Hedy Lamarr was born to innovate.
Yet the world was blind to her truth – all because of a pretty face.
Lamarr’s story is a familiar tragedy: of female brilliance sidelined – ignored – passed over.
The victim of a gaze that sought to objectify her body and erase her mind – it deemed her ‘the most beautiful woman in the world’ but conceived of her as nothing more than an empty-headed trophy.
To the world she was the Hollywood star.
She made her name timeless but the silver screen projected a mere phantom of Lamarr’s true self – a creation so that she could survive in this world and flourish.
Behind closed doors was the second life of inventor – the co-creator of a frequency hopping system which has gone on to become one of the most significant communications developments of the 20th century.
Her work later formed the basis for Bluetooth and wi-fi.
Lamarr had a complete inventing table installed in her home with a smaller version gifted to her by one-time flame Howard Hughes.
He was fixated on building the fastest planes in the world in order to sell them to the US Air Force.
Lamarr took a book on birds – a book on fish – sketched the fastest creature of each and combined them.
She showed the results to Hughes – who replied: ‘You’re a genius’.