Snake-charmers like Antheil, with his glandular science, and Dr. Robert Wilson found you easy prey as you desperately sought to maintain the youthful image that Hollywood demanded of its female stars. The latter viewed middle-aged women as “female castrates” in need of hormone theory:
“From a purely biologic point of view, estrogen therapy can hardly be regarded as altering the natural state of life.
On the contrary, as we have pointed out before, it merely restores a natural harmony between the rate of aging and life expectancy, a harmony that has been disturbed by the lengthened lifespan of modern women. It is the case of the untreated woman–the prematurely aging castrate—that is unnatural.”
–Robert A. Wilson, M.D.
”Feminine Forever,” the title of Dr. Robert Wilson’s best seller, could be my motto: I am a woman, above everything. Let me start by saying that in my life, as in the lives of most women, sex has been an important factor.” Ecstasy and Me: My Life as a Woman (11).
Did you buy into the hype hawked by promotional films like Physiologic and Emotional Basis of Menopause?—
“The physical alterations that are associated with the menopause may induce emotional changes. When a woman develops hot flashes, sweats, wrinkles on her face, she is quite concerned that she is losing her youth.”
With his strong ties to hormone producers, Dr. Wilson would no doubt have supplied you with “Youth Pills” and “scientific-sounding promises of youth and beauty and good sex, even though
the FDA banned him from certain research for making unsubstantiated claims” (Neel).
Testimonials to the “Autobiography” start off with an admission of their intrusive nature:
ECSTASY AND ME is an entrancing personal document as revealing as the contents of a girl’s locked diary. It is probably as good for Miss Lamarr’s psyche as it will be for many a guilt-ridden reader for whom this gutsy confessional my offer restful therapy, if not instant emancipation. Dr. Philip Lambert, Director of the University of Wisconsin’s famed Synnoetics Center.
They reduce your life to a “classic case”:
Now I’ve had my medical say. As for this book which I just finished reading, it is the most fascinating, revealing and honest life story I’ve ever read. It is a classic case of a talent who sacrificed the happiness of which she was capable, in exchange for fame and money. But then, who’s to say she was wrong? –Lewis Bruce, M. D.
They no doubt played upon your own insecurities:
When I was born, the name George had been all ready. The doctor made haste to assure my father that I was at least healthy: “She is fine, but she has no nose at all. Only two holes in a round face…. Fifteen years later, while plastic surgeons were being annoyed by women who wanted a “Hedy Lamarr nose,” and Hollywood was promoting me as a goddess, I was still suffering about those earlier nicknames, on the analyst’s couch. 11
The ghostwriters sought to resurrect you and your early career as a contemporary icon of the Free Love Movement:
Hedy Lamarr’s responses as reported in ECSTASY AND ME appear to be blissfully unaffected by moral standards that our contemporary culture declares as acceptable… …a story of the classic femme fatale for whom fame, fortune, and sexual success are the inevitable fruits of great beauty on the make. Miss Lamarr’s manifold sexual experiences, male and female, led her to the delightfully ingenuous self-prognosis that she is ”oversexed.” Her admitted talent for quick and joyful orgasm indicates an uncomplicated natural sex response. Her curious search for new love-play settings and her candid delight in unexpected sexual episodes place her in a position of psychological unassailability. Not only does she possess a unique set of moral standards, but she expresses herself in a most intimate manner, in exquisite detail, and in the first person singular!
Let’s Live a Little can be re-played against your “autobiography.” In fact, these two characters from the movie would make excellent stand-in’s for the ghostwriters plotting
to make the script more of a boilermaker:
Oh honey, though our friendship ceases from now on
And listen, if you can’t say anything real nice
It’s better not to talk at all is my advice