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Hedy Kiesler

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.
After an education which included ballet and dancing lessons as well as the learning of different languages like Italian, English and Hungarian she rounded off her apprenticeship with the attendance at a Swiss boarding school.

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. 
This was the prelude to an interesting film career. It followed a second small part in "Sturm im Wasserglas/Die Blumenfrau von Lindenau" (31) bevore she had her breakthrough at Heinz Rühmann's side in the movie "Man braucht kein Geld" (31).

She learnt her acting abilities at Max Reinhardt's theater school at the "Deutsches Theater" and was prepared for the future challenges.
In her next movie "Die Koffer des Herrn O.F." (31) she appeared together with Peter Lorre with whom she should play in two more movies during her time in the USA years later.

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. 
He signed her on and presented her in the American public under her stage name Hedy Lamarr.
Hedy Lamarr became an US star in no time and took part in movies like "Algiers" (38), "I Take This Woman" (40), "Come Live with Me" (41), "Crossroads" (42), "White Cargo" (42), "The Conspirators" (44), "The Strange Woman" (46) and "Samson and Delilah" (49) - her greatest success.
In those years she made one of her biggest mistakes when she refused the leading role for the movie "Casablanca".

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 mobile telephone.

Other movies with Hedy Kiesler: 
Lady of the Tropics (39) Boom Town (40) Comrade X (40) Ziegfeld Girl (41) H.M. Pulham, Esq. (41) Tortilla Flat (42) The Heavenly Body (43) Experiment Perilous (449 Her Highness and the Bellboy (45) Dishonored Lady (47) Let's Live a Little (48) Copper Canyon (50) L'eterna femmina (54) L'amante di Paride (54) Serie "Zane Grey Theater: Proud Woman" (57) The Female Animal (58)

The Strange Woman (46)