On what would have been her 101st birthday, one of the sirens of Hollywood’s Golden Age is suddenly hot. In the latest Hedy Lamarr news, a documentary is being made about Lamarr for PBS’s “American Masters” series, with Susan Sarandon on board as an executive producer, Variety reports.
Meanwhile, as we reported separately, Google is celebrating Lamarr’s birthday with one of its most elaborate “Google Doodles” ever.
While Lamarr was known during her Hollywood career as a symbol of screen glamour, she had an interesting “hidden life” that many fans never learned about.
The PBS project, with the working title “Hedy: The Untold Story of Actress and Inventor Hedy Lamarr,” will be directed by Alexandra Dean and produced by Katherine Drew and Adam Haggiag, with Sarandon and Michael Kantor as executive producers and Submarine’s David Koh and Dan Braun co-producing, Variety notes.
The production comes from American Masters and Submarine, with Sarandon and Reframed Pictures partnering on the project.
Sarandon commented: “This is the story of a Hollywood actress, defined by her appearance, who is secretly a brilliant inventor and changes the course of history.”
“Lamarr appeared nude at the age of 17 in the 1933 Czech film ‘Ecstasy’ and later married a prominent Austrian businessman who became a weapons dealer to the Nazis,” Variety reports. “Lamarr, who was born Jewish, fled her husband in the middle of the night, boarding a boat for America with nothing to her name except a single designer gown. She eventually convinced MGM boss Louis B. Mayer to sign her to a deal.”
In her secret life as an inventor, Lamarr later helped develop “frequency hopping,” a wireless form of communication that aided the Allies in World War II.