I saw a picture of her the other day, and when I looked it was celebrating her birthday. That reminded me of an article I wrote about her way back in 2005. That was when blogging was not as widespread as it is today, and I was doing The Great Gordino Newsletter in html pages – here it is:
I saw a good documentary recently, which really pushed my buttons on the self-improvement, goal achievement and wealth creation fronts.
It was about the actress, Hedy Lamarr.
I must admit that my knowledge of Hedy Lamarr didn’t really extend much beyond the Mel Brooks film ‘Blazing Sadles’, which featured a sheriff called Hedly ‘not Hedy’ Lamarr.
This documentary was amazing.
It was made by her son, and was a bit corny in style, but her story is a fascinating one, so here goes…
Born in 1914 in Vienna, Austria, she decided when she was a little girl that she wanted to be an actress, and at 17 she caused a real storm when she appeared naked in the film ‘Ecstasy’, which would only have been in 1931.
She got married to an arms trader, but he virtually kept her under lock and key, so at 19, she escaped to Paris and London.
Plenty of adventure so far, some good, some bad.
She then decided to go to the US, and on the boat was the film mogul Louis B Meyer, who had just finished an unsuccessful talent spotting trip to Europe.
He met Hedy, and gave her a 7 year contract on the spot! He also gave her the more American sounding surname of Lamarr.
All pretty fairytale stuff, and the fairytale connection carried on when Disney based the look of Snow White on her.
She made 25 films, and went through 6 husbands, which seems pretty standard Hollywood fare.
She wasn’t quite the dim beauty that some people thought she was, and in fact was a hugely talented scientist. During the war she came up with an idea for submarine torpedo guidance, based on the principle of frequency hopping.
This means that the radio frequencies keep changing, so that enemies can’t tap into them.
The Government classified the information, and told Hedy instead that she would be of more use raising money for the war effort.
As a result, she sold kisses, and raised $7 million in war bonds.
She carried on winning inventor awards as her Hollywood star waned. Spread spectrum technology, using Lamarr’s frequency hopping principles, only really took hold after her patents had expired, so she didn’t make huge profits from it.
In fact, everything from mobile phones, to Global Positioning Systems use this technology.
Hedy Lamarr – she achieved her ambition of acting, reaching the heights, went through relationship troubles, helped her country in the war, and used her brain to develop science which we all take for granted today – now *that’s* a story!!
I don’t know what your goal is, it might be to be a famous actress, it might be to make a scientific breakthrough – whatever it is, are you ready for the adventure?
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
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