Mata Hari (1876–1917), the stage name of a Dutch dancer who was convicted and executed by the French for espionage during World War I. Her real name was Gertrud Margarete Zelle. She performed on the stage in many European capitals, claiming to be a Hindu temple dancer, and gained notoriety for wearing scanty costumes.
During World War I Mata Hari was employed as a minor intelligence agent by the French. In 1917 French authorities suspected that she might have become a double agent. She was arrested and, after a much publicized trial, shot. Historians believe that the Germans fed the French false information to compromise Mata Hari's position.