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Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr

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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 ...

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Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Molly Haskell
The author of a biography of Patricia Neal, Shearer is steeped in Hollywood history and context; he provides the nuts, bolts and by-ways of production, and a sympathetic account of Lamarr's later life and friends.
—The New York Times
From the Publisher
“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 re-creates Hollywood’s Golden Age of Glamour.”

Publishers Weekly

"Much more than a standard Hollywood biography."—Edge Magazine

"In Beautiful, Mr. Shearer writes with humor and has fun with some of the glorious nonsense of Lamarr's movies."—Jeanine Basinger, The Wall Street Journal

"Extensively researched and filled with such nuggets, this is the ultimate biography on the screen legend."

Indulge Magazine

Praise for Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life

"Shearer is to be congratulated for this account of Neal's life...Anyone interested in movies as well as U.S. social history will treasure this volume about an extraordinary actress and lady." —The Daily News

"This impressively researched biography of film actress Patricia Neal covers an immensity of material.” —Deseret Morning News

"There is sincerity and dedication behind this work — it's vibrant and accomplished."—PAUL NEWMAN

"Digs into the amazing first 80 years in the life of one of our national treasures. ... Neal is still a great force of nature, and Shearer's book documents all her ups, downs, traumas and triumphs."—REUTERS

"Shearer delivers an inspiring look at the professional triumphs and personal tragedies that define one of Hollywood's legendary stars.”—DES MOINES SUNDAY REGISTER

"Her life has had so many tragic twists it makes for compelling reading."—VARIETY

"Screen legend Neal's life was filled with tragedies and triumphs, and Shearer unveils an impressive portrait of the actress.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"A rich record of a life, and of the times and places in which that life was lived."—GLOBE AND MAIL

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312550981
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Michael Shearer

STEPHEN MICHAEL SHEARER is the author of Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, and writes for The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A WONDERFUL AND MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN OF THE 20TH CENTURY

    HISTORY OF A BRIGHT AND SHINING STAR. SHE LED AN EXCITING AND FULFILLING LIFE TOLD BY MICHAEL SHEARER. A MUST READ ANAVIDREADERJP

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 30, 2010

    A MUST-READ FOR HEDY LAMARR FANS.......AND ALL WHO ENJOY BIOGRAPHIES

    STEPHEN SHEARER DID A WONDERFUL JOB IN HIS RESEARCH & WRITING OF THIS BOOK. KNOWING HEDY, AS I DID, FOR OVER 20 YEARS, IT IS A VERY ACCURATE ACCOUNT OF HER LIFE. A MUST-READ BOOK......ARLENE ROXBURY

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 22, 2010

    "Wonderful and well researched book"

    What a wonderful and well researched book. For an older person, I found the text easy to read. This is a "Beautiful" book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted February 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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