Actress & Inventor

Sixteen year old Hedy Lamarr (Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) photographed by Trude Fleischmann in Vienna, 1930.

Lamarr was born in Vienna, and acted in a number of Austrian, German, and Czech films in her brief early film career. In 1937, she fled from her husband, a wealthy Austrian ammunition manufacturer, secretly moving to Paris and then on to London. There, she met Louis B. Mayer, head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studio, who offered her a Hollywood movie contract, where he began promoting her as ‘the world’s most beautiful woman’.

Beside her acting career from Vienna, through Berlin, Paris and finally to Hollywood, Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes at the beginning of World War II, which used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of jamming. The principles of their work are now incorporated into modern Wi-Fi, CDMA and Bluetooth technology.