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Extraordinary Women: Hedy Lamarr

Airs Sunday, January 19 at 7:00 PM on WVIZ/PBS

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Extraordinary Women: Hedy Lamarr

With her smoldering femme fatale looks, Austrian Hedy Lamarr was known as the most beautiful woman in film. She was also one of the most controversial. Hedvig Kiesler, as she was born, launched her film career by performing cinema’s very first nude scenes. Released in 1932, ‘Ecstasy’, in which she played the central role, ‘Eva’, shocked audiences and brought condemnation from critics across the world - it was banned in Germany, in America and by even the Pope. Her notoriety continued as she travelled from Europe to Hollywood. Although she would star in a string of box office hits, such as Cecil B Demille’s sumptuous Technicolor extravaganza ‘Samson and Delilah’, her endless pursuit of love and stability led to 6 disastrous, high-profile marriages. And her desperate struggle to combine career and motherhood led to her rejecting her children. Then, as her looks faded so did her career. She resorted to drastic plastic surgery and found a new way to make headlines - shoplifting. 

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