The incredible inventiveness of Hedy Lamarr


SHE was considered “the most beautiful woman in the world”, and had one of the most iconic faces of 1930s and 1940s Hollywood. She provided the inspiration for Snow White and Catwoman. Other actresses tried to look like her, and leading men sought to be with her. But Hedy Lamarr’s glamorous career overshadows her most significant achievements. “Bombshell”, a new documentary film from Alexandra Dean, restores Lamarr’s rightful place in the history not only of film, but of science as well. 

Born in 1914 to a Jewish family, Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler grew up absorbing the high culture and creative currents of her native Vienna. Her father was a bank director with a keen curiosity for the world around him, and she inherited his inquisitive mind-set. At the young age of five she took apart her music box in order to put it back together. Importantly, she learned to internalise his admonitions that one must control one’s own destiny. 

Her arresting beauty led her into film and away from a career in science….Continue reading

Powered by WPeMatico

Personal pronouns are changing fast

NOT so long ago a man could be jailed in Texas for sex with another man. In 2015 a county clerk in Kentucky was jailed for refusing to certify the marriage of two men. Gay rights in America proceeded at an extraordinary rate between Lawrence v Texas (2003), in which …

Giorgio Vasari, the man who created art history

Vasari made craftsmen into stars The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art. By Ingrid Rowland and Noah Charney. Norton; 432 pages; $29.95 and £23.99. TOWARDS the end of his life Michelangelo Buonarroti, the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance, began burning his drawings. He did …

Esther Kinsky muses on a river in England

Esther Kinsky goes with history’s flow River. By Esther Kinsky. Translated by Iain Galbraith. Fitzcarraldo; 368 pages; £12.99. To be published in America this autumn by Transit Books. IN HER post-war childhood beside the Rhine, the narrator of Esther Kinsky’s third novel learns that “every river is a border.” Flowing …