Visible Women

Gal Gadot is starring in a TV show about this fascinating female inventor

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Moya Crockett
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The Wonder Woman star is slated to appear in a new TV series about one of Hollywood’s most intriguing historical figures. 

Gal Gadot burst into mainstream consciousness last year when she kickboxed, backflipped and jujitsued her way onto multiplex screens in blockbuster superhero epic Wonder Woman. For her next project, the actor is reportedly lined up to play another inspirational female figure – but this time, she’s taking on the small screen.

Gadot is set to star in a TV series about Hedy Lamarr, one of the Thirties’ most famous film actresses who went on to become a trailblazing inventor. Born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna in 1914, Lamarr found fame aged 18 when she appeared in the 1933 art film Ecstasy, which was considered scandalous in the US for its portrayal of female orgasm.

Shortly after she found fame with Ecstasy, Lamarr married a wealthy Austrian military arms merchant. She would later describe him as a controlling Nazi sympathiser who kept her in a virtual prison in his castle home.

In 1938, she moved to Hollywood after being spotted by film producer Louis B Mayer, and played a string of exotic femme fatales in films including Algiers, Boom Town and White Cargo.

However, Lamarr became frustrated with being typecast by her looks, and began working on inventions in her spare time – “tinkering”, in her own words, with technology and science experiments. 

Hedy Lamarr pictured in 1938, around the time she moved from Europe to the US 

At the beginning of World War Two, Lamarr – along with her friend, the composer George Antheil – invented a device that could jam the radio-controlled frequencies of German torpedoes, and guide Allied torpedoes to safety. The invention was patented under Lamarr’s name, and in 2014 she was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in the US.

She also helped get her mother, who came from a Jewish family, out of Austria as the country was taken over by the Nazis. Put simply, Lamarr lived a hell of a life.

Variety reports that the series has not yet been formally picked up by Showtime, but a deal with the broadcaster is close to being finalised. As well as starring in the as-yet-unnamed series as Lamarr, Gadot will reportedly also serve as executive producer. The script will be written by Sarah Treem, the creator of The Affair, who will be an executive producer alongside Gadot.

Want to know more about Hedy Lamarr? Read all about her in Stylist’s Forgotten Women column.

Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.

Images: Getty Images