Hedy Lamarr (1914 - 2000)

ACTRESS, INVENTOR

 

Austrian Jewish actress Hedy Lamarr originally caused a scandal as a teenager when she appeared in cinema’s first-ever nude scene in 1933. She escaped her first husband (an arms dealer who supplied fascist dictators) by disguising herself as a maid in order to run away. After leaving Europe, she went on to become a glamorous Hollywood legend.

 

Although famous for her beauty, Hedy Lamarr would change the world with her brilliant mind. A genius inventor, she created a secret weapons communications system intended to defeat the Nazis in WWII. Dismissed and ignored at the time, her concept was eventually recognized decades later. Used not only for its military application, Hedy Lamarr’s invention went on to form the basis of WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth technology.