Hedy Lamarr was as multifaceted as a diamond. The number of things she accomplished in her lifetime is startling when you sit down to count them. In her time, she was revered for her beauty, a star who acted in a-list pictures with Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, and Jimmy Stewart. She was the first woman to ever appear nude and simulate an orgasm onscreen. She had four star-studded marriages, including one to a rich oil baron.
But at night, Lamarr was an inventor, a tinkerer and a scientist. At night, with funding from Howard Hughes, she tried to improve the stoplight and invent a carbonated beverage tablet. When World War II descended upon American life, Lamarr worked by day to sell war bonds by kissing fellows in the audience, and at night, she worked to help the Allied forces create a torpedo launching system that couldn’t be jammed or tracked by outside forces. Lamarr ultimately invented the frequency hopping spread spectrum, which paved the way for the creation of modern internet, cellphone, and Bluetooth technology. Rejected at the time by the military, Lamarr’s invention now plays a part in their defense systems.
Lamarr was the kind of woman who escaped her abusive fascist Austrian munitions baron first husband by donning all of the jewelry she owned to a party and then slipping out the front door. She was the kind of woman who never got the joke when Mel Brooks named one of his characters Headly Lamarr and tried to sue him. In her lifetime she was denied credit for her scientific advancements and denigrated as an actress. She never won an Oscar and never made it into the Inventors Hall of Fame in her lifetime. To pay tribute to her complicated life is quite a tall order, but this month, Humaniods Inc. intends to do it.
Hedy Lamarr: An Incredible Life is the first in Humanoids Inc.’s Life Drawn series. A graphic novel that covers Lamarr’s life from her German birth to her American death, it was created by William Roy and Sylvain Dorange. See the fully animated trailer below: