrian-American actress during MGM’s “Golden Age.”
Actress. Born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, on November 9, 1913, in Vienna, Austria. Discovered by an Austrian film director as a teenager, she gained international notice in 1933, with her role in the sexy Czech film Ecstasy. After her marriage with Fritz Mandl, a wealthy Austrian munitions manufacturer, ended, she signed a contract with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio and began her career in Hollywood as Hedy Lamarr. Upon the release of her first American film, Algiers, co-starring Charles Boyer, Lamarr became an immediate box-office sensation.
Often referred to as one of the most gorgeous and exotic of Hollywood’s leading ladies, Lamarr made a number of well-received films during the 1930s and 1940s. Notable among them were Lady of the Tropics (1939), co-starring Robert Taylor; Boom Town (1940), with Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy; Tortilla Flat (1942), co-starring Tracy; and Samson and Delilah (1949), opposite Victor Mature. She was reportedly producer Hal Wallis’ first choice for the heroine in his classic 1943 film, Casablanca, a part that eventually went to Ingrid Bergman.
In 1942, during the heyday of her career, Lamarr earned recognition in a field quite different from entertainment. She and her friend, the composer George Antheil, received a patent for an idea of a radio signaling device, or “Secret Communications System,” that later became an important step in the development of technology to maintain the security of both military communications and cellular phones.
Lamarr’s film career began to decline in the 1950s; her last film was 1958’s The Female Animal, with Jane Powell. In 1966, she published a steamy best-selling autobiography, Ecstasy and Me, but later sued the publisher for what she saw as errors and distortions perpetrated by the book’s ghostwriter. She was arrested twice for shoplifting, once in 1966 and once in 1991, but neither arrest resulted in a conviction.
Lamarr was married six times and had two children, Anthony and Denise, with her third husband, the actor John Loder. She also adopted a son, James. In the later years of her life, Lamarr lived quietly in Orlando, Florida. She died on January 19, 2000, at the age of 86.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Hedy Lamarr has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6247 Hollywood Blvd.
In 2003, the Boeing corporation ran a series of recruitment ads featuring Hedy Lamarr as a woman of science. No reference to her film career was made in the ads.
“My problem is, I’m a hell of a nice dame, The most horrible whores are famous. I did what I did for love. The others did it for money.”
“Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.”
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
The Female Animal (22-Jan-1958)
The Story of Mankind (8-Nov-1957) · Joan of Arc
My Favorite Spy (17-Dec-1951) · Lily Dalbray
Copper Canyon (22-Sep-1950)
A Lady Without Passport (3-Aug-1950) · Marianne Lorress
Samson and Delilah (31-Oct-1949) · Delilah
Let’s Live a Little (9-Dec-1948)
Dishonored Lady (16-May-1947) · Madeleine Damien
The Strange Woman (25-Oct-1946)
Her Highness and the Bellboy (11-Jul-1945) · Princess Veronica
Experiment Perilous (18-Dec-1944) · Allida Bederaux
The Conspirators (17-Oct-1944) · Irene Von Mohr
The Heavenly Body (29-Dec-1943) · Vicky Whitley
Crossroads (23-Jul-1942) · Lucienne Talbot
Tortilla Flat (21-May-1942) · Dolores Sweets Ramirez
White Cargo (1942) · Tondelayo
H.M. Pulham, Esq. (3-Dec-1941) · Marvin Myles
Ziegfeld Girl (25-Apr-1941) · Sandra Kolter
Come Live With Me (29-Jan-1941) · Johnny Jones
Comrade X (13-Dec-1940) · Theodore
Boom Town (30-Aug-1940) · Karen Vanmeer
I Take This Woman (2-Feb-1940) · Georgi Gragore
Lady of the Tropics (11-Aug-1939) · Manon DeVargnes
Algiers (28-Jun-1938) · Gaby