Hedy Lamarr, Old Hollywood sex symbol, had a brain. It's a fact that may be nearly as overlooked as the inventor's wartime creation: landmark technology that was a precursor to Bluetooth.
It's not surprising that she's known best for her sultry persona, given her film role that made everyone sit up and take notice. In 1933's "Ecstasy," a Czech film, she raised eyebrows and drew condemnation around the globe when she appeared nude in one part of the film and simulated an orgasm in another.
Lamarr is seen going skinny-dipping and, still without a stitch on, chasing a runaway horse. The orgasm scene comes later, and, yes, she does smoke a cigarette afterward. "Ecstasy" is considered the first theatrically released movie to feature an actress simulating an orgasm on screen.
Take that, Meg Ryan.
Now, Richard Rhodes has revealed the nerdy side of this legendary beauty and superstar.
His new book, "Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World," tells about the invention and how her role in its creation was long ignored.
In a recent interview on NPR's "All Things Considered," Rhodes said Lamarr was the type of person who "was constantly looking at the world and wondering how can that be fixed, how can that be improved."