“Dishonored Lady” Stars Hedy Lamarr, Often Called “The Most Beautiful Woman In Hollywood”

May 15, 2017 — She was easily one of the most beautiful women in the world — but that was only one side of Hedy Lamarr.

An A-list star, Lamarr’s film career was just part of her thoroughly remarkable life.

She first rose to fame in a film entitled Ecstasy. The film, shot in 1933 in Czechoslovakia, showed a few brief scenes of Lamarr swimming and running through a forest naked. That alone would have made it scandalous (and a hit); but it also had a scene in which the beautiful actress simulated having an orgasm. Although nothing but her face was shown, the scene was considered thoroughly shocking — and probably the first time in film history that a woman appeared to be having sex (and enjoying it).

Lamarr, who was born in Austria, would be discovered in Europe by Louis B. Mayer. He brought her to America in 1938, and billed her as “The World’s Most Beautiful Woman.” Her first Hollywood movie, Algiers, with Charles Boyer, was a remake of the French film Pepe le Moko, and is considered a classic. 

Her most prolific years as a film star were from 1938 until 1951, during which time she would star opposite most the great male stars from the Golden Years of Hollywood — Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, William Powell, James Stewart and Bob Hope were all among her so-stars. But her extravagant beauty made casting her as a normal woman difficult. Louis B. Mayer used her primarily as the archetypal foreign temptress, a role with which Lamarr grew increasingly bored.

Unlike many of the screen’s stars, being an actress was not enough for this seriously intelligent woman.

Lamarr had become interested in applied science, and started to think about becoming an inventor. Her early creations were practical but not fascinating. However, with the advent of World War II, Lamarr, a serious anti-fascist, began to look for ways to aid the war effort. She and a neighbor named George Antheil invented a “frequency-hopping” system which rendered radio-controlled torpedoes almost impossible to jam. 

The U.S Navy at first refused to use the technology; many people believe that they were unable to comprehend how important it was. In 1962 it would be employed during the blockade of Cuba. But perhaps more important, frequency-hopping became the basis of numerous modern technologies, including Bluetooth, GPS and COFDM, which is used in WiFi connections.

Lamarr and Antheil would eventually be honored for their work. They were  inducted (posthumously) into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.  The patent for the invention would be purchased by a technology developer in 1998; they were given numerous awards, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award for lifetime achievements in the arts, sciences, business, or invention fields in a way that made a significant contribution to society. She was the first woman to win the BULBIE™ Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award, considered “The Oscars” of inventing.

Lamarr was a remarkable woman — undeniably beautiful, which may have made people overlook how brilliant she was.

Stream Dishonored Lady and see how astonishingly beautiful Lamarr was — unfortunately, it will not show you how brilliant she was.

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