On the eve of the Academy Awards, one of our favorite bloggers, Abby Sandel, creator of the always informative appellationmountain.net, has searched through the annals of Oscar history and come up with some great lists of award-worthy male winners’ names.
Many of today’s most popular names conjure up Hollywood at its most glamorous, especially for girls. I’ve met plenty of toddlers named Audrey, Ava and Natalie. But ever since Kevin Nealon called his son Gable–as in Clark–I’ve been wondering about screen legend names for boys.
Here’s a short list culled from Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nominees and winners, and the characters they played, from the 1920s through today.
EMIL (Emil Jannings won the very first Best Actor award in the 1920s.
MARCH (Fredric March was a successful actor from the 1920s to the 40s)
Fagin, Hannibal and a few other obvious bad guys aren’t on this list, but be warned–not every character is a saint. The most surprising Oscar-worthy appellation? The homespun Homer led to nominations for at least four different actors over the years.
ATTICUS (The literary powerhouse To Kill a Mockingbird was also a big screen success, with Gregory Peck playing Atticus Finch.
CHANCE (From 1979’s Being There.)
COLE (Haley Joel Osment‘s psychic grade-schooler in The Sixth Sense.)
COSMO (Roland Young played Cosmo in 1937’s Topper.)
DJAY (Terrence Howard’s character in 2005’s Hustle and Flow.)
ELLIOT (Richard Dreyfus played Elliot in 1977’s The Goodbye Girl.)
EZRA (Both Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier have played Ezras.
GARRETT (Jack Nicholson”s role in 1983’s Terms of Endearment.)
GOWAN (Tom Conti’s role in 1983’s Reuben, Reuben.)
HOMER (A Hollywood favorite through the ages–Mickey Rooney played a Homer in 1942; 1946’s The Best Years of Our Lives included a Homer, Sidney Poitier won the Oscar for his Homer in Lillies of the Field and Melvyn Douglas played a Homer in Hud.)
JETT (James Dean was nominated posthumously for his performance as Jett in Giant.)
JUDAH (Charleton Heston nabbed the statue playing Judah Ben-Hur in 1959.)
JULES (Samuel L. Jackson‘s Pulp Fiction role.)
LASZLO (Ralph Fiennes played Laszlo in The English Patient.)
MACAULEY (James Stewart’s Oscar-winning character in The Philadelphia Story> was Macauley Conner; however, Macauley answered to Mike.
MILO (Michael Caine’s character from 1972’s Sleuth.)
NIKONAR (Christopher Walken’s character from 1978’s The Deer Hunter
OTTO (Kevin Kline’s character in A Fish Called Wanda.)
PETER (Clark Gable won his first Oscar playing Peter Warne in It Happened One Night.)
RAY (From the Ray Charles biopic.)
RUFUS (Burl Ives won for Best Supporting Actor as Rufus in 1958’s The Big Country.)