Celebrities are any things, often talented, good looking and wealthy but fewer are known for their inventiveness and ingenuity and yet a surprising amount of them have either invented something or hold the rights to a patent.
Here we look at just a few who have created something quite cool.
1. Sir Roger Moore – The Magnum
This one is a bit dubious, to be honest, but the story goes that the former James Bond actor was interviewed in the 1960s where he said his one wish would be for ice cream company Wall’s to produce a choc ice on a stick.
Some years later, the company came up with the idea of the Magnum, which was released in 1989 and went on to become the world’s top-selling ice cream brand. Wall’s claim they have no record of Morre’s involvement but that doesn’t mean he didn’t help inspire it.
2. Harry Connick Jr – Music Amendment Software
The crooner, pianist and occasional actor is certainly a talented man but he also came up with a piece of software that he could use to amend sheet music on and then share to members of his orchestra instantly rather than having reams and reams of paper each time a rewrite occurred.
The idea also means that sheet music need never blow away again when on a bandstand as all orchestra members can read it off of a screen instead.
3. Jamie Lee Curtis – Dipe ‘N Wipe
The Hollywood heavyweight is known for being a scream queen and a master of comic timing but what fewer people realize is that she is also a dab hand with errr…her dabbing hand? What we mean is that she came up with the idea for a modified diaper that has a waterproof pocket in it for baby wipes.
“Before you take off the diaper, you peel off the tape, reach in, pull out the wipes, undo the diaper, check out whatever’s going on, take the wipes, boom, boom, boom, Bob’s your uncle, done.” She said.
4. Howard Hughes – Push Up Bra
Howard Hughes was an American businessman, investor, pilot, film director, and philanthropist, known during his lifetime as one of the most financially successful individuals in the world. However, before he made a name for himself as a film producer, a lot of his money came from his father’s invention of Hughes Rock Eater, a self-sharpening drill bit, used in the machinery for oil wells.
Hughes also was a bit of an inventor and designed a cantilevered garment for use on the 1943 western The Outlaw by the leading lady Jane Russell. She, however, found it uncomfortable and decided to use her own but the prototype was one of the first of its kind.
5. Michael Jackson – Moonwalk Lean Shoes
As if being the King of Pop, with the highest selling album of all time, wasn’t enough, Jackson’s stage performances and stunning dance routines were also something of legend with one of his most memorable moves being a 45º lean.
This was attained thanks to a specially designed shoe, with a heel that locked into a retractable peg built into the stage and his name is on the patent.
6. Hedy Lamarr – Cellphone and WiFi Technology
Hedy Lemar was absolutely massive in the 1930s and 40s, starring in over 35 films alongside the likes of Clark Gable, Judy Garland, and Bob Hope, and was famed for filming one of cinema’s first sex scenes.
However, she would work on scientific projects when at home in her own lab and during WWII she helped design a system for encrypting radio signals. This technology was very basic but it helped win the war and went on to form the basis of WiFi and phone technology today.
7. Zeppo Marx – Heart Rate Monitor
The youngest of the vaudeville family comedy act that managed to make their way into film and TV, The Marx Brothers, Zeppo also created a wristwatch that monitored the pulse rate of heart patients and emitted an alarm when their heartbeats became irregular.
By Ralph F. Stitt – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division Public Domain, Link
A vital tool for helping those who have undergone heart surgery or suffered a heart attack, Zeppo would later go on to form Marman Products, an aerospace manufacturer.
8. Julie Newmar – Underwear
An adept actress who had many roles on stage and screen and won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in 1958 for her part in the play The Marriage-Go-Round. However, it was as the cat burglar, sometime-friend-sometime-enemy of Adam West’s Batman, Catwoman on television that she really made an impact on the public’s consciousness.
The actress would also go on to patent several types of underwear including pantyhose that offered “cheeky derriere relief” (her words not ours) and a brassiere with hidden straps.
9. Neil Young – Model Train Controls
Widely regarded as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of his generation Neil Young had a less than rock n’ roll past-time of playing with model trains. A huge fan of the toy, he even part owns Lionel, LLC, a model train development company, and through them, he has invented several things for model trains.
His most prominent one came about when he was trying to figure out a way he could help his son, a cerebral palsy sufferer, to enjoy playing with the sets easier as he couldn’t manage the fiddly controls well. As such, Young invented a remote control system for his son and it made it to market.
10. Robert Heinlein – The Water Bed
The iconic science fiction writer is considered by some as influential as Issac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke but he contributed to the real world by coming up with ideas for a waterbed whilst being bedridden with pulmonary tuberculosis. So much time was spent on uncomfortable hospital beds which he couldn’t move from that he dreamt up and wrote down detailed schematics for waterbeds that could move and be shifted and from that point onward they would appear in many of his stories in immense detail. So much so that, when someone tried to patent the idea, it was rejected because Heinlein was deemed the creator despite never registering them.
11. Pen Jillette – Sexy Hot Tub
One-half of the world’s greatest magician duo, Pen Jillette is known for his ponytail and his amazing sleights of hand but the man has also patented a hot tub where the jets are…err..strategically placed for pleasure, especially for women.
We’re not sure if this ever went into production but it’s good to know the magician has other hobbies.