[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: Inventor of FHSS dead

Thursday, 20 January, 9:53 a.m.
O R L A N D O , F L A . (AP)

HEDY LAMARR spent the last decades of her
life much as she spent the first: scorning the
glamorous image that made her a Hollywood

Neighbors said the Austrian-born movie siren
often collected her mail under the cover of
night, grasping a cane in one hand and a
flashlight in the other. 

"Any girl can be glamorous," the actress, once
billed as the world's most beautiful woman,
told The Associated Press in 1942. "All you
have to do is stand still and look stupid." 

Miss Lamarr, who was both a Hollywood
pinup and a born tinkerer once granted a
communications technology patent, was found
dead in her home Wednesday. She was 86. 

She first achieved international fame and
notoriety as a result of the 1933 Czech film
"Ecstasy," in which she acted in a steamy love
scene and appeared nude in a 10-minute
swimming sequence. 

Hollywood, while decades away from such
frankness, recognized a beautiful face and the
value of the publicity "Ecstasy" engendered. 

After a few years away from the camera as the
wife of Fritz Mandl, an Austrian munitions
magnateMiss Lamarr was signed by MGM
and brought to the United States in 1937. 

Her American film debut came in 1938 with
"Algiers," co-starring Charles Boyer. She
played a wealthy adventurer and became a
box-office sensation despite grousing by Boyer
that she couldn't act. 

In its review, the show biz paper Variety
disagreed. "She brings to the picture an
abundance of good looks, acting talent and
enticement," it said, adding that with a little
encouragement, "nothing apparently stands
between her and success in Hollywood films." 

She epitomized smoky glamour in a string of
movies in the 1930s and '40s, including
"Tortilla Flat," in which she played a woman
who was part-Mexican; "White Cargo,"
playing a slave woman; and "Lady of the

One of her most successful films was the 1949
"Samson and Delilah," directed by Cecil B.
DeMille, with Victor Mature as Samson. She
got a rare chance to try comedy in "My
Favorite Spy," a 1951 Bob Hope film. 

"She was one of the most beautiful women in
film and a great pleasure to work with," Hope
said Wednesday. 

Miss Lamarr was reputedly the first choice of
producer Hal Wallis for the heroine Ilsa in the
1943 classic "Casablanca," but the part
eventually went to Ingrid Bergman. 

The daughter of a banker, Miss Lamarr was
born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on Nov. 9,
1913, although some references say 1914 or
1915. Her screen name was said to be an
homage to the 1920s screen beauty Barbara
La Marr. 

She was married and divorced six times - to
Mandl, screenwriter Gene Markey, actor John
Loder, nightclub owner Ernest Stauffer, oil
millionaire W. Howard Lee and lawyer Lewis
W. Boies Jr. 

She adopted a son, James, and had two
children with Loder, Anthony and Denise. 

During World War II, Miss Lamarr showed off
another side when she came up with the idea
of a radio signaling device that would reduce
the danger of detection or jamming. 

Drawing on her knowledge of military
products that she picked up while married to
Mandl, Miss Lamarr and a friend, composer
George Antheil, developed the idea further
and received a patent in 1942. 

The method she developed was not used at
the time but since the '80s, high-tech versions
of the concept, called "spread spectrum," have
been used in some cordless phones, military
radios and wireless computer links. 

"I read the patent," Franklin Antonio, chief
technical officer of the cellular phone maker
Qualcomm Inc., said in 1997. "You don't usually
think of movie stars having brains, but she sure

Miss Lamarr said she was "interested in

"When I was a little girl, just 4 years old, I
remember my father had a gold watch. And I
asked "Why does this in front go around, how
does this work?" Miss Lamarr told the AP in

She once wanted to work at National
Inventors Council in Washington, D.C., but
was told she could do more for the fight
against the Nazis by using her star status to
sell war bonds. 

"She's been forgotten. But she contributed so
much to an older generation. A lot of men fell
in love with her. And now the younger
generation is benefiting from the unknown
creative work that she did," her son, Anthony
Loder, said in 1997. 

Her acting career faded in the mid-'50s, when
she appeared in some Italian productions. Her
last film was "The Female Animal" with Jane
Powell in 1958. 

She said her career suffered because she
wouldn't sleep with a VIP just to get ahead.
"My problem is I'm a hell of a nice dame," she
said in a 1970 interview. 

Her 1966 autobiography, "Ecstasy and Me,"
filled with sexy anecdotes, some of them
involving other women, became a best seller.
But she later sued, saying the manuscript
prepared by the ghostwriter was full of
distortions and errors. 

A pair of shoplifting arrests - neither of which
resulted in convictions - and a series of
lawsuits against companies she said were
misusing her likeness - caused headlines in her
later years. 

"I'm sick and tired of being in the limelight,"
Miss Lamarr told a New York radio station
after the second shoplifting incident. 

See also:


At 02:10 PM 01/20/2000 Thursday , you wrote:
>>The inventor of FHSS, Hedy Lamarr has died.
>>She had other minor things for which she was
>>famous but this is the most important achievement
>>of her very interesting life.
>>From a news story carried by @home news service
>>quoting N6NKF:
>>"I read the patent," Franklin Antonio, chief
>>technical officer of the cellular phone maker
>>Qualcomm Inc., said in 1997. "You don't usually
>>think of movie stars having brains, but she sure
>Can you forward the article to me or tell me where I can read it?
>Thanks, Dennis
>     /  /  /  /  /      * Dennis Dinga           * dennis@dinga.com
>    /--/--/--/--/       * 1024 Twin Canyon       * n6dd@amsat.org
>   /  /  /| /  /  N6DD  * Diamond Bar, CA 91765  * Tel: 909-860-1515
>          |             * USA                    * Fax: 909-860-3685

Via the amsat-bb mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe amsat-bb" to Majordomo@amsat.org