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“I think the brains of people are more interesting than the looks”. The rules of life of the inventor of technology for Wi-Fi and famous Hollywood film actress Hedy Lamarr

"I think the brains of people are more interesting than the looks". The rules of life of the inventor of technology for Wi-Fi and famous Hollywood film actress Hedy Lamarr
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The biography of the Hollywood film actress of the 40s of the last century, one of the most beautiful women in the world, Hedy Lamarr, is so rich that it resembles an action-packed film. She always did what she wanted and achieved her goals.

Hedy was a charming, very smart “lively” until old age and built her life according to her own scenario, despite the envious and uninteresting people.

But her main merit, in addition to two dozen cinematic films, is that Hedy Lamarr invented a method without which such familiar technologies as GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-FI and CDMA would not work.




Baby Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler (Hedy Lamarr is the creative pseudonym of the actress) grew up a gifted and wayward girl. From the very childhood she understood her value and beauty. The future star was born in Vienna, in a family of Jewish migrants – by the way, her dad came from Lviv.

From childhood, she was free to learn everything she wanted. Therefore, along with the theater clubs, playing the piano and singing Hedwig Eva Maria was also fond of mathematics, and could sit for a long time solving arithmetic equations.

She grew up in absolute love, and was so confident in herself that she left home for an independent life at the age of 16, firmly determined to become an actress. In order to be taken to the studio as an assistant director, Hedy Lamarr forged a letter of permission from her mother. It was too late when the deception was revealed. An active and purposeful girl was already shooting auditions for roles in films with might and main.


"I think the brains of people are more interesting than the looks". The rules of life of the inventor of technology for Wi-Fi and famous Hollywood film actress Hedy Lamarr
Hedy Lamarr in 1979 /


She was also deceived. For example, she became the star of the first European erotic film Ecstasy by Gustav Mahaty, starring in the title role. Hedy Lamarr was assured that no frankness would be seen on the tape, much less a close-up. And the young actress fell for the bait.

When Ecstasy was released, it had the effect of a bomb. As for 1933, the film was too frank and unthinkable: for the first time in the history of world cinema, the actress portrayed an orgasm, bathed naked in the lake. Unsurprisingly, many scenes from the film were censored. The picture was even officially condemned by Pope Pius XII.

Hedy Lamarr woke up famous. Immediately at the 2nd Venice Film Festival in 1934, Ecstasy was awarded the Venice Сup, free from European prejudices, for the best directing.

Journalists and paparazzi rushed to hunt for a new star, asking not so much about talent as about her amazing beauty. “Any girl can be charming. All you need is to stand still and look stupid,” Hedy Lamarr said, laughing.




The parents, in order to whitewash their daughter’s reputation, decided to hastily marry her off. Austrian Fritz Mandl became Hedy Lamarr’s husband. All that is known about him is that he was a millionaire weapons manufacturer, actively supported the Nazis and produced weapons for the Third Reich.

Hedy Lamarr did not support her husband’s ideology, she felt in a “golden cage” and dreamed of running away. He did not like a soul in a young wife and tried in every possible way to boast of her in front of friends or partners. The beautiful Hedy was forced to be present at the husband’s conversations about weapons, secret technologies of the time and factory nuances.

Soon she already understood all the ins and outs of the business, was versed in technology and could keep up any conversation with guests in their house. Naturally intelligent and attentive to detail, Hedy has earned recognition among wealthy men, fundamentally changing their idea of ​​pretty wives “for status”.


I think the brains of people are more interesting than the looks


Hedy Lamarr


She also took note of the talk about creating radio-controlled weapons for the Nazis. The husband once complained that it was necessary to look for a new way of aiming torpedoes at the target, because enemy ships jam all radio signals with interference on the same frequency. Soon this information will be useful to her.

Once, after adding sleeping pills to the maid and borrowing her clothes, Hedy Lamarr runs away from the house, where she was unhappy in marriage, having only a bicycle, and then on the steamer Normandy, which  sailed from London to New York – straight to Hollywood.




She settled well in America, began working with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio and during her Hollywood career managed to star in the famous films Algiers, Lady of the Tropics, Tortilla Flat and many others. In total, Hedy Lamarr has starred in 18 films and earned more than $ 30 million.

News from the homeland, engulfed in World War II, haunted the actress. How could she help the front? Hedy recalled the conversations of her abandoned husband about problems with radio frequencies and the way to control weapons by radio. And one day, playing the piano with her friend, composer George Antheil, she literally cried out, “Eureka!”

What if you send part of the radio signal to the torpedo at one frequency, and then switch to another to transmit the next part of the signal? Here she and George are so wonderful and harmonious to play the piano in four hands!

If a little earlier, the transmitter and receiver are coordinated with respect to frequency hopping, then the signal can become resistant to jamming. It was very similar to their harmonious musical part.


"I think the brains of people are more interesting than the looks". The rules of life of the inventor of technology for Wi-Fi and famous Hollywood film actress Hedy Lamarr
Image of a secret communications patent issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. August 11, 1942 /


The idea was called “pseudo-random tuning of the operating frequency”. The system was armed with a set of 88 radio frequencies – the number of keys in a piano. The alignment of the transmitter with the receiver was carried out using a roller – small, like in a piano.

He has a place in the body of a sea torpedo. The technology of “jumping frequencies” was also good in that the enemy would not physically have time to scan and drown out all 88 frequencies.

Before patenting her invention, Hedy spent several months refining it. She and George even tested it on mechanical pianos in the production of Mechanical Ballet. The functionality of the system was confirmed by a US patent for secret communication systems.


HER discovery is so important to national defense that officials will not give permission to publish its details


New York Times


The patent for the invention was declassified only in the 80s. And immediately interested in IT workers. The invention gave rise to spread spectrum technology. Today it is used everywhere: in mobile communications, in satellites and GPS navigators, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless data transfer protocols.

It’s nice to know that behind all this is the fragile and unusually smart Hollywood beauty Hedy Lamarr, who is at least a little bit connected with Ukraine.


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