Episode 4

Published on:

14th Jan 2020

Hedy Lamarr: Beauty & The Brain

“Any girl can look glamorous. All you have to do is stand there and look stupid.“

But what if you’re not stupid? What if you are, in fact, a formidable inventor who also, just happens, to be the Most Beautiful Woman In The World? It’s not easy to be more than one thing. And Hedy Lamarr found out the hard way. 

In this episode, Sarah delves into the inner life of the renowned starlet, who brought marvellous inventions into the world but was known only for her beauty.

Along the way, she sashays through her daring flit from a Nazi arms dealer, shoots down some withering words from Charlie Chaplin, rails against the rejection of her blueprints for a communications device by the US Navy, and finally leaves Ms Lamarr somewhere in Florida - plasticated, but still Hedy.


Lamarr, H. (1967). Ecstasy and me : My life as a woman. Mayflower Books.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story. Dir Alexandra Dean. Zeitgeist Films. 2017. Film. 

Bush, E. (2018). Hedy Lamarr's Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor by Laurie Wallmark. Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, 72(4), 185.

Commissariat, Tushna. (2018). Reviews : A tale of two lives. Physics World, 31(8), Pp43-44.

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About the Podcast

Demons and Dames
Demons & Dames is a tongue-in-cheek feminist history podcast. Ashley Mauritzen and Sarah Worley-Hill dive deep into the stories of notorious women who shaped history - by design or simply by being in the right (or wrong) time or place. We examine how they were viewed by their contemporaries, and how and why their stories have been interpreted, shaped and passed down. We also laugh. A lot.

About your hosts

Ashley Mauritzen

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Writer, thinker and former wild child, Ashley has a BA in English Literature from Oxford (apparently - she doesn't remember any of it) and an MA in Fashion Journalism. She does an uncanny Kate Bush impression, wears wigs on nights in, and asked for 10 metres of black velvet ribbon for Christmas when she was seven. By day, she's a commercial semiotician. It's a thing. Former alter egos include Oxford gossip column denizen 'Masher', queer comedy performance artist 'the Dreary Mademoiselle', cerebral burlesque star 'Curious Peach', and everyone's favourite Halloween mashup - 'Adam Antoinette.'

Sarah Worley-Hill

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Bibliophile, historian, and all round goof ball. Sarah has an MA Oxon from Oxford University in Ancient and Modern History, but has also taught maths at a boys' boarding school so considers herself an all-rounder. She would invite Alexander the Great, Queen Teuta of Illyria, and Wu Zetian to her ideal time-machine sponsored dinner party but would definitely need a translator. She loves her Shih Tzu, Calypso, very much and wants to get a French bulldog named Odysseus. She's terribly dyslexic and really really can't spell (or pronounce things). She has a mild tea obsession.