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Hedy Lamarr: The Life and Legacy of the Influential Actress and Inventor

Hedy Lamarr: The Life and Legacy of the Influential Actress and Inventor

Narrated by:
Daniel Houle
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Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
November 2021
1 hour 36 minutes
During the first half of the 20th century, American crowds developed a fascination with foreign actors whose native accents lent an enhanced air of mystery to their on-screen personae. Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, and Marlene Dietrich, all European-born, ruled at the box office. Amid their prolific careers stood the curious case of Hedy Lamarr, acclaimed as the most beautiful star of her time, and living with a professional pastime that looms large in the modern day as new information technology emerges.  The “Big Five” movie studios all have roots in these years, including Universal Studios, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Columbia, and even Disney. In the early days, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was created in a merger between Metro, belonging to Marcus Loew, one owned by Louis B. Mayer, and a third enterprise resulting in the still-famous logo of the MGM lion. In the United States and overseas, agents and studio heads were on the lookout for talent, and Western agents flooded Europe searching for the next foreign heartthrob.

In an age less socially sensitive to matters of gender, the Austrian-born Lamarr, then hailed as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” dared to possess a daunting intellect and the mind of a scientist. For the cinematic peddlers of escapist on-screen seduction, such a problematic reality required total public suppression. As such, people are only now becoming aware of Lamarr’s scientific designs that led to the development of the globe’s most ubiquitous communications network, the internet, mobile phones, GPS, and Bluetooth, not to mention military and satellite technologies. Much of Lamarr’s early life and the seeming paradox of it was well-documented in Richard Rhodes Hedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World.
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