Muses

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Hedy Lamarr (1914 - 2000)

The Austrian actress was remarked after starring in Gustav Machaty's film, Ecstasy, in 1933, which featured full frontal nude shots of her character as well as the first non-pornographic depiction of a women's orgasm. From a wealthy family and married to a prosperous industrial with fascist connections, Hedy Lamarr fled what she considered a stifling existence during a somewhat melodramatic escape to London, probably disguised as her maid. There, she met Louis B. Mayer who hired her and the actress made her Hollywood débuts in Algiers, in 1938. However, due to her beautiful bewitching looks and 'ecstatic' first role, she was always cast as the archetypal glamorous, exotic and loose seductress, during the 1940s. From the 1950s, she only appeared very rarely on screen and began a declining impecunious existence with a dangerous addiction to plastic surgery that disfigured 'the most beautiful woman in Europe’ and sordid shoplifting episodes. Yet, the actress proved to be a genius inventor when, alongside George Antheil, she invented a spread spectrum technique, enabling the coding of secret communications for which she earned a late recognition, in the 1990s. Then refused by the Navy, this discovery is now widely used for Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi technologies. The contradiction between Hedy Lamarr, the sexual fantasy and Hedy Lamarr, the inventor was too difficult for macho Hollywood to reconcile.

Tags / Hedy Lamarr - Austrian Actress - Cinematic Women - Muses - 1940s - Sex - Technology - Exotic
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Clarence Sinclair Bull, 1940
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Ziegfeld Girl directed by Robert Z. Leonard, 1941. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Algiers directed by John Cromwell, 1938. Photo by George Hurrell
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Algiers directed by John Cromwell, 1938. Photo by George Hurrell
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Come Live With Me directed by Clarence Brown, 1941
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and James Stewart for Come Live With Me directed by Clarence Brown, 1941
Don Ameche, Hedy Lamarr and James Stewart, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and James Stewart in Come Live With Me directed by Clarence Brown, 1941
Portrait of Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr in Comrade X directed by King Vidor, 1940. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr in Comrade X directed by King Vidor, 1940
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1942
Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr in Comrade X directed by King Vidor, 1940
Portrait of Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr in Comrade X directed by King Vidor, 1940
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The Conspirators directed by Jean Negulesco, 1944. Photo by Bert Six
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Copper Canyon directed by John Farrow, 1950
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Copper Canyon directed by John Farrow, 1950
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Crossroads directed by Jack Conway, 1942. Photo by Virgil Arper
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The Heavenly Body directed by Alexander Hall, 1944
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The Heavenly Body directed by Alexander Hall, 1944
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and William Powell in The Heavenly Body directed by Alexander Hall, 1944
Portrait of Robert Taylor and Hedy Lamarr in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939. Photo by Clarence Sincalir Bull
Portrait of Robert Taylor and Hedy Lamarr in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, costume design by Adrian, 1939
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, costume design by Adrian, 1939. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, costume design by Adrian, 1939. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and Robert taylor in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949. Photo by Ted Allan
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949
Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by George Hurrell, 1939
Hedy Lamarr and Charles Boyer in Algiers directed by John Cromwell, 1938
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and Spencer Tracy for Boom Town directed by Jack Conway, 1940
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and Spencer Tracy for Boom Town directed by Jack Conway, 1940
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Ziegfeld Girl directed by Robert Z. Leonard, 1941
Hedy Kiesler / Lamarr in Ekstasy directed by Gustav Machaty, 1933
Hedy Lamarr and George sanders in The Strange Woman directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, 1946
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1938
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1938
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of William Powell and Hedy Lamarr in The heavenly body directed by Alexander Hall, 1943. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Laszlo Willinger, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The Heavenly Body directed by Alexander Hall, 1944. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Crossroads directed by Jack Conway, 1942
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Algiers directed by John Cromwell, 1938. Photo by Robert Coburn, 1938
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Clarence Sinclair Bull, 1941
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The Heavenly Body directed by Alexander Hall, 1944. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The Heavenly Body directed by Alexander Hall, 1944. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The Heavenly Body directed by Alexander Hall, 1944. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in White Cargo directed by Richard Thorpe, 1942. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Clarence Sinclair Bull, 1941
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Boom town directed by Jack Conway, 1940. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Clarence Sinclair Bull, 1938
Portrait of William Powell, Hedy Lamarr and James Craig for The heavenly body directed by Alexander Hall, 1943. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1946
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Ziegfeld girl directed by Robert Z. Leonarf, 1941
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Experiment perilous directed by Jacques Tourneur, 1944
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Dishonored lady directed by Robert Stevenson, 1947
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Dishonored lady directed by Robert Stevenson, 1947
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Dishonored lady directed by Robert Stevenson, 1947
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1949
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of William Powell and Hedy Lamarr in The heavenly body directed by Alexander Hall, 1943. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by George Quintana, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Ned Scott, 1938
Hedy Lamarr on the set of I take this woman directed by W.S Van Dyke, 1940
Hedy Lamarr in I take this woman directed by W.S Van Dyke, 1940
Portrait of Kent Taylor and Hedy Lamarr for I take this woman directed by W.S Van Dyke, 1940
Portrait of Kent Taylor and Hedy Lamarr for I take this woman directed by W.S Van Dyke, 1940
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in White Cargo directed by Richard Thorpe, 1942. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Spencer Tracy and Hedy Lamarr in I take this woman directed by W.S Van Dyke, 1940
Hedy Lamarr in I take this woman directed by W.S Van Dyke, 1940
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Robert Coburn, 1938
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Algiers directed by John Cromwell, 1938. Photo by Robert Coburn, 1938
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and Robert Taylor for Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Boom town directed by Jack Conway, 1940. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for I take this woman directed by W.S Van Dyke, 1940. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The heavenly body directed by Alexander Hall, 1943. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The heavenly body directed by Alexander Hall, 1943
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The heavenly body directed by Alexander Hall, 1943
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Her highness and bellboy directed by Richard Thorpe, 1945. Photo by Eric Carpenter
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The heavenly body directed by Alexander Hall, 1943
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The heavenly body directed by Alexander Hall, 1943
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Laszlo Willinger, 1930's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Laszlo Willinger, 1930's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939. Photo by Laszlo Willinger
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Crossroads directed by Jack Conway, 1942
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Copper Canyon directed by John Farrow, 1950
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Tortilla Flat directed by Victor Fleming, 1942. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and Robert taylor in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr in Comrade X directed by King Vidor, 1940. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and Richard Carlson for White Cargo directed by Richard Thorpe, 1942. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for White Cargo directed by Richard Thorpe, 1942. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr with Tony Martin for Ziegfeld Girl directed by Robert Z. Leonard, 1941. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr in Comrade X directed by King Vidor, 1940. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Her highness and bellboy directed by Richard Thorpe, 1945. Photo by Eric Carpenter
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for The Strange Woman directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, 1946
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for The Strange Woman directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, 1946
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for White Cargo directed by Richard Thorpe, 1942. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949. Photo by Ted Allan
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The Heavenly Body directed by Alexander Hall, 1944
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in A lady without passport directed by Joseph H. Lewis, 1950
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and John Hodiak in A lady without passport directed by Joseph H. Lewis, 1950
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The Heavenly Body directed by Alexander Hall, 1944
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Laszlo Willinger, 1940
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Clarence Sinclair Bull, 1939
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1939
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Clarence Sinclair Bull, 1930's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Clarence Sinclair Bull, 1930's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1930's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and Charles Boyer in Algiers directed by John Cromwell, 1938
Portrait of Hedy Kiesler / Lamarr in Ekstase directed by Gustav Machaty, 1933
Hedy Lamarr on the set of Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in White Cargo directed by Richard Thorpe, 1942
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Ziegfeld Girl directed by Robert Z. Leonard, 1941
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for Tortilla flat directed by Victor Fleming, 1942
Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr and John Garfield in Tortilla flat directed by Victor Fleming, 1942
Hedy Lamarr in White Cargo directed by Richard Thorpe, 1942
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The Heavenly Body directed by Alexander Hall, 1944
George Brent and Hedy Lamarr in Experiment perilous directed by Jacques Tourneur, 1944
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for The Strange Woman directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, 1946
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Copper Canyon directed by John Farrow, 1950
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Copper Canyon directed by John Farrow, 1950
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in The Conspirators directed by Jean Negulesco, 1944. Photo by Bert Six
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939. Photo by Clarence Sincalir Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, Judy Garland and Lana Turner for Ziegfeld Girl directed by Robert Z. Leonard, 1941
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939. Photo by Clarence Sincalir Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Lady of the tropics directed by Ben Hecht, 1939. Photo by Clarence Sincalir Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for White Cargo directed by Richard Thorpe, 1942. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for White Cargo directed by Richard Thorpe, 1942. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Hedy Lamarr on the set of A lady without passport directed by Joseph H. Lewis, 1950
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1930's
Hedy Lamarr, Judy Garland and Lana Turner for Ziegfeld Girl directed by Robert Z. Leonard, 1941
Portrait of Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr and Lana Turner for Ziegfeld Girl directed by Robert Z. Leonard, 1941. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Comrade X directed by King Vidor, 1940. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Comrade X directed by King Vidor, 1940. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Kiesler / Lamarr for Ekstasy directed by Gustav Machaty, 1933
Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949. Photo by Ted Allan
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949. Photo by Ted Allan
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Tortilla Flat directed by Victor Fleming, 1942. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in White Cargo directed by Richard Thorpe, 1942
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Clarence Sinclair Bull, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Ziegfeld Girl directed by Robert Z. Leonard, 1941. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Clarence Sinclair Bull, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949. Photo by Ted Allan
Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1949
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for The Strange Woman directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, 1946
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr for My favorite spy directed by Norman Z. McLeod, 1951
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Hedy Lamarr shooting for The Strange Woman directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, 1946
Hedy Lamarr shooting for The Strange Woman directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, 1946
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr, 1940's
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1938
Portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1938