Hedy Lamarr, born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna, Austria, was and always will be one of the most beautiful women on screen. This biography is a feat of adulation and information. The author tells not only the story of this famous and, thanks to a nude scene and simulated orgasm in an early European film, infamous actress, but also that of Hollywood and society as a whole during her lifetime. He does not fail to come to her defense against attacks from long-dead Hollywood heads, and constantly explains how Hollywood, and even the U.S. Government, failed to make the most of Hedy’s talents.
A little strange in the arena of biography is this constant intrusion by the author into the feel of the narrative. The reader wants to like Ms. Lamarr, it seems a little overwrought to try to convince us to like her. Likewise, the sheer number of facts, and the constant name-dropping of obscure and not so obscure Hollywood figures, can leave a reader dizzy. The story of Hedy Lamarr is intriguing and wonderful, in spite of the author’s overwhelming style.