LIFESTYLE

Hedy Lamarr: Beautiful Actress And The Mastermind Behind The Invention Of GPS And Wi-Fi

Date December 6, 2017

They called her “The Most Beautiful Woman in Films.” She was one of the first actresses who agreed to get naked in front of the camera and play nude scenes back in the 1930s. Most people remember Hedy Lamarr for starring alongside the biggest stars of that time: Charles Boyer, Clark Gable, and Spencer Tracy.

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But only a few know that behind the facade of a successful Hollywood star, there was a talented inventor who is partially responsible for the creation of such technologies as Bluetooth, G.P.S., or Wi-Fi.

Fleeing the Nazis to sparkle in Hollywood

The story of Hedy Lamarr begins in Vienna, Austria. Born in 1914, she was named Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler. Later, the girl would change that long Jewish name to Hedy Lamarr.

She was only a teenager when she dropped out of school and started to build her acting career. Her first remarkable work was the scandalous role in the 1932's film Exstase. While the film was prohibited in the U.S., this role opened the doors to Hollywood for the young actress.

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In the late 1930s, Hedy moves to the States, sings a contract with MGM, and triumphantly begins her career in Hollywood with a film Algiers. She shared the set with some of the most legendary actors of the time and starred in many iconic films of the Hollywood's golden age.

Making a step toward inventing Wi-Fi

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Hedy Lamarr had a hobby that was not quite common for a woman of her time: she loved to take things apart, tinker them, and create something new. She was a true inventor and even had a laboratory in her house.

In 1942, Hedy and her old friend – a composed George Antheil – patented a new technology that would play a significant part in developing both military and high-tech industries. Together, the actress and the musician figured out a way to guide military torpedoes to the targets by using a coded version of radio communications. At the time, their idea was technologically difficult to implement. But today, it is widely used for developing more complex wireless-communication technologies like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Going through six marriages

Being named one of the most beautiful women of her time did not help Hady Lamarr find the happiness in her personal life. The legendary actress was married and divorced six times. Most of her marriages lasted for only a couple of years.

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She had three children: two sons, Lames and Anthony, and a daughter, Denise. In 1965, Hedy divorced her last husband, Lewis J. Boies, and never got married again. She died in 2000 at the age of 85.

The little-known side of Hedy Lamarr's identity is revealed in the latest documentary Bombshell by Alexandra Dean. The film includes the news footage of different times as well as interviews with the actress' children. It tells the true story of an amazing woman who managed to win over the Hollywood with her beauty but was not able to get the same recognition for her incredible brain.

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Invention