Another anniversary, another fantastic Google Doodle. Today marks the 101st birthday of Hollywood legend Hedy Lamarr, who was once named ‘the most beautiful woman in the world.’ Lamarr was dismissive of such stuff. “Any girl can be glamorous,” she said. “All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.” Born in Vienna, she first found fame – notoriety, in fact – for appearing naked in the 1933 Czech film Ecstace (the film is also noteworthy for depicting the first orgasm in cinema history.) Her Hollywood films included Samson and Delilah, Ziegfeld Girl, and Tortilla Flat.
But Lamarr was much more than a movie star. She was also an inventor, and during World War II she and composer George Antheil invented a secret communications device that used ‘frequency hopping’ to make it harder for Germany to jam radios. The same technology is in use today in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, according to Lamarr’s biographer, Richard Rhodes.
[Or hear her tell it herself, in Ecstasy and Me: My Life As A Woman by Hedy Lamarr]