Hedy Lamarr was not only an actress, but also a talented inventor.


Hedy Lamarr was considered to be one of the most beautiful women of her time.

Olivia Howell, Opinion-Editoral Editor

When we think of great inventors, we think of people like Da Vinci, Edison, or even modern figures like Steve Jobs. One person that we never think of is Hedy Lamarr. 

Hedy Lamarr was born in Austria in November of 1914. As a child she showed great potential, learning multiple languages and playing piano from a young age. She also loved the theatre and competed in several beauty contests. 

She eventually went on to go to film school and was in several movies before she gained fame in a Czech movie called Ecstacy. This movie was considered very scandalous and controversial. 

The same year that the movie came but she got married to a munitions manufacturer named Fritz Mandel. It is at this time that her career hit a roadblock. Her husband did not want to allow her to perform in any more films. Later Lamarr claimed that Mandel supplied German troops with munitions during World War II and hosted dictators like Musolini and Hitler at his parties. 

Mandel became so controlling that eventually she was forced to run away to Paris and get a divorce. Her success in film thus far led her to America where she starred in several films and became very popular for her beauty. 

While her acting career was very successful, it is what she did outside of acting that makes a big difference today. While filming Lamarr would tinker in her dressing room. Most thought that her hobby was nothing but a way to waste time, but some saw that she truly had talent and they helped her in some of her inventions. 

In the end, Lamarr created several new inventions, including a new, more aerodynamic plane design, a tablet, that when dropped in water, would turn into a soda, a new traffic stoplight, and most importantly a device that would make it more difficult to decode secret messages.

This device was never used in WWII, but it is the basis for Wifi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Without her invention, many of the modern-day technologies that we use every day would not be available. 

Today many see people’s looks before they see who they really are. For Hedy Lamarr, this was especially true. Everyone saw her as one of the most beautiful women of the time, but not a talented inventor.

Lamarr died in January of 2000 and was posthumously awarded several awards to honor her talent in inventing.