|Height:||170 cm (5' 7'')|
|Birth Day:||November 9, 1914|
|Death Date:||Jan 19, 2000 (age 85)|
|Birth Place:||Vienna, Austria|
Hollywood actress well-known for her roles in Ecstasy in 1933 and Samson and Delilah in 1949. She appeared in Boom Town and Comrade X with Clark Gable.
As per our current Database, Hedy Lamarr died on Jan 19, 2000 (age 85).
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|170 cm (5' 7'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
She was born in Austria and studied theatre in Berlin.
Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in 1914 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, the only child of Emil Kiesler (1880–1935) and Gertrud "Trude" Kiesler (née Lichtwitz; 1894–1977). Her father was born to a Galician-Jewish family in Lemberg (now Lviv, Ukraine), and was a successful bank manager. Her mother was a pianist, born in Budapest to an upper-class Hungarian-Jewish family. She converted to Catholicism as an adult, at the insistence of her first husband, and raised her daughter Hedy as a Catholic as well, though she was not formally baptized at the time.
In early 1933, at age 18, Hedy Kiesler, still working under her maiden name, was given the lead in Gustav Machatý's film Ecstasy (Ekstase in German, Extase in Czech). She played the neglected young wife of an indifferent older man.
Kiesler also played a number of stage roles, including a starring one in Sissy, a play about Empress Elisabeth of Austria produced in Vienna in early 1933, just as Ecstasy premiered. It won accolades from critics.
On August 10, 1933, at the age of 18, Kiesler married Mandl, then 33. The son of a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, Mandl insisted that she convert to Catholicism before their wedding in Vienna Karlskirche. In her autobiography Ecstasy and Me, Mandl is described as an extremely controlling husband. He strongly objected to her having been filmed in the simulated orgasm scene in Ecstasy and prevented her from pursuing her acting career. She claimed she was kept a virtual prisoner in their castle home, Castle Schwarzenau [de] in the remote Waldviertel near the Czech border.
After arriving in London in 1937, she met Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, who was scouting for talent in Europe. She initially turned down the offer he made her (of $125 a week), but booked herself onto the same New York-bound liner as he. During the trip, she impressed him enough to secure a $500 a week contract. Mayer persuaded her to change her name from Hedwig Kiesler (to distance herself from "the Ecstasy lady" reputation associated with it). She chose the surname "Lamarr" in homage to the beautiful silent film star, Barbara La Marr, on the suggestion of Mayer's wife, Margaret Shenberg.
When Mayer brought Lamarr to Hollywood in 1938, he began promoting her as the "world's most beautiful woman". He introduced her to producer Walter Wanger, who was making Algiers (1938), an American version of the noted French film, Pépé le Moko (1937).
In 1939, Lamarr was voted the "most promising new actress" of 1938 in a poll of area voters conducted by a Philadelphia Record film critic.
Their invention was granted a patent under U.S. Patent 2,292,387 on August 11, 1942 (filed using her married name Hedy Kiesler Markey). However, it was technologically difficult to implement, and at the time the US Navy was not receptive to considering inventions coming from outside the military. Nevertheless, it was classified in the "red hot" category. It was first adapted in 1957 to develop a sonobuoy before the expiration of the patent, although this was denied by the Navy. At the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, an updated version of their design was installed on Navy ships. Today, various spread-spectrum techniques are incorporated into Bluetooth technology and are similar to methods used in legacy versions of Wi-Fi. Lamarr and Antheil's contributions were formally recognized in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
After leaving MGM in 1945, Lamarr formed production company Mars Film Corporation with Jack Chertok and Hunt Stromberg, producing two film noir motion pictures which she also starred in: The Strange Woman (1946) as a manipulative seductress leading a son to murder his father, and Dishonored Lady (1947) as a formerly suicidal fashion designer trying to start a new life but gets accused of murder. Her initiative was unwelcomed by the Hollywood establishment, as they were against actors (especially female actors) producing their films independently. Both films grossed over their budgets, but were not large commercial successes.
In 1948, she tried a comedy with Robert Cummings, called Let's Live a Little.
In 1951, British moviegoers voted Lamarr the tenth best actress of 1950, for her performance in Samson and Delilah.
Asteroid 32730 Lamarr, discovered by Karl Reinmuth at Heidelberg Observatory in 1951, was named in her memory. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on August 27, 2019 (M.P.C. 115894).
Lamarr became a naturalized citizen of the United States at age 38 on April 10, 1953. Her autobiography, Ecstasy and Me, was published in 1966. In a 1969 interview on The Merv Griffin Show, she said that she did not write it and claimed that much was fictional. Lamarr sued the publisher in 1966 to halt publication, saying that many details were fabricated by its ghost writer, Leo Guild. She lost the suit. In 1967, Lamarr was sued by Gene Ringgold, who asserted that the book plagiarized material from an article he had written in 1965 for Screen Facts magazine.
In 1960, Lamarr was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the motion picture industry, at 6247 Hollywood Blvd adjacent to Vine Street where the walk is centered.
Following her sixth and final divorce in 1965, Lamarr remained unmarried for the last 35 years of her life.
Lamarr was signed to act in the 1966 film Picture Mommy Dead, but was let go when she collapsed during filming from nervous exhaustion. She was replaced in the role of Jessica Flagmore Shelley by Zsa Zsa Gabor.
In 1966, Lamarr was arrested in Los Angeles for shoplifting. The charges were eventually dropped. In 1991, she was arrested on the same charge in Florida, this time for stealing $21.48 worth of laxatives and eye drops. She pleaded no contest to avoid a court appearance, and the charges were dropped in return for her promise to refrain from breaking any laws for a year.
She played the seductive native girl Tondelayo in White Cargo (1942), top-billed over Walter Pidgeon. It was a huge hit. White Cargo contains arguably her most memorable film quote, delivered with provocative invitation: "I am Tondelayo. I make tiffin for you?" This line typifies many of Lamarr's roles, which emphasized her beauty and sensuality while giving her relatively few lines. The lack of acting challenges bored Lamarr, and she reportedly took up inventing to relieve her boredom. In a 1970 interview, Lamarr also remarked that she was paid less because she would not sleep with Mayer.
During the 1970s, Lamarr lived in increasing seclusion. She was offered several scripts, television commercials, and stage projects, but none piqued her interest. In 1974, she filed a $10 million lawsuit against Warner Bros., claiming that the running parody of her name ("Hedley Lamarr") featured in the Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles infringed her right to privacy. Brooks said he was flattered; the studio settled out of court for an undisclosed nominal sum and an apology to Lamarr for "almost using her name". Brooks said that Lamarr "never got the joke". With her eyesight failing, Lamarr retreated from public life and settled in Miami Beach, Florida, in 1981.
In the 1982 off-Broadway musical Little Shop of Horrors and subsequent film adaptation (1986), Audrey II says to Seymour in the song "Feed Me" that he can get Seymour anything he wants, including "A date with Hedy Lamarr."
In 1996, a large Corel-drawn image of Lamarr won the annual cover design contest for the CorelDRAW's yearly software suite. For several years, beginning in 1997, it was featured on boxes of the software suite. Lamarr sued the company for using her image without her permission. Corel countered that she did not own rights to the image. The parties reached an undisclosed settlement in 1998.
In 1997, Canadian company WiLAN signed an agreement with Lamarr to acquire 49% of the marketing rights of her patent, and a right of first refusal for the remaining 51% for ten quarterly payments. This was the only financial compensation she received for her frequency-hopping spread spectrum invention. A friendship ensued between her and the company's CEO, Hatim Zaghloul.
In 1997, Lamarr and George Antheil were jointly honored with the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award.
Also in 1997, Lamarr was the first woman to receive the Invention Convention's BULBIE Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award, known as the "Oscars of inventing".
Lamarr became estranged from her son, James Lamarr Loder (who believed he was adopted until 2001), when he was 12 years old. Their relationship ended abruptly, and he moved in with another family. They did not speak again for almost 50 years. Lamarr left James Loder out of her will, and he sued for control of the US$3.3 million estate left by Lamarr in 2000. He eventually settled for US$50,000. James Loder was the Omaha, Nebraska police officer who was charged but then acquitted of the killing of 14 year old Vivian Strong in 1969.
Lamarr died in Casselberry, Florida, on January 19, 2000, of heart disease, aged 85. According to her wishes, she was cremated and her son Anthony Loder spread her ashes in Austria's Vienna Woods.
In the 2003 video game Half-Life 2, Dr. Kleiner's pet headcrab, Lamarr, is named after Hedy Lamarr.
In the last decades of her life, Lamarr communicated only by telephone with the outside world, even with her children and close friends. She often talked up to six or seven hours a day on the phone, but she spent hardly any time with anyone in person in her final years. A documentary film, Calling Hedy Lamarr, was released in 2004 and features her children Anthony Loder and Denise Loder-DeLuca.
The 2004 documentary film Calling Hedy Lamarr features her children, Anthony Loder and Denise Loder-DeLuca.
In 2008, an off-Broadway play, Frequency Hopping, features the lives of Lamarr and Antheil. The play was written and staged by Elyse Singer, and the script won a prize for best new play about science and technology from STAGE.
In 2010, Lamarr was selected out of 150 IT people to be featured in a short film launched by the British Computer Society on May 20.
Also during 2010, the New York Public Library exhibit Thirty Years of Photography at the New York Public Library included a photo of a topless Lamarr (c. 1930) by Austrian-born American photographer Trude Fleischmann.
In 2011, the story of Lamarr's frequency-hopping spread spectrum invention was explored in an episode of the Science Channel show Dark Matters: Twisted But True, a series that explores the darker side of scientific discovery and experimentation, which premiered on September 7.
Batman co-creator Bob Kane was a great movie fan and his love for film provided the impetus for several Batman characters, among them, Catwoman. Among Kane's inspiration for Catwoman were Lamarr and actress Jean Harlow. Also in 2011, Anne Hathaway revealed that she had learned that the original Catwoman was based on Lamarr, so she studied all of Lamarr's films and incorporated some of her breathing techniques into her portrayal of Catwoman in the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises.
In 2013, her work in improving wireless security was part of the premiere episode of the Discovery Channel show How We Invented the World.
In 2014, Lamarr and Antheil were posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology.
Also in 2014, Lamarr was given an honorary grave in Vienna's Central Cemetery, where the remaining portion of her ashes were buried in November, shortly before her 100th birthday.
In 2015, on November 9, the 101st anniversary of Lamarr's birth, Google paid tribute to Lamarr's work in film and her contributions to scientific advancement with an animated Google Doodle.
In 2016, Lamarr was depicted in an off-Broadway play, HEDY! The Life and Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, a one-woman show written and performed by Heather Massie.
Also in 2016, the off-Broadway, one-actor show Stand Still and Look Stupid: The Life Story of Hedy Lamarr starring Emily Ebertz and written by Mike Broemmel went into production.
Also in 2016, Whitney Frost, a character in the TV show Agent Carter, was inspired by Lamarr and Lauren Bacall.
The 2017 documentary film Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, written and directed by Alexandra Dean and produced by Susan Sarandon, about Lamarr's life and career as an actress and inventor, also featuring her children Anthony and Denise, among others, premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. It was released in theaters on November 24, 2017, and aired on the PBS series American Masters in May 2018. As of April 2020, it is also available on Netflix.
In 2017, actress Celia Massingham portrayed Lamarr on The CW television series Legends of Tomorrow in the sixth episode of the third season, titled "Helen Hunt". The episode is set in 1937 "Hollywoodland" and references Lamarr's reputation as an inventor. The episode aired on November 14, 2017.
In 2018, actress Alyssa Sutherland portrayed Lamarr on the NBC television series Timeless in the third episode of the second season, titled "Hollywoodland". The episode aired March 25, 2018.
A novelization of her life, The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict, was published in 2019.
Currently, Hedy Lamarr is 107 years, 10 months and 19 days old. Hedy Lamarr will celebrate 108th birthday on a Wednesday 9th of November 2022.
Find out about Hedy Lamarr birthday activities in timeline view here.