Hedy Lamarr 101st Birthday Honored By Google: How Important Is She?

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Monday marks the 101st birth anniversary of the Hollywood star and inventor and Google honoured her with a vintage-style animated doodle. Once described as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” Hedy was more than just a pretty actress.

Hedy In Hollywood

Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler was born in Vienna, Austria in 1914 and got her first leading in the German film??Geld Auf Der Strase? at the age of 17 followed by another German film called??Exstase?, which caught the attention of Hollywood producers. Not long after, she soon signed a contract with MGM and officially changed her name to Hedy Lamarr.

Her first Hollywood film was in 1938 called ?Algiers? where she starred opposite Charles Boyer. She also worked with Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart, just ?some of?the most popular and talented actors of that era.

Her other films include an adaptation of Cecil B. DeMille?s??Samson and Delilah? and??The Female Animal.?

Hedy The Inventor

More important than her film accomplishments are Hedy?s contributions to technology. She co-invented and patented the “Secret Communication System” in 1942 along with co-inventor George Anthiel, a pivotal technology that helped prevent torpedoes from being jammed during the Second World War. Applying the principles of how pianos worked, she and Anthiel found a way to prevent German submarines from jamming Ally forces? radio signals. By manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, the invention formed an unbreakable code to prevent classified information from being intercepted by the enemy.

The invention was first implemented on naval ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis and subsequently utilized in other military applications. Most importantly, the “spread spectrum” technology that Lamarr helped to invent paved the way in developing digital communications decades later and served as the backbone for gadgets from cellular phones and fax machines to Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi.

The Doodle

“We love highlighting the many good stories about women?s achievements in science and technology. When the story involves a 1940s Hollywood star-turned-inventor who developed technologies we all use with our smartphones today ? well, we just have to share it with the world,” said Google doodler Jennifer Hom in an interview with The Telegraph.

The?doodle?is an animation telling the life story of Lamarr’s life with background music composed by Adam Ever-Hadani. The movie-type format was created to capture the glitz and glamour of 1940?s Hollywood.

“Lamarr has kind of a mythical status at Google, and I was pretty excited at the chance to tell her story in Doodle form,” added Ms Hom.

Have you watched the animated doodle? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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