What I failed to realise is that she, like me, was a top international scientist.*
According to an essay by an artist called Michaela Melian, Hedy was born in Austria (real name Hedwig Kiesler), and some guy said she was the most beautiful girl in the world, but guys are always saying that and I wouldn't set too much store by it. In 1933, Melian says, 'she was the first woman to simulate an orgasm onscreen.' I'm not a top international expert on pornography, but I think this claim is at the very best wildly unlikely.
But forget about that stuff. Melian is just an artist, give her some license. The real thing is that during WWII Hedy worked on devices to beat Hitler. Lots of nutters probably did that, but she invented a frequency-hopping device for making it harder to jam or eavesdrop on radio communications. Electronics weren't up to building it then, but it's now in mobile phones. Or so the story goes. It's a nice story, certainly.
(She wanted to join the National Inventors' Council in WWII, but she was told she would be more valuable selling War Bonds, etc. At one event, she raised $7m. That's loads.)
My favourite bit of her Wikipedia entry is entitled 'Marriages'. It runs:
Briefly engaged to the German actor, Fred Doederlein and later, actor George Montgomery in 1942. Lamarr was also married to:
Friedrich Mandl (1900–1977), married 1933–37; chairman of Hirtenberger Patronen-Fabrik, a leading armaments firm founded by his father, Alexander Mandl. Mandl, partially of Jewish descent, was a supporter of Austrofascism, although not Nazism.
Gene Markey (1895-1980), screenwriter and producer, married 1939–41; son (adopted in 1941, after their divorce), James Lamarr Markey (b. 1939). When Lamarr and Markey divorced — she claimed they had only spent four evenings alone together in their marriage — the judge advised her to get to know any future husband longer than the four weeks she had known Markey.
John Loder (born John Muir Lowe, 1898–1988), actor, married 1943–47; two children: Anthony Loder (b. 1947) and Denise Loder (b. 1945). Loder adopted Hedy's son, James Lamarr Markey, and gave him his surname. James Lamarr Loder later challenged Hedy Lamarr's will in 2000, which did not mention him. He later dropped his suit against the estate in exchange for a lump-sum payment of $50,000. Anthony Loder is featured in the European documentary film Calling Hedy Lamarr (2004).
Ernest "Ted" Stauffer (1909-1991), nightclub owner, restaurateur, and former bandleader, married 1951–52.
W. Howard Lee (1909–1981), a Texas oilman, married 1953–60. In 1960, he later married film star Gene Tierney.
Lewis J. Boies (b. 1920), a lawyer (her divorce lawyer), married 1963–65.
She sounds energetic.
*Actually I am not a top international scientist.