ByJess O'Kane, writer at
Big in Japan
Jess O'Kane

The brains of celebrities often get a bad wrap. In fact, you're more likely to see most A-Listers eating a wrap and tweeting about it than you are reading a book or using complete sentences.

But that's just mindless stereotyping, clearly, because for some celebrities, fame is just a day job with major perks. Underneath, they're just frustrated inventors who needed to make ends meet.

Here are ten of the coolest celebrity side-lines:

10) Paul Winchell - Artificial heart

The beloved voice actor and humanitarian was most famous for voicing Tigger in Winnie The Pooh. But using his medical training, Winchell was also the first to patent the artificial heart, descendants of which are still used on heart patients today.

9) Jim Jannard - RED Camera

Previously the guy behind Oakley sunglasses, Jannard sold the company in 2007 for $2 billion. He then went on to invent the RED line of digital video cameras, which have proved revolutionary to the way we watch cinema. The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3 and The Hobbit are just some of the films produced using RED.

8) Kevin Costner - Oil spill cleanup

Costner has two Oscars, an Emmy, and three Golden Globes, but it turns out he's also useful to have around in crisis. Costner patented an oil separation device that BP use to clean up oil spills in the ocean.

7) Hedy Lamarr - Wi-fi

As well as being considered one of the most beautiful women in the world in the Hollywood Golden Age, Hedy Lamarr co-invented a form of spread spectrum signalling that is the basis of all wireless data systems today. She never received a penny for her idea, and died in destitution.

6) Chuck Lorre - Awesome theme tunes

The creator of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory began life as a successful composer. He recorded the original soundtrack for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and wrote songs for Blondie's Debbie Harry.

5) Julia Child - Shark repellent

The legendary chef, famously portrayed by Meryl Streep in Julie and Julia, created a recipe for shark repellent during her time at the C.I.A in WWII. Yes, really.

4) Bill Nye the Science Guy - Ballet shoes

The beloved popular science author holds a patent for a type of ballet pointe shoe, designed to provide better support to dancers with a reinforced "toe box".

3) Julie Newmar - Bottom shapers

The original Catwoman created an early form of Spanx entitled 'Cheeky Derriere Relief' to give women everywhere a chance at recreating her famous hourglass figure.

2) Francis Ford Coppola - Scratching t-shirt

The legendary director has many talents, which apparently extend to improving the accuracy of back scratching. In 2006, he tried to patent "a garment for identifying location on the body of the garment wearer", to make it easier to locate an itch and enlist someone to scratch it.

1) Jamie Lee Curtis - Super diaper

Curtis patented a diaper that comes with 'a sealed, but openable, moisture-proof pocket which contains one or more clean-up wipers.' But then, perhaps it's not surprising that the Scream Queen needs to tidy up once in a while.

(Source: Cracked)


What would your game-changing invention be?


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