Who was Hedy Lamarr and why did she get a Google doodle?

Hedy Lamarr had it all -- a sparkling career during Hollywood's Golden Age, fame, fortune and all the trappings.

She had it all and at the height of her stardom, she walked away.

It bored her, she said.

So why is a 1930s-era actress the subject of the Google doodle today?

Lamarr, who died in 2000, would have turned 101 today, but her contributions as a movie star and the fact that it's her birthday isn't why she's being talked about on Twitter today.

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When Lamarr left the Hollywood scene ("All creative people want to do the unexpected.") she decided to turn her efforts and considerable intellect toward the war effort. She decided to become an inventor.

What did she invent? Among other things, Lamarr is credited with the early versions of the GPS system, WiFi and Bluetooth.

According to a biography, Lamarr, who was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna, Austria in 1914, began her groundbreaking work during World War II in her effort to be part of the defeat of Nazi Germany. She helped develop a communications system – based on the 88 keys on a piano -- to guide torpedoes. Along with composer George Antheil, she received a patent for the work that eventually became the basis for such wireless communications as cellphones and WiFi.

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Lamarr was not immediately credited for her work, it took years for that to happen, but eventually she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. She was 86 when she died in Florida in 2000.  

Check out Google's tribute to Lamarr below. It was created by Jennifer Hom.

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