Hedy Lamarr (November 9, 1913 – January 19, 2000) was an Austrian-born American actress and scientist. Though known primarily for her acting (she was a major MGM contract star), she also co-invented an early form of spread spectrum communications technology, a key to modern wireless communication.
Lamarr was born as Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, the daughter of Jewish parents Gertrud (née Lichtwitz), a pianist and Budapest native who came from the "Jewish haute bourgeoisie", and Lemberg-born Emil Kiesler, a successful bank director. She studied ballet and piano. When working with Max Reinhardt in Berlin, he called her the "most beautiful woman in Europe". Soon, the teenage girl played major roles in German movies, alongside stars like Heinz Rühmann and Hans Moser.
In early 1933, she starred in Gustav Machatý's notorious film Ecstasy, a Czechoslovak film made in Prague, in which she played a love-hungry young wife of an indifferent old husband. Closeups of her face in orgasm, and long shots of her running nude through the woods, gave the film notoriety.