Hedy Lamarr was once touted as the “world’s most beautiful woman.” However, according to Lamarr, “Any girl can be glamorous, all you have to do is stand still and look stupid.”
Needless to say, Lamarr would never allow herself to fit into such a mold. Despite being one of the most widely sought after actresses during Hollywood’s Golden Age, she was also an accomplished inventor that loved to tinker in her spare time.
Appalled by the stories she heard about World War II, Lamarr and her friend, composer George Antheil, invented and patented a “secret communications device” that would be effective in keeping enemies from jamming and decoding the radio signals sent by Allied forces.
Unfortunately, WWII-era technology wasn’t capable of bringing Lamarr’s idea to fruition. However, today her original patent serves not only as the basis for modern-day secure military communications, but also allows the secure use of cellphones and wi-fi networks.