Profile of the Day: Hedy Lamarr

Posted November 9, 2022 by Amanda | No Comment

Today we celebrate actress Hedy Lamarr, who was born on this day in 1914.

Image: Hedy Lamarr / Wikimedia Commons

She was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on November 9, 1914 in Vienna, Austria-Hungry. A top actress of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Lamarr was discovered as a teenager by an Austrian film director. At 19, she married Friedrich Mandl, a wealthy Austrian military arms merchant who did business with Mussolini and Hitler. The marriage was an unhappy one, and in 1937, she fled to Paris. It was there that she met MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer.

She changed her name to Lamarr and found success in Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah. Despite her successes on screen, Lamarr found acting to be unchallenging and boring. During World War II, she felt strongly about contributing to the war effort. Lamarr worked with composer George Antheil and together, they patented an early technique for frequency hopping, which would help prevent the Nazis from jamming Allied radio signals. Although their achievements were not recognized during her lifetime, their work would form the basis for wireless communication today and help lay the groundwork for GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technologies.

Explore Hedy Lamarr’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re related. 

View Hedy Lamarr’s Geni Profile

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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