Hedwig Eva Maria Kiessler Lamarr is born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary too parents Emil Kiesler and Gertrud or “Trude” Kesler. Her father is a Bank of Vienna director and her mother a concert pianist. Lamarr attends schools in Vienna and is sent to a finishing school in Switzerland as a teenager. Her mother downplays her looks and abilities:
When she was dressed for a party and looked lovely, I would say, ‘You look very well.’ When she did something clever, I would say, “You did alright.” But I under-emphasized praise and flattery, hoping in this way, to balance the scales for her.