Category Archives: Hedy Lamarr

Glamour: Just Stand Still and Look Stupid

Hedy Lamarr? Hedda Hopper? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: The Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr was famous for her beauty and intelligence. In the 1940s she and a co-author were granted a patent for a futuristic frequency-hopping communication system whose importance emerged two decades later. Her attitude towards glamor was summarized with a hilarious quotation:

Why, any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.

Could you please help me to find a citation?

Dear Quote Investigator: The earliest match located by QI appeared in the newspaper column “Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood” in April 1941. Emphasis added to excerpts: 1

Hedy Lamarr’s formula for being a glamour girl: “Just stand still and look stupid.”

Only part of the target quotation occurred between quotation marks in this instance. Later versions occurred as complete sentences.

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  1. 1941 April 24, The Los Angeles Times, Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood, Section 2, Quote Page 11, Column 1, Los Angeles, California. (Newspapers_com)