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Hedy Lamarr Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (6) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (34) | Personal Quotes (11) | Salary (3)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 9 November 1914Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now Austria]
Date of Death 19 January 2000Orlando, Florida, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameHedwig Eva Maria Kiesler
Nickname The Most Beautiful Woman in Films
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Hedy Lamarr, the woman many critics and fans alike regard as the most beautiful ever to appear in films, was born Hedwig Eva Kiesler in Vienna, Austria. She was the daughter of Gertrud (Lichtwitz), from Budapest, and Emil Kiesler, a banker from Lviv. Her parents were both from Jewish families. Hedwig had a calm childhood, but it was cinema that fascinated her. By the time she was a teenager, she decided to drop out of school and seek fame as an actress, and was a student of theater director Max Reinhardt in Berlin. Her first role was a bit part in the German film Geld auf der Straße (1930) (aka "Money on the Street") in 1930. She was attractive and talented enough to be in three more German productions in 1931, but it would be her fifth film that catapulted her to worldwide fame. In 1932 she appeared in a German film called Ecstasy (1933) (US title: "Ecstasy") and had made the gutsy move to be nude. It's the story of a young girl who is married to a gentleman much older than she, but she winds up falling in love with a young soldier. The film's nude scenes created a sensation all over the world. The scenes, very tame by today's standards, caused the film to be banned by the US government at the time.

Hedy soon married Fritz Mandl, a munitions manufacturer and a prominent Austrofascist. He attempted to buy up all the prints of "Ecstasy" he could lay his hands on (Italy's dictator, Benito Mussolini, had a copy but refused to sell it to Mandl), but to no avail (there are prints floating around the world today). The notoriety of the film brought Hollywood to her door. She was brought to the attention of MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer, who signed her to a contract (a notorious prude when it came to his studio's films, Mayer signed her against his better judgment, but the money he knew her notoriety would bring in to the studio overrode any moral concerns he may have had). However, he insisted she change her name and make good, wholesome films.

Hedy starred in a series of exotic adventure epics. She made her American film debut as Gaby in Algiers (1938). This was followed a year later by Lady of the Tropics (1939). In 1942, she played the plum role of Tondelayo in the classic White Cargo (1942). After World War II, her career began to decline, and MGM decided it would be in the interest of all concerned if her contract were not renewed. Unfortunately for Hedy, she turned down the leads in both The Murder in Thornton Square (1940) and Casablanca (1942), both of which would have cemented her standing in the minds of the American public. In 1949, she starred as Delilah opposite Victor Mature's Samson in Cecil B. DeMille's epic Samson and Delilah (1949). This proved to be Paramount Pictures' then most profitable movie to date, bringing in $12 million in rental from theaters. The film's success led to more parts, but it was not enough to ease her financial crunch. She made only six more films between 1949 and 1957, the last being The Female Animal (1958).

Hedy retired to Florida. She died there, in the city of Casselberry, on January 19, 2000.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Volker Boehm and BlueGreen

Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler was born in Vienna, Austria, to a banker and his wife. Hedwig, who obviously became Hedy, had a rather calm childhood, but it was cinema that fascinated her. By the time she was a teenager she decided to drop out of school and seek fame as an actress. Her first role was a bit part in the German film Geld auf der Straße (1930) (aka "Money on the Street") in 1930. She was attractive and talented enough to be in three more German productions in 1931, but it would be her fifth film that catapulted her to worldwide fame. In 1932 she appeared in a German film called Ecstasy (1933) (US title: "Ecstasy") and had made the gutsy move to be nude. It's the story of a young girl who is married to a gentleman much older than she, but she winds up falling in love with a young soldier. The film's nude scenes created a sensation all over the world. The scenes, very tame by today's standards, caused the film to be banned by the US government at the time. Hedy soon married Fritz Mandl, a munitions manufacturer and a prominent Austrofascist (not the same as Nazi). He attempted to buy up all the prints of "Ecstasy" he could lay his hands on (Italy's dictator, Benito Mussolini, had a copy but refused to sell it to Mandl), but to no avail (there are prints floating around the world today). The notoriety of the film brought Hollywood to her door. She was brought to the attention of MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer, who signed her to a contract (a notorious prude when it came to his studio's films, Mayer signed her against his better judgment, but the money he knew her notoriety would bring in to the studio overrode any "moral" concerns he may have had). However, he insisted she change her name and make good, wholesome films. Hedy made her American film debut as Gaby in Algiers (1938). This was followed a year later by Lady of the Tropics (1939). In 1942 she landed the plum role of Tondelayo in the classic White Cargo (1942). After World War II her career began to decline and MGM decided it would be in the interest of all concerned if her contract were not renewed. Unfortunately for Hedy, she turned down the leads in both The Murder in Thornton Square (1940) and Casablanca (1942), both of which would have cemented her standing in the minds of the American public. In 1949 she appeared as Delilah opposite Victor Mature's Samson in Cecil B. DeMille's epic Samson and Delilah (1949). This proved to be Paramount Pictures' most profitable movie to date, bringing in $12 million in rental from theaters. The film's success led to more parts, but it was not enough to ease her financial crunch. She was to make only six more films between 1949 and 1957, the last being The Female Animal (1958). Hedy then retired to Florida, where she died on January 19, 2000.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: BlueGreen (partly)

Spouse (6)

Lewis J. Boies (4 March 1963 - 21 June 1965) (divorced; separated 15 October 1964)
Willam Howard Lee (22 December 1953 - 22 April 1960) (divorced)
Teddy Stauffer (11 June 1951 - 18 March 1952) (divorced)
John Loder (27 May 1943 - 17 July 1947) (divorced) (2 children)
Gene Markey (5 March 1939 - 3 October 1941) (divorced) (1 child)
Fritz Mandl (10 August 1933 - 1937) (divorced)

Trade Mark (4)

Nautral brunette hair
Pale skin and green eyes
Voluptuous figure
Seductive deep voice

Trivia (34)

Her inspiration for inventing a radio that broadcast on different frequencies came from watching a player piano paper go around with different holes in the paper. She gave the idea to the US War Department, which led to a radio guiding system for torpedoes that was used in World War II. She had supposedly gained the knowledge from her first husband, Fritz Mandl, an Austrian industrialist and arms dealer who philosophically and financially supported the Nazis. He was abusive and brutal to her, and she finally managed to escape him, and Austria, by drugging her maid.
Had three children: Anthony Loder (born March 1, 1947), Denise Hedy Loder (born May 29, 1945), James Loder (born March 6, 1939; Hedy's husband John Loder adopted him October 16, 1939 as James Markey Lamarr).
Sued Mel Brooks for mocking her name in his film Blazing Saddles (1974) by naming a character "Hedley Lamarr". They settled out of court.
In April 1998 she sued software company Corel Corp. for using her photo on the cover of its product CorelDRAW.
After a screen test, it was Louis B. Mayer who changed her last name to Lamarr in honor of silent film star Barbara La Marr.
Arrested for shoplifting in January 1966. Found not guilty.
Arrested for shoplifting in 1991. She was found guilty at trial and sentenced to one year of probation.
During her marriage to screenwriter Gene Markey, the two adopted a son, James. She soon after gave birth to two children, Denise Hedy and Antony, while married to actor John Loder.
One of the few stars with whom costume designer Edith Head admitted she did not like working. The others were Claudette Colbert and Paulette Goddard.
Was co-inventor (with composer George Antheil) of the earliest known form of the telecommunications method known as "frequency hopping", which used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or to jam. The method received U.S. patent number 2,292,387 on August 11, 1942, under the name "Secret Communications System". Frequency hopping is now widely used in cellular phones and other modern technology. However, neither she nor Antheil profited from this fact, because their patents were allowed to expire decades before the modern wireless boom.

She received an award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1997 for her pioneering work in spread-spectrum technology.
For her appearance in Ecstasy (1933), she has been credited as being the first nude woman as well as portraying the first sex-scene in film history (scenes were cut and additional ones added in order to be able to release it in some countries). However, she was actually at least 18 years too late to be the first nude woman in film, as both Inspiration (1915) and Lois Weber's Hypocrites (1915) had beaten her to it.
Her profile was the most requested in the 1940s by women to their plastic surgeons.
Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 337-338. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
The mansion used in The Sound of Music (1965) belonged to her at the time.
The first Inventor's Day in Germany was held in her honor on November 9, 2005, on what would have been her 92nd birthday.
Became a naturalized US citizen on April 10, 1953.
Dr. Kleiner's pet head-crab "Lamarr" in the computer game Half-Life 2 (2004) is named after her.
Was considered for the role of Ilsa Lund in Casablanca (1942), but Ingrid Bergman was cast instead. When Julius Epstein, one of the film's several screenwriters, was trying to "pitch" (explain the plot) to producer David O. Selznick, he started a long, drawn-out summary but finally wrapped up with "Oh, what the hell! It's going to be a lot of shit like Algiers (1938)!", which was one of her starring films.
Was cast in the movie Picture Mommy Dead (1966), but fired on February 3, 1966, when she did not show up for the first day of shooting.
Was the inspiration for Anne Hathaway's performance of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
Was the inspiration for the DC Comics antiheroine and Batman's love interest, Catwoman.
Considered Delilah to be the best performance of her career and Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah (1949) her best film.
She was married six times.
Although she earned a great deal of money during her career, she lost her fortune with her production company. She died impoverished in Florida in 2000.
Her father was a bank director and her mother was a pianist.
After an education that included ballet and dancing lessons and learning to speak such languages as English, Italian and Hungarian, she rounded off her apprenticeship by attending a Swiss boarding school.
In Die Koffer des Herrn O.F. (1931), she appeared with Peter Lorre. This would be the first of three films they would make together.
Her nude and sex scenes in Ecstasy (1933) caused a scandal in Europe at the time. Even Benito Mussolini had a copy of the movie in his private possession. Today these nude scenes looks harmless.
When Ecstasy (1933) was showed in the cinemas the name Hedy Kiesler was the talk of the town. However, instead of a great film career, she followed with a marriage to Austrian munitions manufacturer Fritz Mandl. She retired from the film business at her husband's request and devoted herself to the marriage. Mandl tried to buy up all existing copies of "Extase" but was unsuccessful. The marriage turned out to be a disaster, however--her husband beat her regularly and was an ardent Nazi supporter--and she escaped from the marriage and her home country and fled to England, where she met producer Louis B. Mayer, who changed her name to Hedy Lamarr in honor of silent-screen star Barbara La Marr.
She admitted that she made one of her biggest career mistakes when she turned down the leading role in Casablanca (1942).
She studied at Max Reinhardt's theater school at the Deutsches Theater.
She was the daughter of Gertrud (Lichtwitz) and Emil Kiesler. Her father was born in Lviv (now in Ukraine) and her mother was born in Budapest, Hungary. Both were from Jewish families.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6247 Hollywood Blvd. on February 8, 1960.
Mother of Anthony Loder and mother-in-law of Roxanne Loder.

Personal Quotes (11)

I must quit marrying men who feel inferior to me. Somewhere, there must be a man who could be my husband and not feel inferior. I need a superior inferior man.
My problem is, I'm a hell of a nice dame, The most horrible whores are famous. I did what I did for love. The others did it for money.
If you use your imagination, you can look at any actress and see her nude, I hope to make you use your imagination
Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.
[1960s] It would be wrong of me to say so, but in this country [USA] money is more important than love. Most people here betray you and that's why there is so much chaos. I want to get away from here. I am homesick for Vienna . . . because my home is Vienna and Austria, not America... never!
[referring to the EFF award for invention frequency hopping] It's about time.
The ladder of success in Hollywood is usually agent, actor, director, producer, leading man. And you are a star if you sleep with them in that order. Crude but true.
To be a star is--to own the world and all the people in it. After a taste of stardom, everything else is poverty.
I win because I learned years ago that scared money always loses. I never care, so I win.
I was the highest-priced and most important star in Hollywood, but I was "difficult".
[on working for Cecil B. DeMille in Samson and Delilah (1949)] I was won over to appearing in the picture from the moment I entered his office and saw the extent of the research that he had done on the whole subject. You have no idea how thorough and comprehensive that research is. He has the first suggestion of a script and treatment down to the final shooting script. He has documents and evidence to support everything he does.

Salary (3)

Her Highness and the Bellboy (1945) $7,500 /week
Samson and Delilah (1949) $100,000
A Lady Without Passport (1950) $90,000

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