Hedy Lamarr at home

February 19, 2015


Hedy Lamarr is my favorite actress of the old Hollywood movie screen, and a huge style icon for me (her hair, it's so lovely!) I love reading about her life, and her autograph proudly hangs in our 'Hall of Hollywood' in our home, amongst the autographs other notable actresses of that period that I love to collect.

Although Hedy was renowned for being the most beautiful woman on the silver screen ánd being thé epitome of 1940s glamor, Hedy loathed the fact that she was seen as a glamor girl and often asked interviewers not to name her like that; she was so different than how she was on the screen. Hedy had a huge ego, people said, and wanted to prove that there was more to her than just her stunning looks; she was also very intelligent! Hedy invented a frequency hopping system together with George Antheil and, yes, partially thanks to Hedy and George we can use bluetooth. Their invention served as a basis for the modern spread-spectrum communication technology! Pretty cool, heh?

Hedy was also really a homebody - even though she couldn't cook very well - and stated that being a hausfrau was what she loved doing the most! She liked to change furniture, raise chickens, make curtains, plan menu's, read Bartlett's quotations, and her bookcase was filled with history books and autobiographies. Her phonograph often played the Cesar Franck symphony and Sibelius' "Finlandia." Her favorite menu was jellied madrilene, grilled pheasant and stringbeans with parmesan cheese, tomato broiled with fresh mushrooms and a salad of spinach, chopped with crisp bacon, and also ice cream and coffee.

Even in hotelroom's Hedy could not let the furniture alone and often shoved chairs around and swapped pictures from one wall to another. It made her feel homey.

Chess was Hedy's favorite boardgame and, superstitious as she was, she carried a little ragdoll as a good luck token, was always a bit shivery on friday the 13th, and in her bedroom she had a Madonna shrine.


Her beauty was breathtaking…You were very aware you were sitting next to an icon…After the show my wife and I drove her home…I was taken with her high intelligence. When we got to her home, she asked if we wanted to come in for a cup of coffee. And then there was the shocking surprise of the knowledge and collection of good art that she had in the house. She never talked about it, you know, her art collection. My wife was an artist, and she was stunned by the quality and the depth of her understanding of fine art. Her collection was probably one of the best private collections she had ever seen. - Carl Reiner on Hedy Lamarr



"And that (cooking) is what I would love to do! Anything else I can do with my hands - but in the kitchen, everything I touch, I break. I burn my fingers, I cut myself. Or else I eat what I am cooking before it is finished." - Hedy Lamarr on cooking
“The house is to be a farmhouse in spirit, in fact, as well as in architecture,” noted a journalist visiting Hedgerow Farm, the secluded property above Beverly Hills owned by actress Hedy Lamarr. “For Hedy is furnishing her new home, her real home, with simple pine furniture, chintzes, cottagey rugs.” Known primarily for her glamour and for playing exotic roles, she lived simply, fed her own chickens, was a devoted mother of three and even the co-inventor of a military device. In 1940, in collaboration with avant-garde composer George Antheil, she helped create—and later patented—a frequency-hopping antijamming device for radio-controlled torpedoes, which was subsequently adopted by scientists and put to use by the U.S. military. Said the star, “I see myself as a combination of hausfrau, artist and tomboy.”



"So we reached her home, a little white house on a hill, surrounded by eight acres of orchard and garden. She ran ahead and then stopped short in the door. "Oh, I forgot," she said and stared dismayed at a desk and some chairs in the middle of the living room floor. "I was changing things, and I told the maid not to touch them." When I laughed, she folded up happily on a footstool and said, "I love to change the furniture. I made those curtains," she pointed to yellow chintz framing deep windows. My eyes caught a copper tea kettle filled with ivy."You like it?" Hedy asked. "My idea". - Sigrid Arne, 1942



Hedy lives in a rambling, well furnished house. There is nothing harsh, brittle or painfully modern about it. The furniture is comfortable, the colors are low-keyed. It is highly livable for a woman whose primary interests are her children. It's not a showcase for a highly-touted glamour gal. When I called her for this interview, she opened the door herself - she has servants but doesn't stand much on ceremony - and showed me through the large sitting room to a small comfortable den, bright and sunny with large windows, with ancient guns mounted on the woodpaneled walls. - Hedda Hopper



Hedy is tomboyish at times. When relaxing she takes long walks in the mountains surrounding her home with Donner, her great Dane. She enjoys deep-sea fishing, and her husband has a yacht. Flowers are a passion with her. She attends to her own garden, and daily arranges the vases around the house. - The Age, 1942


Hedy putting on her gloves to do some gardening

"While she and Gene Markey were married, Hedy took a great deal of pride in her home - put in such Austrian touches as indoor shutters, and had her bedroom furnished exactly like the one she had when she was a child. She installed some four-dozen chickens in runs and managed to sneak considerable time to feed them and clean the pens. She ordered a rubber stamp, lettered Hedgerow farm, and painstakingly stamped each egg." - Lucie Neville

Hedy at her home

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10 Comments

  1. "I eat what I am cooking before it is finished" describes my style of cooking very well - looks like Hedy and I have something in common after all!

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    1. I do that, too! I really have to hold myself back not to do it!

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  2. Marvelously lovely post and look at one of the most talented ladies of the past century. I'm a huge fan of Hedy's as well and have always loved that science was a huge passion for her. It's one of mine as well (in fact, I've always loved it as much as I do history).

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Although being very practical, I don't have a scientific side to myself although I would really love to have it. I like reading about it though!

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  3. This is great! I didn't know a whole lot about her, so this is wonderful info!

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  4. I really like Hedys look - she's such a stylish woman. But I didn't like when I heard how she dealt with her adopted son. Was it in any of your books as well?

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    Replies
    1. Yeah that was really sad, she cut him out of her life. It appears that Hedy was a difficult person - also on the set.

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    2. She's such an inspiration otherwise though (how she dealt with her first husband and how creative and intelligent she was)^^

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    3. Indeed, but we all have our bad traits I guess!

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