The Austrian-American actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr has more than one reason to be celebrated as a legend. In Austria she became known as an actress, and as an inventor she developed a technology that is considered the forerunner of today’s Bluetooth connections.
Hedy Lamarr all-round talent and superstar
Hedy Lamarr, at that time still Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, was born in Vienna in 1914 and already celebrated her first scandal in the film Ecstasy in 1933, because it contained both a ten-minute nude scene and indicated a female orgasm. It was therefore banned in the United States and in Nazi Germany.
She married the fascist industrialist Fritz Mandl, who soon banned her from acting, which prompted her to divorce and emigrate to Paris and London in 1937.
There she received the stage name Hedy Lamarr, became an opponent of National Socialism and soon came to Hollywood under the title “most beautiful woman in the world”, where she, now a star, became a role model for many women and fellow actors. So some copied their look of brown hair and parting on the middle. She celebrated her greatest success in films such as “Algiers” and “Samson and Dlilah”, but later claimed that she had often rejected more demanding roles.
Her most famous invention was a radio control patented in 1942, on which she and Share, a composer friend, had worked for months. Although the invention has never been used, its simultaneous frequency change technique is still used today. It wasn’t until late in 1997 that she received the EFF Pioneer Award for her invention, just a few years before her death.
Six marriages, several children and affairs with women and men shaped their lives with ups and downs. From 2017 to 2018, the Theater in der Josefstadt dedicated her play, “Seven Seconds Eternity”, to present her life to posterity. Today she is buried in the Vienna Central Cemetery, although she spent most of her life in the United States.