On this day, November 9, 1914, Austrian-American actress, celebrated for her great beauty, who was a major contract star of MGM’s “Golden Age”, Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler was born. Known as the “most beautiful woman in Europe” due to her “strikingly dark exotic looks”, a sentiment widely shared by her audiences and critics, she gained fame after starring in Gustav Machatý’s Ecstasy, a film which featured closeups of her character during orgasm in one scene, as well as full frontal nude shots of her in another scene, both very unusual for the socially conservative period in which the bulk of her career took place. Stateside she was better known as Hedy Lamarr.
As beautiful as she was, she was also mathematically talented. Lamarr also co-invented—with composer George Antheil—an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, necessary for wireless communication from the pre-computer age to the present day.
1871 – Marie Dressler (Leila Marie Koerber) (Academy Award-winning actress: Min and Bill [1930-31]; Anna Christie, Dinner at Eight; died July 28, 1934)
1913 – Hedy Lamarr (Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) (actress: Algiers, White Cargo, Samson and Delilah, Ziegfeld Girl; died Jan 19, 2000)
1922 – Dorothy (Jean) Dandridge (actress: Island in the Sun, Carmen Jones; died Sep 8, 1965)