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Profile of the Day: Hedy Lamarr

Profile of the Day: Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr

Today we celebrate the 104th birthday of Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr. Not only was Lamarr one of the most popular film actresses during Hollywood’s Golden Age, but she was also a brilliant inventor. She co-invented the technology behind GPS, Bluetooth, and WiFi.

Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on November 9, 1914 in Vienna, Austria-Hungry. At the age of 19, she married Fritz Mindl, a wealthy military arms merchant and munitions manufacturer. It was an unhappy marriage; her husband was extremely controlling and prevented her from pursuing her career as an actress. She eventually fled her home and escaped to Paris.

In 1937, she met MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer, who was scouting Europe for talent. He convinced her to change her name to Hedy Lamarr and signed her to a contract with MGM. Considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, Lamarr found instant fame in films such as Samson and Delilah and White Cargo. Although she had much success as an actor, Lamarr found the profession to be unchallenging. As a hobby, she enjoyed coming up with various inventions. During World War II, Lamarr felt strongly about contributing to the war effort. She worked alongside composer George Antheil to come up with an early technique for spread spectrum communications. Together, the co-inventors received a patent for a “Secret Communication System,” where radio-communications hopped frequencies so that Allied torpedoes couldn’t be detected by the Nazis. Although Lamarr did not receive much recognition at the time, her invention would eventually lead to the development of wireless communication today.

Explore Hedy Lamarr’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re related to the brilliant inventor and actor.

View Hedy Lamarr’s Geni Profile


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Image: Wikimedia Commons


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