Hedy Lamar
Golden Goddess!
In Memory of the death of Hedy Lamar who had the title of "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" and is the God Mother of Cell Phone Technology!
Golden Goddess!

Hedy Lamar

"I am Tondelayo. I make tiffin for you?" So murmured Hedy Lamarr in 1942's White Cargo, famously seducing Walter Pidgeon with an offer of lunch on a plantation in steamy Tahiti. Miss Lamarr, whose assets included buckets of beauty and a thimble of acting talent, was one of the glamour goddesses of Hollywood's golden age, named "the most beautiful woman in the world" and was the godmother of cell phone technology. She married six times, most famously to Austrian munitions magnate Fritz Mandl, a Hitller crony whom she divorced in 1937.

Lamarr, who catapulted to notoriety on the basis of a 1932 Czech film, Ecstasy, in which she did the backstroke nude in a woodland lake, was not a very expressive actress. The raven-haired actress, whose alabaster skin and vermilion lips launched a million fantasies, was in many ways the prototypical Hollywood glamour-puss. Her perfect features rarely displayed any emotion stronger than mild pique or some all-but-immobile imitation of happiness. But what a face! Hers was probably the most perfect kisser of all the brunette goddesses. And who could forget her as Delilah, in Samson and Delilah? "No man leaves Delilah," she says to Victor Mature just before the Philistines put out his eyes.

She is celebrated more for quotability than ability. Her declaration that "any girl can be glamorous--all you have to do is stand still and be stupid" remains the most accurate description of her presence in movies such as Algiers, 1938, Ziegfield Girl, 1941 and Tortilla Flat, 1942.

Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler was born in Vienna on Nov. 9 1913, to a banker father and pianist mother. Hedy claimed it was 1915. The daughter of privilege was used to the kindness of friends in high places. One of them, Vienna theater director Max Reinhardt, was struck by her loveliness and did nothing to discourage her from deserting her studies for his company.

After appearing in a handful of German films, she scampered fawnlike through Ecstasy director Gustav Machaty's contribution to film erotica. The image of her sun-dappled nakedness won her many admirers, most prominently munitions millionaire, Mandl.

In the luscious Hedwig Kiesler, Mandl found the ideal trophy wife. He forbade her to act and encouraged her to direct her talents to entertaining his "business associates." The two fascist dictators were as dazzled by Miss Lamarr as she was repulsed by them. She left her husband and her homeland in 1937. In London, the 24-year old met Hollywood mogul Louis B. Mayer who gave her a studio contract just around the time his son-in-law signed the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman.

While crossing the Atlantic she christened herself Hedy Lamarr in part because she idolized American silent actress Barbara La Mar and in part because she was on "la mer," French for the sea.

Hollywood immediately dubbed her, "the most beautiful woman in the world," and quickly relegated to the role of a decorative object. While she appeared to sleepwalk through Algiers opposite Charles Boyer, she was admirably spirited in H.M. Pulham Esq. in 1941 as the career girl who wakes up staid Bostonian Robert Young. Her greatest box-office success came as the temptress opposite Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah, 1949.

She recently received attention for her most enduring achievement, the radio-signaling device Miss Lamarr and a partner patented in 1942. While her colleagues in Hollywood plotted their next radio appearance, she immersed herself in the intricacies of spread spectrum radio transmission, the forerunner of cellular phone technology. It is possible that without Miss Lamarr, modern military communications and cordless phones would have been developed much later.

The woman who had learned about the latest in German and Austrian technology at her husband's plants met composer George Antheil at a dinner party in 1940 and shared him what she knew about the design of remote-controlled torpedoes, which were vulnerable to detection and jamming. Miss Lamarr believed the solution was to broadcast the weapon's signals on rapidly changing frequencies. She and Antheil developed a frequency-hopping system by which both the transmitting and receiving stations of a remote-control torpedo changed at intervals. They received a U.S. Patent in August 1942, and their research was put to limited use by the U.S. Navy during World War II. Miss Lamarr did not ask for anything for their use of her work. While she raised her children, the military and private sector took a growing interest in spread spectrum technology.

Her 1999 statement, "Films have a certain place in a certain time period. Technology is forever," showed Miss Lamarr had a firm grasp of priorities.

She died January 19, 2000.

Body of Work

The Female Animal (1957) .... Vanessa Windsor

The Story of Mankind (1957) .... Joan of Arc

Eterna Femina (1954)

L'Amante di Paride (1953) .... Hedy Windsor

My Favorite Spy (1951) .... Lily Dalbray

Copper Canyon (1950) .... Lisa Roselle

Lady Without Passport, A (1950) .... Marianne Lorress

Samson and Delilah (1949) .... Delilah

Let's Live a Little (1948) .... Dr. J.O. Loring

Dishonored Lady (1947) .... Madeleine Damien

The Strange Woman (1946) .... Jenny Hager

Her Highness and the Bellboy (1945) .... Priness Veronica

Conspirators, The (1944) .... Irene

Experiment Perilous (1944) .... Alida Bederaux

The Heavenly Body (1943) .... Vicky Whitley

Show Business at War (1943) .... Herself

Crossroads (1942) .... Lucienne Talbot

Tortilla Flat (1942) .... Dolores "Sweets" Ramirez

White Cargo (1942) .... Tondelayo

Come Live with Me (1941) .... Johanna Janns (Johnny Jones)

H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941) .... Marvin Myles

Ziegfeld Girl (1941) .... Sandra Kolter

Boom Town (1940) .... Karen Van Meer

Comrade X (1940) .... Theodora (Golubka)

The Miracle of Sound (1940) .... Herself

I Take This Woman (1939) .... Georgi Gragore

Lady of the Tropics (1939) .... Manon deVargnes

Algiers (1938) .... Gaby (Gabrielle)

Extase (1932) .... Eva

Die Blumenfrau von Lindenau (1931) .... Secretary

Die Koffer Des Herrn O.F. (1931) .... Helene

Man Braucht Kein Geld (1931) .... Kathe Brandt

Sturm Im Wasserglas (1931)

Geld auf der Strasse (1930) .... Young Girl


Zane Grey Theater (1956) Proud Woman Episode broadcast 10-25-57

What's My Name (1950's)

Hullabaloo (1965?)

The most beautiful woman in the world!

Hedy Lamarr

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    In Memory of the death of Hedy Lamar who had the title of "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" and is the God Mother of Cell Phone Technology!
    Golden Goddess!