The audience circumscribed its imagination of artist’s personality mainly with the kind of roles they appear in the movies, plays and other entertainment shows. However, the perception about lifestyle of an artist could significantly differ for number of reasons.
The celebrity life is not all about receiving fame for their audacious roles in the movies but one might surprised to learn that they also had (or have) a sideline as an inventor.
Prince wasn’t just a hugely inventive musician – he was also an accomplished designer, filing a patent for this characteristically outlandish ‘Keytar’ in 1992. The finished result was played onstage by the New Power Generation’s Tommy Barbarella.
Folk rock legend Young is a huge train enthusiast. He’s co-owner of US firm Lionel, which designs and imports model trains, and he’s filed patents for numerous modal train-related inventions, including a horn control system featuring a sound generation which generates different sounds based on “the speed of the vehicle and an operator initiated horn signal”.
Jamie Lee Curtis
In 1986 the star invented and patented a new type of ‘infant garment’ – essentially a nappy with a built-in waterproof compartment for storing baby wipes.
Michael Jackson (MJ)
It turns out MJ didn’t just have exceptionally strong ankles – he invented his own ‘anti-gravity’ shoes. The patent describes the invention as featuring a “moveable hitch or post to which the specialized footwear can be detachably engaged to allow the footwear wearer to lean forward on the stage, with his or her center of gravity well beyond the front of the shoes, thereby creating the desired visual effect.”
The star of Bullitt was a well-known petrol-head – and in 1969 designed his own bucket seat for more comfortable and stylish motoring.
Francis Ford Coppola
Much admired for his work as a film director, Coppola is less feted for his innovative clothes design efforts
In 2005 he filed a patent for a tshirt featuring a picture of a turtle divided into a numbered grid. The idea is that, while wearing the shirt, you use the numbers to help direct a volunteer to scratch your back in the right place.
Harry Connick Jr
Some years ago the crooner came up with a system designed to do away with old-fashioned sheet music for his big band, replacing the old paper scores with an electronic alternative.
”Oh man, it’s made my life easier,” Mr. Connick told the New York Times in a 2002 interview. ”Before, I would write out a song by hand and give it to a couple of guys in the band who are copyists and they would figure out the instrumental sections. It could take days. Now I can write a new score in the morning and everyone has it on his computer screen in the afternoon. Imagine if a Duke Ellington or a Stravinsky had had a system like that.”
Spoon-bender extraordinaire Geller holds the patent for a ‘telephone radiation shield’ – a case to put your mobile phone in to shield you from any radiation it might emit.
Best remembered for his roles in films including the Godfather, Apocalypse Now and A Streetcar Named Desire, few know that Brando was also a keen percussionist, specialising in the conga drum.
He also created a device, patented in 2002, to simplify the tuning process for his conga. His invention (US Patent No. 6812392 B2) is described as a “simple and inexpensive drum tuning device that is also accurate and reliable and not subject to inadvertent adjustments”.
Of all the celebrity inventors on this list, Lamarr is the one who’s ingenuity has had the biggest impact on the world. The Hollywood leading lady invented a “secret communication system”, granted a patent in 1942, that has since gone on to be used in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS technology.
The article originally published in The Telegraph….