Credit: [Public Domain] via WikicommonsCalled “the most beautiful woman in the world,” actress Hedy Lamarr was renowned for her looks. But she had a brilliant, inventive mind that she rarely got credit for until very close to the end of her life. Working with composer George Antheil, she patented the frequency-hopping, or spread-spectrum technology that now powers wireless internet, cell phones, and GPS. While Hedy didn’t receive acknowledgement for the invention until 1997, her contribution is getting more attention these days, like in the documentary “Bombshell,” which showed at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Actress Diane Kruger, who narrated “Bombshell” and who’s working on turning the story into a television miniseries, talks to Ira about the inspiration she hopes Lamarr can offer young girls.
And Richard Rhodes, who chronicled Lamarr’s biography in his 2011 book, “Hedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr,” joins Kruger to tell the tale of the “mother of Wi-Fi.”