What Did Actress Hedy Lamarr Invent?

credit: My Favorite Spy

Does the name Hedy Lamarr mean anything to you? She was one of the most widely recognized actresses and inventors of her time, and she was part of our time, too. Lamarr began her career as a film star. She took part in Hollywood’s Golden Age, which means she was part of the biggest, most prominent, and most widely-revered moments in Hollywood history. She’s also remembered as one of the most talented actresses in the world, and many know her work well. But who is she, and what did Hedy Lamarr invent?

1. Who is Hedy Lamarr?

In case you are unfamiliar with her long and illustrious career, she’s an actress. She was born on November 9, 1914, in Vienna, Austria. Her family was of the upper-middle-class variety in Austria, but she did not stay there. She always wanted to be an actress, and she knew it would not happen there. She did begin her career in Vienna, and she did not do poorly there. However, she knew she needed to get to Hollywood to really make it. She did many things in Vienna for her career, but she made it to Hollywood in 1937. Those in the know considered her to be the next Greta Garbo or Marlene Dietrich.

She made it big in Hollywood. Her talent and her beauty were second to none, and she worked with just about everyone in the business who was famous. She was in movie after movie, and she did it without hesitation. Those who knew her called her sophisticated and feminine. She was the kind of woman that knew exactly what men wanted but also how to be a woman who made friends and made it all look effortless. Hedy Lamarr was something no one else could master, and it worked for her. Her career was among the best of the best and was good for her.

credit: My Favorite Spy

2. Was Hedy Lamarr Married?

Hedy Lamarr was, in fact, married. She was married more than once. Lamarr was married to six men. She is also the mother of three children. Her first marriage occurred in 1933. She was only 19 at the time she married Friedrich Mandl. Their marriage lasted four years. Lamarr married her second husband in 1939. Gene Markey was a producer, and they adopted a son during their two-year marriage. They divorced in 1941. Her third marriage occurred in 1943. She wed actor John Loder. They welcomed two children during their four-year marriage. Their daughter is Denise, and their son is Anthony.

Lamarr married her fourth husband in 1951. Ernest Stauffer, who people called Ted, was a man with a lot of businesses to his name. He owned restaurants, nightclubs, and more. He was the husband Hedy Lamarr had for the shortest amount of time. They married in 1951, and they divorced in 1952. She married her fifth husband in 1953. His name was W. Howard Lee. He was a very successful oilman from Texas. Their marriage lasted seven years. She married her sixth husband in 1963. Ironically, Lewis J. Boies was the divorce attorney she worked with. They were married until 1965. She did not marry again following that divorce.

During her first marriage, she maintained that she was the adoptive mother of her first son. However, it was later proven that her adoptive son was actually her biological son. She became pregnant while unmarried, and she and her first husband pretended to adopt the baby so that no one would know she was an unwed mother. As it happens, she became pregnant by the man who would later become her third husband, so it turns out all of her kids are biologically the children of John Loder.

credit: My Favorite Spy

3. What Did Hedy Lamarr Invent?

Here’s what people really want to know. She was a woman with a great deal of intelligence, and she knew it. During her free time, she spent her time focused on inventing things. However, many of the items she invented never saw the light of day. She was, however, given many patents throughout the course of her life. Her first invention and the patent was a signal used to prevent the jamming of a torpedo from being intercepted and stopped.

Her invention, though amazing, was not used by the Navy during that time. She did patent it, however. She was able to create a sort of frequency-hopping situation that we absolutely do not understand. However, in layman’s terms, her invention is the concept behind Wi-Fi, which means that actress Hedy Lamarr is the woman who invented the one thing that we all use to this day. No one knew that, did they? According to Womenshistory.org, “Although she died in 2000, Lamarr was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for the development of her frequency hopping technology in 2014. Such achievement has led Lamarr to be dubbed ‘the mother of Wi-Fi’ and other wireless communications like GPS and Bluetooth.”

There you have it. Hedy Lamarr, actress, wife, and mother, was a woman who invented three things we all use almost every single day. Every time I get into my SUV, it uses my navigation, in-vehicle Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. And that is all thanks to Hedy Lamarr, a woman of many impressive talents.

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