Tuesday, December 7, 2010


A new biography of Hedy Lamarr, for whom beauty was indeed a curse.
Her story was both unusual and fascinating, a true 20th-century tale. Her real name was Hedwig Kiesler. Born in 1914 as the beloved only child of a Viennese Jewish banker, she always attracted attention for her spectacular looks. By the time she was 16, she had embarked on a successful theatrical career. Before she was 20, she had shocked Austria with two major scandals: her marriage to the older Fritz Mandl, a millionaire arms dealer with connections to Mussolini, and her nude appearance in Gustav Machaty's 1933 film, "Ecstasy." The former she was able to run away from, heading from fascist Europe to America, but the latter stayed with her all her life.


Julygirl said...

Truly an incomparable beauty. I recently watched the film Samson and Delilah on Turner Classic Movies and the host, Robert Osbourne, said she never fulfilled her acting potential.

elena maria vidal said...

I don't think she did, either.

The North Coast said...

What Hedy Lamarr ought to be known for is her exceptional brain, equal to her spectacular looks.

Lamarr was, in addition to being a gorgeous actress, a scientist, inventor, and mathematician who co-invented "spread spectrum" or "frequency hopping" communications during WW2, that is the basis for much of modern wireless technology.

This woman had a varied and absolutely fascinating professional and intellectual life, and deserves a lot more celebrity for her scientific achievements..

elena maria vidal said...

She was a genius, I agree.

May said...

She looks like a sculpture, in that photograph.