19 January 2000 — Altamonte Springs, Florida
Hollywood movie actress and World War II "G.I." pin-up girl.
Born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on 9 November 1914 in Vienna, Austria to parents Emil Kiesler and Gertrud Lichtwitz Kiesler.
On 10 August 1933, she married Friedrich Mandl; a Vienna-based arms manufacturer 13 years her senior. Physically immigrated to the United States via Tijuana, Mexico under the name of Hedwig Kiesler Mandl on 6 Novemebr 1938. Married Eugene W. Markey on 4 March 1939 in Mexicali, Mexico. The United States of America Declaration of Intention (for Naturalization) was signed "Hedwig Kiesler Mandl Markey" on 4 April 1939 in the District Court, County of Los Angeles, California.
Film director, Louis B. Mayer, convinced her to take the stage name "Hedy Lamarr" in homage to a beautiful film star of the silent era, Barbara La Marr, who had died in 1926 from tuberculosis.
She was co-inventor (with composer George Antheil) of an early form of the telecommunications method known as "frequency hopping", which used a piano-roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or to jam. The method received U.S. patent number 2,292,387 on 11 August 1942, under the name "Secret Communications System". Frequency hopping is now widely used in cellular phones and other modern technology. However neither she nor Antheil profited from this fact, because their patents were allowed to expire decades before the modern wireless boom. She received an award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1997 for her pioneering work in spread-spectrum technology.
Lamarr died in Casselberry, Florida on 19 January 2000, aged 86, from natural causes.