1913 - 2000
The actress Hedy Kiesler went down in film history with the scandal movie "Extase" (32). Because of a brief nude appearance in the movie it produced a vehement reaction and made the movie a box-office hit. Even Benito Mussolini had a copy of the movie in his private possession. Today these nude scenes looks harmless.
It all began in Vienna when Hedwig Maria Eva Kiesler was born as a daughter
of a bank director and a pianist.
She war early enthusastic about movies. When she visited the Sascha
studios near her residence she got a small role in the movie "Geld auf
der Strasse" (30) directed by Georg Jacoby.
She learnt her acting abilities at Max Reinhardt's theater school at
the "Deutsches Theater" and was prepared for the future challenges.
When the scandal movie "Extase" (32) was showed in the cinemas the name Hedy Kiesler was the talk of the town. But instead of a great film career followed a marriage with the munitions manufacturer Fritz Mandl. Hedy Kiesler retired from the film business at her husband's request and devoted to the marriage. Fritz Mandl even tried to buy up all existing copies of "Extase" but unsuccessfully.
But the marriage was ill-fated and Hedy Kiesler escaped from the marriage
and the fascism to England where she met producer Louis B. Mayer.
Her fame faded visibly in the 50's. To her last cinematical works belong "A Lady Without Passport" (50), "My Favorite Spy" (51) and "The Story of Mankind" (57) as Joan d'Arc.
Hedy Kiesler was married six times, among others with the actor John Loder, the screen writer Gene Markey and the Swiss bandleader Teddy Stauffer.
Although Hedy Lamarr earned a lot of money during her career she lost her fortune with her production company. She died impoversihed in Florida in 2000.
An unexpected award she got with the EFF Pioneer Award of the Electronic
Frontier Foundation for her invention together with George Antheil for
a secret communication system in 1942. This seminal invention was the condition
for the US Missile technology and is used today in many civil areas like
Other movies with Hedy Kiesler: