Everybody Loves: Hedy Lamarr (and a good story)
Hedy Lamarr – Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler ( November 9, 1913 – January 19, 2000) Not just another pretty face from Hollywood’s Golden Age, but a smart one as well. You see, Hedy helped invent technology that would eventually be used in cellular phones and WIFI. It’s called “Frequency-hopping spread-spectrum”. Here’s the story; Hedy and her Avante-Garde musician friend George Anthiel developed an automated control for playing multiple musical intruments – in this case player pianos. With this, they then created an early version of ‘frequency hopping’ using a piano roll to change between 88 different frequencies, which was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or jam. The idea wasn’t implemented until 1962 when it was used by U.S. military ships during the blockade of Cuba. This invention would later lay the basis for Spread-Spectrum Communication Technology which would be instumental in the developement of WIFI and Cordless communication. So Hedy Lamarr Invented the cell phone – sort of.
Now for her movie career – Hedy started her career as a teenager in Berlin and was dubbed the most beautiful ‘Woman in Europe’. In 1933 she starred in the Czech film Ecstasy. Closeups of her face during orgasm in one scene (rumored to be unsimulated), and full frontal shots of her in another scene, swimming and running nude through the woods, gave the film great notoriety. She was ‘discovered’ in Paris by Louis B. Mayer in 1933 and brought to Hollywood. Her first American role was the lead in Algiers co-starring Charles Boyer. Hedy’s career went into decline in the early ’50’s and she lived the rest of her life out of the public eye in, of all places, Florida. She was really only heard from a couple of times, once when she was arrested for shoplifting and also to sue Mel Brooks for using her name in the movie Blazing Saddles.