Hollywood goddness Hedy Lamarr sadly died on the 19th of January 2000 at her home in Flordia USA. She was eighty-six. She became famous on 1933 when she starred in the film Ecstasy during which she appeared totally nude. The nude scene which is tame by todays standards caused a uproar and was banned from many countries, most noticeably the United States.
She was born Hedwig Eva Maria Keisler in Vienna in 1913 about six months before the outbreak of World War one. Hedy Lamarr got her new marquee name from MGM's Louis B. Mayer in remembrance of the beautiful silent-film star Barbara La Marr (born Rheatha Watson in 1896), who had died of a drug overdose in 1926. Mayer's renaming of his new star was also intended to erase any last traces of the Ecstasy scandal. After all, the film had been banned in America. Her new name was so unfamiliar that Lamarr misspelled it when she first arrived in Hollywood in 1937 and signed the hotel register at the famous Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard ("Bills to be sent to Louis B. Mayer at MGM.").
Lamarr who was totally opposed to the Nazis left her native Austria and went to live in exile in London. At Mayer's invitation she moved to Hollywood in 1938. Mayer promoted this young Austrian as "the most beautiful woman in the world". He loaned the newcomer out to producer Walter Wanger who employed her in her first role, opposite Charles Boyer, in Algiers (1938).
Even though this film was a success and she followed it with several more, she proved to be difficult. She turned down notable movies such as Casablanca and Gaslight.(Films that made a star of Ingrid Bergman). These mistakes led to a decline in her career by the mid forties. Cecil B deMille cast her as Delilah in Samson and Delilah which turned out to be a box office success. The success of Samson and Delilah led to a few more parts but this was not enough to stave off financial problems and the end of her movie career.