Hedy Lamarr had been a controversial star in Europe before she was brought to the U.S. and became a hugely popular actress in MGM movies. But she also had a brilliant mind, coming up with all sorts of inventions.
During World War II, she co-invented a device to block signal jamming by varying signal frequency. Her intent was that it be used to allow U.S. torpedoes to better find their targets. It was patented, and the patent given to the U.S. Navy. But the Navy dismissed it out of hand, in part because it came from a Hollywood actress.
Technology based on her invention became standard in guidance systems in later decades, and has since been adapted into the communications industry. If you're reading this on wifi or using Bluetooth, you're using technology invented by Hedy Lamarr.
By the way, she was not a fan of "Blazing Saddles." She sued over the film's unauthorized use of her name. The lawsuit was settled out of court.
And she continued working on new inventions right up to when she died.
Today, as you use any wifi device, remember the woman who made it possible on her birthday.