elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Hedy Lamarr (November 9, 1913 – January 19, 2000)

With one of the most beautiful faces ever to appear in films, Hedy Lamarr was a sophisticated, highly intelligent woman who shares a patent for the invention of "frequency hopping spread spectrum," the technology that later made cellular telephones practical.

Lamarr’s earliest lesbian encounter was when she was seduced by a sixteen-year-old schoolmate named Georgia. Her autobiogaphy, Ecstasy and Me, was remarkably frank when it was published in 1966. She described her strong attraction to other women and detailed numerous sexual encounters with women as well as men.

Lamarr describes meeting a young actress named Marcia on the MGM lot: "... my heart was pounding a bit. I kept telling myself to keep control... I knew that the magnetic current had flowed both ways... As luncheon progressed, I knew she was on the make for me. Her hand often rubbed against my thigh under the table and once to make a point she squeezed my leg and looked into my eyes... [Later] we cuddled on the seat of the car... Her hands went under my dress and all over me and I let her do what she wanted to and all my frustration and hate left me."

Another encounter was with a wardrobe mistress named Lolly: "She began deliberately kissing me all over, starting at my breasts and working down across my stomach until she was on her knees. At my first moan, which was involuntary, she carried me to the bed and now I tried to fight her off. But she had won."

The notoriously litigious Lamarr sued Mel Brooks for making jokes about her in Blazing Saddles. She sued Corel Corporation for using her image in their advertising. She sued six husbands for divorce, in often nasty proceedings. She eventually sued her publisher, claiming that many of the anecdotes in her book had been fabricated by the ghostwriter.

Stern, Keith. Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals. Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Further Readings:

Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World (Vintage) by Richard Rhodes
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (August 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307742954
ISBN-13: 978-0307742957
Amazon: Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes delivers a remarkable story of science history: how a ravishing film star and an avant-garde composer invented spread-spectrum radio, the technology that made wireless phones, GPS systems, and many other devices possible.

Beginning at a Hollywood dinner table, Hedy's Folly tells a wild story of innovation that culminates in U.S. patent number 2,292,387 for a "secret communication system." Along the way Rhodes weaves together Hollywood’s golden era, the history of Vienna, 1920s Paris, weapons design, music, a tutorial on patent law and a brief treatise on transmission technology. Narrated with the rigor and charisma we've come to expect of Rhodes, it is a remarkable narrative adventure about spread-spectrum radio's genesis and unlikely amateur inventors collaborating to change the world.

Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr by Stephen Michael Shearer
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (September 28, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312550987
Amazon: Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr

The Surprising Story of Hedy Lamarr, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”

As a teenage actress in 1920s Austria, performing on the stage and in film in light comedies and musicals, Hedy Kiesler, with her exotic beauty, was heralded across Europe by her mentor, Max Reinhardt. However, it was her nude scene, and surprising dramatic ability, in Ecstasy that made her a star. Ecstasy’s notoriety followed her for the rest of her life. She married one of Austria’s most successful and wealthy munitions barons, giving up her career for what seemed at first a fairy-tale existence. Instead, as war clouds loomed in the mid-1930s, Hedy discovered that she was trapped in a loveless marriage to a controlling, ruthless man who befriended Mussolini, sold armaments to Hitler, yet hid his own Jewish heritage to become an “honorary Aryan.”

She fled her husband and escaped to Hollywood, where M-G-M changed her name to Hedy Lamarr and she became one of film’s most glamorous stars. She worked with such renowned directors as King Vidor, Victor Fleming, and Cecil B. DeMille, and appeared opposite such respected actors as Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, John Garfield, and James Stewart. But as her career waned, her personal problems and legal wranglings cast lingering shadows over her former image. It wasn’t until decades later that the world was stunned to learn of her unexpected role as the inventor of a technology that has become an essential part of everything from military weaponry to cell phones—proof that Hedy Lamarr was far more than merely Delilah to Victor Mature’s Samson. She demonstrated a creativity and an intelligence she had always possessed.

Stephen Michael Shearer’s in-depth and meticulously researched biography, written with the cooperation of Hedy’s children, intimate friends, and colleagues, separates the truths from the rumors, the facts from the fables, about Hedy Lamarr, to reveal the life and character of one of classic Hollywood’s most beautiful and remarkable women.

Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film (Screen Classics) by Ruth Barton
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky; Reprint edition (January 12, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0813136547
ISBN-13: 978-0813136547
Amazon: Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film

Hedy Lamarr's life was punctuated by salacious rumors and public scandal, but it was her stunning looks and classic Hollywood glamour that continuously captivated audiences. Born Hedwig Kiesler, she escaped an unhappy marriage with arms dealer Fritz Mandl in Austria to try her luck in Hollywood, where her striking appearance made her a screen legend. Her notorious nude role in the erotic Czech film Ecstasy (1933), as well as her work with Cecil B. DeMille (Samson and Delilah, 1949), Walter Wanger (Algiers, 1938), and studio executive Louis B. Mayer catapulted her alluring and provocative reputation as a high-profile sex symbol.

In Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film, Ruth Barton explores the many facets of the screen legend, including her life as an inventor. Working with avant-garde composer and film scorer George Antheil, Lamarr helped to develop and patent spread spectrum technology, which is still used in mobile phone communication. However, despite her screen persona and scientific success, Lamarr's personal life caused quite a scandal. A string of failed marriages, a lawsuit against her publisher regarding her sensational autobiography, and shoplifting charges made her infamous beyond her celebrity.

Drawing on extensive research into both the recorded truths of Lamarr's life and the rumors that made her notorious, Barton recognizes Lamarr's contributions to both film and technology while revealing the controversial and conflicted woman underneath. Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film illuminates the life of a classic Hollywood icon.

More LGBT History at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics

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