Icons of the Silver Screen, particularly if female and beautiful, were often dubbed “Dumb Blondes” no matter their hair color. Hedy Lamarr, star of many films including My Favorite Spy and The Female Animal was also a pioneer inventor in the young field of telecommunications.
Along with George Anthiel, Ms. Lamarr invented a “secret communications system” as part of the country’s World War II effort to defeat the Nazis. Their invention involved manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals to form an unbreakable code for sending and receiving classified military messages. The invention’s true significance was only recognized decades later when it helped form the technological backbone that makes fax machines, cell phones and wireless communications possible. Today, Hedy Lamarr is accepted as one of the 20th Century’s most important female inventors.