Hedy Lamarr (November 9, 1913–January 19, 2000) was an actress and communications innovator. She was known as The Most Beautiful Woman In Films and also as the inventor of the first form of spread spectrum.
Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna, Austria and died in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
While married to her first husband, Fritz Mandl, an arms manufacturer, she socialized with Adolf Hitler and Mussolini. She also became educated technically in his trade. Mandl was obsessed with his wife and never let her out of his sight. She hated him and his Nazi friends and finally escaped to London by drugging him.
She met Louis B. Mayer of MGM in London. He hired her and changed her name to Hedy Lamarr, the surname in homage to a famously beautiful film star of the silent era, Barbara LaMarr. She had already appeared in several European films, including Ecstasy, in which she played a love-hungry young wife of an indifferent old husband. Closeups of her face in passion, and long shots of her running naked through the woods, gave the film notoriety.
In Hollywood, she appeared in many films, usually cast as glamorous and seductive, including White Cargo and Tortilla Flat (both 1942), based on the novel by John Steinbeck. Her biggest success came in Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah (1949) with Victor Mature as the Biblical strongman.
Lamarr became a naturalized citizen of the United States on April 10, 1953.
The private life of Hedy Lamarr was unhappy. She was married at least five times; several of her marriages lasted only a few months. She was frequently involved in lawsuits. Late in her years, she was arrested twice for shoplifting. When she died at age 86 in her apartment near Orlando, Florida on January 19, 2000, she was alone.
Hedy Lamarr was survived by hertwo children, Denise Loder Deluca and Anthony Loder (adopted).
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