Renaissance woman

Today’s Google doodle honors Austrian Hollywood actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr

If you find yourself on the world’s most popular search engine today, make sure to check out their brilliant doodle, a jazzy, glamorous celebration of a remarkable woman you may have never heard of. Hedy Lamarr, who would have turned 101 on November 9, was a Hollywood actress and inventor who developed a “frequency-hopping system” aimed at fighting Nazis that also laid groundwork for modern communication technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Born in Austria, Lamarr shocked European audiences by performing the first on-screen orgasm (with a close-up of her face) in the Czech movie “Ecstasy.” She fled an abusive marriage in the 1930s and ended up in Hollywood where she landed many roles playing the femme fatale, seducing stars as Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Jimmy Stewart.

Though hailed as the world’s most beautiful woman, Lamarr grew bored with such one-dimensional roles, wanting instead to help the allied effort during World War II. With her neighbor, composer George Antheil, she invented the aforementioned system to stop the Nazis from jamming signals from radio-controlled torpedoes. This “secret communication system”  wasn’t implemented until after the war, but it did earn her and Antheil induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (posthumously) in 2014. Lamarr died in 2000 at age 86. “She was really curious and had an active intellect and she was always trying to learn,” Jennifer Hom of Google told CNN. Holm spent two months working on the animated doodle full time. “I like to think of her as superhero figure where you have a daytime personality and a nighttime personality.”

Read the full story at CNN.

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