Wonder women

Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot is in final talks to star in and executive produce a limited series based on Hedy Lamarr, the wonder woman of Hollywood’s golden age. 

  • Published 9.08.18
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Gal Gadot

Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot is in final talks to star in and executive produce a limited series based on Hedy Lamarr, the wonder woman of Hollywood’s golden age. 

Lamarr, dubbed by MGM as the “most beautiful woman in the world”, went on to become one of the most famous American film stars of her generation, appearing opposite some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in classics like Algiers with Charles Boyer, Boom Town (Clark Gable), Ziegfeld Girl and Come Live With Me (James Stewart) and arguably her biggest hit Samson and Delilah with Victor Mature. 

But since her death aged 85 in 2000, it is Lamarr’s achievements in science that have given her the headlines.

The sultry beauty was a talented inventor, who, along with composer George Antheil, created a frequency-hopping signal during World War II that could help the Allies disrupt radio-controlled torpedoes. Elements of Lamarr’s creation have been used to develop Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology.

Hedy Lamarr

“I don’t have to work on ideas,” she had famously said. “They come naturally.” 

Born Hedwig Kiesler in Vienna in 1914, Lamarr was given her new surname by MGM boss Louis B Mayer, the name a homage to the silent-era vamp Barbara La Marr. 

Mayer was jittery about the actress’s past as she had, while in Europe, made a film — Ecstasy (1933) — that he felt was too hot for MGM’s family-values ethos.

During her lifetime, Lamarr’s scientific work was overshadowed by her image: the media kept writing about her love life (six marriages and six divorces), her affair with the eccentric tycoon Howard Hughes — she designed a new wing shape for the planes his company made to make them more aerodynamic — and her sex siren image. Her radio frequency invention was pushed to the backburner.

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