Hedy Lamarr, Austrian film icon from Hollywood's Golden Age, would be 101 years old today. Lamarr is best known for her starring roles in Algiers (with Spencer Tracy), Comrade X (with Clark Gable), John Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat (with John Garfield), and Samson and Delilah (with Victor Mature).
What many don't know about Hedy Lamarr is that she was also a mathematician and inventor of the first order. Specifically, inspired by her anti-Nazism, she was the co-creator of a frequency-hopping system that's an integral part of much of the communication technology we use today, including GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi networks, and CDMA (used in cordless/wireless phones). Lamarr's earlier inventions included technology that improved the traffic stoplight and a tablet that dissolved in water to create a carbonated drink.
There's more to Lamarr's story, which you can access in these articles from C/NET, Finding Dulcinea, and NPR.