Hedy Lamarr (9 November 1914 – 19 January 2000) was an Austrian-born American actress. Though known primarily for her great beauty on camera, she also co-invented an early form of spread spectrum communications technology, a key to modern wireless communication.
- Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.
- As quoted in The Stars (1962) by Richard Schickel
"Would You Believe I Was Once A Famous Star? It's the Truth!" (1970)
Quotes of Lamarr from the New York Times article "Would You Believe I Was Once A Famous Star? It's the Truth!"
- Which director did I like? I've for gotten which. Some of them were not so nice. When somebody isn't accepted by me, it's complete hate. One director never spoke to me, not even hello in the morning. Mr. Mayer never spoke to me. One day I said, "Mr. Mayer, why don't you ever say hello to me?" He said, "Why should I? You're not my wife." It was only because I wouldn't sleep with him. I didn't know anything filthy went on.
- First he married Joan Bennett, then he married me, then he married Myrna Loy. I had a wonderful first love affair. I like men. Gene Markey was the only civilized man. He used to spit into a spittoon.
- I was at the studio at seven in the morning, putting on an evening gown, but I couldn't wait to get home to my children to be a nurse. What does Ava Gardner know? She never had a child, which is what it's all about. It's the truth!
- The most horrible whores are famous. I did what I did for love. The others did it for money.
- A writer, a brilliant writer, wants to write the real book about me. He wants to call it The Users—the people who have used me.
- They wanted something cheap and stupid. They wanted something dumb. But I have little shelves in my brain, and it's all there, it's the truth.
"Hubba, Hubba Hubba—It's Hedy!" (1971)
- Is that chubby‐faced Austrian kid in Boom Town actually me? Did I really wait on the set (being the newest and having the smallest role) to do my close ups, just to wind up looking like that? Clark Gable, so warm and friendly to the insecure actress … Claudette Colbert, such a lady to me, although much higher in the MGM pecking order.
- Ziegfeld Girl. When I see those infinite stairs in that lavish production number that out‐Metro's even Metro, I break up. The director, Robert Z. Leonard, had instructed me to walk down them regally, with Lana on one side and my dear friend Judy on the other. I was to float with head erect, arms disdainfully away from my body in the accepted Ziegfeld manner, and never, but never, look down to see where I was going. The fact that I couldn't see in the blinding lights, even straight ahead, was small consolation. And so I descended, teetering down what felt like millions of steps, in a glorious Adrian costume encrusted with enough twinkling stars to make Neil Armstrong jealous. Out of camera range, a board was strapped on my back, and part of the headdress was attached to this apparatus. Also out of camera range, my bosom was taped from behind and I felt a little like some religious penitent in the 13th century walking in a torture procession. And so I came, smilingly, my back top‐heavy, and as I paraded gingerly down each stair, I had to dispel thoughts of losing my balance and toppling over headlong down the entire set to the ground miles below—board, tapes, twinkling stars and all …
- More stairs, only this time it's in Samson and Delilah. Now, I'm ascending them, dragging poor, blinded Victor Mature by the handle of a whip. The set is as gigantically faint‐making as anything Mr. De Mille ever conceived, and every single extra within a 50 mile radius seems to be assembled as I slowly lead Samson to the top, where he is scheduled to pull the two enormous pillars of the temple down around his ears and everyone else's. And do you know what I am thinking as I watch this panoply on my television screen? Quite simply, it is "I can't take another step in those damn forties. high heels! … " And, again, in Samson, in the scene where I look dewy‐eyed while golden coins are poured over my feet as a reward for betraying Samson. Well, Mr. De Mille, whom I got along with beautifully, dragged me out of a sick bed for that one, and the dewy eyes are a direct result of a roaring 104‐degree fever.
- I Take This Woman, with Spencer Tracy. We were seated around a table one day, rehearsing our lines. It was my first Metro film, and little Hedy was learning English, when Spencer turned to me and said, briskly, "Get me a taxi." I obligingly arose and started to walk toward the sound‐stage door, not realizing that it was the next line in the script. He was a great actor, but there were times when he made me cry. He was not precisely my favorite person.
- Come Live With Me, with Jimmy Stewart, one of the sweetest men in the world. I was so happy about this picture; it was my first chance to do a charming, humorous story. Until then, my image was that of an exotic creature. My character name in that movie was Johnny Jones. In H. M. Pulham, Esq., I was tagged Marvin Myles, and in Comrade X I was christened Theodore. Why, I wondered, did they give a supposedly sexy lady such weird names? Ah, Hollywood!
- Her Highness and the Bellboy. There I am, eight months pregnant, being photographed behind potted palms and in full ball gowns, which fortunately fit the story.
- Clark Gable and I, in Comrade X. Although I never quite understood his sex appeal, I thought he was one of the nicest people I'd met, and a great practical joker.
- Is that actually my voice, singing in The Heavenly Body and My Favorite Spy? You bet it is! You'd be surprised how well you can sing when you're rich!
- White Cargo. "I am Tondelayo"—and I had to get up with the chickens to have the dark make‐up put on all over my body. I was proud of my authentic African dance, which I rehearsed for weeks, and which gave me splinters in my feet. It was done with a bed showing in the background, and it was so sexy almost all of the scene was cut. How I'd like to own that footage today!
- Tortilla Flat, with Spencer Tracy, John Garfield and Frank Morgan. John Garfield was wonderful to work with. He later told Life magazine, "I tried to steal scenes from Hedy, Hedy tried to steal them from Frank, Frank tried to steal them from me, and the dogs (Morgan's) stole the show."
Popcorn in Paradise (1980)
- Quotes of Lamarr from Popcorn in Paradise : The Wit and Wisdom of Hollywood (1980) by John Robert Colombo, p. 67
- I win because I learned years ago that scared money always loses. I never care, so I win.
- I was the highest-priced and most important star in Hollywood, but I was "difficult."
- To be a star is to own the world and all the people in it. After a taste of stardom, everything else is poverty.
About Hedy Lamarr
- When you see a very beautiful face, it’s stunning, and you yourself become stupefied. So you project your own stupidity onto the person you’re looking at.
- Lisa Heiserman Perkins NYTimes
- Hedy Lamarr on IMDb
- Hedy Lamarr at Reel Classics
- Hedy Lamarr foundation
- Inventions.org page on Hedy Lamarr
- Interview with Hedy Lamarr biographer Patrick Agan
- "Advanced Weaponry of the Stars" by Prof. Hans-Joachim Braun in Invention & Technology (an article about Hedy Lamarr's patent)
- Annual Inventor's Day on her Birthday