An in-depth and surprising biography of “the most beautiful girl in the world” who became responsible for one of the 20th century’s most important inventions
Hedy Lamarr’s exotic beauty was heralded across Europe, but she became infamous for her nude scenes in the scandalous film Ecstasy. She became literally trapped in a marriage to Austria’s munitions baron, a man who befriended Mussolini and hid his Jewish heritage to become an “honorary Aryan,” at the beginning of World War II.
Lamarr fled Europe for Hollywood, where she became one of its most glamorous stars, appearing opposite actors such as Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and James Stewart. But as her beauty faded and she went from one husband to the next, her personal troubles and legal wranglings cast a shadow over her former image and phenomenal intelligence.
Beautiful separates the truth from the rumors about Lamarr’s life, and highlights her astonishing role as inventor of a technology that has become an essential part of everything from military weaponry to cell phones.
INDULGE Magazine, April 2011 - Beauty & Style: BEAUTIFUL The Life of Hedy Lamarr Stephen Michael Shearer (St Martin’s Press) One of the most beautiful actresses from the golden era of Hollywood didn’t just cut Samson’s locks and seduce audiences in films with Clark Gable and James Stewart, but also played a critical role inventing technology that had led to cell phones. Extensively researched and filled with such nuggets, this is the ultimate biography on the screen legend.
WICN Public Radio - New England's Jazz & Folk Station (NPR Affiliation)
Radio Interview - Thursday, January 27, 2011
Join Mark Lynch as he interviews author, Stephen Michael Shearer on:
Inquiry: Stephen Michael Shearer: BEAUTIFUL: THE LIFE OF HEDY LAMARR
(Click Icon for Radio Broadcast)
Sunday, December 12, 2010 By Molly Haskell (A version of this review appeared in print on December 12, 2010, on page BR16 of the Sunday Book Review.)
Providing probing and detailed coverage of her five marriages, children, various lawsuits, radio roles and shoplifting headlines, Shearer has combined extensive archival research with insightful interview quotes. The result is a fascinating biography that recreates Hollywood's Golden Age of Glamour.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (December 3, 2010)
By JEANINE BASINGER
Her Face Was Her Misfortune Being 'the most beautiful woman in the world' only hindered Hedy Lamarr's acting career.
KARE 11 TV Live Interview, Showcase Minnesota (November 29, 2010)
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.-- Minnesota author Stephen Michael Shearer joined us this morning to tell us about his new biography on Hollywood screen legend Hedy Lamarr. In Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr, Stephen highlights her amazing American film career, her romantic trials, and how the much-married Hedy went on to become a world-renowned inventor. (Click Icon for VIDEO)
Minneapolis Star Tribune - October 2, 2010 - "A beauty more than skin deep"
Beauty was a burden for Hedy Lamarr. As a Hollywood star, she was once dubbed "the most beautiful girl in the world.