Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hedy Lamarr

Who died on this date:

On January 19, 2000, actress Hedy Lamarr died. She was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on November 9, 1913 in Vienna, Austria. She was an actress celebrated for her great beauty who was a major contract star for MGM. Louis B. Mayer signed the actress to a film contract in 1937. At his insistence, she changed her name Hedy Lamarr, choosing the surname in homage to a beautiful film star of the silent era, Barbara La Marr. In Hollywood, she was usually cast in glamorous and seductive roles. Her American debut was in Algiers (1938). Her notable film credits include Boom Town (1940), Ziegfeld Girl (1941), White Cargo (1942), Tortilla Flat (1942), and making 18 films from 1940 to 1949. After leaving MGM in 1945, she enjoyed her biggest success as Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille’s, Samson and Delilah. However, following her comedic turn opposite Bob Hope in My Favorite Spy (1951), her career went into decline. She appeared only sporadically in films after 1950, one of her last roles being that of Joan of Arc in The Story of Mankind (1957). The publication of her autobiography Ecstasy and Me (1967) took place about a year after accusations of shoplifting, and a year after Andy Warhol’s short film, Hedy (1966). In the ensuing years, Lamarr retreated from public life, and settled in Florida. She was married five times. She died on January 19, 2000 from natural causes in Casselberry, Florida and her ashes were scattered in the woods near Vienna, Austria.

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