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Hedy Lamarr Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (6) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (35) | 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 Gaslight (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 Gaslight (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)
W. Howard Lee (22 December 1953 - 1960) (divorced)
Teddy Stauffer (12 June 1951 - 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 (35)

Hedy's credited invention came from watching a player piano paper go around with different holes in the paper. This gave her the idea of broadcasting radio on different frequencies. She gave the idea to the pentagon that led to a radio guiding system for torpedoes which was used in World War II. She supposedly gained the knowledge from her first husband, Fritz Mandl, a Viennese munitions dealer who sided with the Nazis. Hedy drugged her maid to escape her husband and homeland.
Had three children Antony Loder (born March 1, 1947), Denise Hedy Loder (born May 29, 1945), James Loder (born March 6, 1939 - father John Loder; adopted October 16, 1939 as James Markey Lamarr).
Sued Mel Brooks for mocking her name in his film Blazing Saddles (1974) (they settled out of court)
Sued software company Corel Corporation for using her photo on the cover of software product CorelDRAW. [April 1998]
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. One year 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), Hedy is 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, what would have been her 92nd birthday.
Became a naturalized citizen of the United States on April 10, 1953.
Dr. Kleiner's pet head-crab "Lamarr" in the computer game Half-Life 2 (2004) is named after her.
Took her, then new, stage name (Lamarr) in memory of Barbara La Marr, the silent screen star.
Was considered for the role of Ilsa Lund in Casablanca (1942), but Ingrid Bergman was cast instead. When Julius Epstein, one of the several screenwriters for Casablanca, was trying to "pitch" (explain the plot) to David Selznick (the producer from whom they wanted to borrow Ingrid Bergman) Epstein 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!" Algiers had starred Hedy Lamarr.
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.
Hedy Kiesler was married six times, among others with actor John Loder, screenwriter Gene Markey and Swiss band leader Teddy Stauffer.
Although Hedy Lamarr earned a great deal of money during her career, she lost her fortune with her production company. She died impoverished in Florida in 2000.
This all began in Vienna when Hedwig Maria Eva Kiesler was born as a daughter of a bank director and a pianist.
After an education which included ballet and dancing lessons as well as the learning of different languages like English, Italian and Hungarian, she rounded off her apprenticeship with the attendance at a Swiss boarding school.
In her movie Die Koffer des Herrn O.F. (1931), she appeared together with Peter Lorre, with whom she should play in two more movies during her time in the United States years later.
The actress Hedy Kiesler went down in film history with the scandal movie Ecstasy (1933). Because of a brief nude appearance in the movie it produced a vehement reaction and made the movie a box-office hit. Even Benito Mussolini had a copy of the movie in his private possession. Today, these nude scenes looks harmless.
When the scandal movie Ecstasy (1933) was showed in the cinemas the name Hedy Kiesler was the talk of the town. But instead of a great film career followed a marriage with the munitions manufacturer Fritz Mandl. Hedy Kiesler retired from the film business at her husband's request and devoted to the marriage. Fritz Mandl even tried to buy up all existing copies of "Extase" but unsuccessfully. But the marriage was ill-fated and Hedy Kiesler escaped from the marriage and the fascism to England where she met producer Louis B. Mayer.
Louis B. Mayer signed her on and presented her in the American public under her stage name Hedy Lamarr.
She made one of her biggest mistakes when she refused the leading role for the movie Casablanca (1942).
She learned her acting abilities at Max Reinhardt's theater school at the Deutsches Theater and was prepared for the future challenges.
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 Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.

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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