Monday marks the 101st anniversary of the Hollywood star-turned-inventor's birth, and she has been honoured with a special Google Doodle
Once described as “the most beautiful woman in the world”, Hedy Lamarr’s beauty and screen presence made her one of the most popular actresses of her day.
Born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on 9 November 1914 in Vienna, Austria, Ms Lemarr got her first leading role aged just 17, in a German film called Geld Auf Der Strase. A subsequent German film, Exstase, brought her to the attention of Hollywood producers, and she soon signed a contract with MGM.
Once in Hollywood, she officially changed her name to Hedy Lamarr and starred in her first Hollywood film, Algiers (1938), opposite Charles Boyer. In addition to her film accomplishments, she patented an idea called the "Secret Communication System" in 1942, which later became pivotal to both secure military communications and mobile phone technology.
Ms Lamarr had some background in military munitions, and when World War II broke out she was keen to help the Allied war effort. In particular, she wanted to solve the problem of enemies blocking signals from radio-controlled missiles.
While the technology of the time prevented the feasibility of the idea at first, the patent for “frequency hopping” that Ms Lamarr co-authored laid the groundwork for widely-used technologies like Bluetooth, GPS and wifi that we rely upon daily.