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Category: Academy Awards

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Continuing her exploration of motion picture award names,  one of our favorite guest bloggers, Abby Sandel, creator of the popular site Appellation Mountain , looks beyond Hollywood to find some interesting names associated with winners at Cannes, Berlin and Britain award ceremonies.

Marquee-worthy baby names are all the rage, with choices ranging from the Top Ten Ava to surnames like Harlow.  Searching past Academy Award winners can provide inspiration for baby names, from the glamorous to the unusual.

But what about all those other Award shows?  Oscar may be king in the US, but elsewhere, actors and directors compete for Goyas, Bears, BAFTAs, Ariels and, of course, the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes.

The following names are culled from award winners from across the globe, but proceed with caution.  Just like not every Oscar-winning character makes for a worthy name sake, that remains true for this list.

GIRLS

ALIDA:              1960’s award-winning French film The Long Absence was one of many starring roles for Italian actress Alida Valli.  She often was billed by her surname as VALLI.

CALYPSO:          Neither an actress nor a character, the Calypso was the name of the ship used by Jacques Cousteau in the celebrated 1956 The Silent World, a documentary and early work by famed director Louis Malle.

CANDELARIA:      The first Mexican film to achieve widespread international acclaim, Maria Candelaria starred Dolores del Río, the first Latin American actress to make it big in Hollywood.  The movie was released in 1943, but wasn’t screened at Cannes until post-World War II.

GERTRUDE:         1946’s La Symphonie Pastorale is a French film based on a novel.  Gertrude is a blind orphan adopted by a pastor.  Both her foster father and stepbrother fall for her.  Drama follows.  The luminous Michèle Morgan starred as Gertrude – and would later lose out on the starring role in Casablanca.

KESA:               Japan’s first post-war international hit was 1953’s Gate of Hell.  The story of a samurai and Lady Kesa, the woman he rescues propelled Machiko Ky? to stardom.  She went on to work with Akira Kurosawa and Kenji Mizoguchi.

LILIA:                Mexican actress Lilia Prado graduated from beauty contests to the big screen.  Nominated for Ariel awards, she worked with Luis Buñuel on three different films.

LISBETH:           Danish actress Lisbeth Movin starred in 1945 war drama The Red Meadows. Decades later, she has a small role in 1987’s Academy Award-winning Babette’s Feast.

LUCIENNE:        Not an actor at all, but the jeweler who designed the original Palme d’Or award for the Cannes Film Festival.

MAGALI:            Turkish-French actress Magali Noël was best known for her work with Italian director Federico Fellini, including appearing as Fanny in 1960’s legendary La dolce vita.  She also scored early French rock’n’roll hits as a singer in the 1950s.

MARPESSA:        Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the part-Filipino, part-African-American Marpessa Dawn starred as Eurydice in 1959’s Black Orpheus.

MAI:                 Swedish actress Mai Zetterling starred in Ingmar Bergman’s 1944 Torment.

SERAFINA:          Decades before Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner chose Seraphina for their second daughter, French director Marcel Camus made Black Orpheus in Brazil in 1959.  A truly international production that would garner recognition at Cannes as well as an Academy Award and a BAFTA, Serafina was one of the characters.

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Oscar Names: Girls’ edition

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In honor of the Academy Award nominations announced yesterday, one of our favorite bloggers, Abby Sandel, creator of the always informative and witty appellationmountain.net, continues the tradition she started last year with boys’ red carpet names, and has again searched through the annals of Oscar history to come up with some great lists of award-worthy female winners’ and characters’ names.

Ava, Audrey, Natalie, Grace, Olivia.  Is it my daughter’s kindergarten class roster, or a round-up of Hollywood screen legends?  With so many parents turning to Tinsel Town for inspiration, no wonder I’m confused.

Despite the popularity of borrowing a name from the big screen, plenty of appealing choices remain underused.  Here’s a short list culled from Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominees and winners, and the characters they played, from the 1920s through today.

LEADING LADIES

Some of these are easy to imagine on a girl born today, while others might not be quite ready for a comeback.  All of them offer at least one glamorous namesake.

ANOUK

BETTE

CLAUDETTE

DOROTHY

FAYE

GLYNIS

GREER

GRETA

HALLE

HATTIE

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Red Carpet Names: Boys’ Edition

clarkgableoscar2

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.

LEADING MEN

Some of these are household names, while others are more obscure. A few have surprising roots–Denzel, for example, can be found in use in Medieval England. But all share a certain dashing quality.

ALEC
ANTHONY
CLARK
COOPER
DENHOLM
DENZEL
DJIMON
EMIL (Emil Jannings won the very first Best Actor award in the 1920s.
FOREST
GABLE
GEORGE
GREGORY
HEATH
HOLDEN
KENNETH
JAVIER
JOAQUIN
JUDE
LEONARDO
LIAM
LIONEL
MARCH (Fredric March was a successful actor from the 1920s to the 40s)
NICHOLSON
OLIVIER
OMAR
REX
RIVER
SPENCER
VIGGO
WILLEM

CHARACTERS


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.)

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Red Carpet Baby Names: Boys’ Edition

clarkgableoscar1

Today, on the eve of Oscar night, ABBY SANDEL, creator of one of our favorite blogs, the witty and informative appellationmountain.net, looks back through the annals of Oscar history and unearths an interesting group of winning male winner names.

Plenty 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.

LEADING MEN

Some of these are household names, while others are more obscure. A few have surprising roots–Denzel, for example, can be found in use in Medieval England. But all share a certain dashing quality.

ALEC
ANTHONY
CLARK
COOPER
DENHOLM
DENZEL
DJIMON
EMIL (Emil Jennings won the very first Best Actor award in the 1920s)
FOREST
GABLE
GEORGE
GREGORY
HEATH
HOLDEN
KENNETH
JAVIER
JOAQUIN
JUDE
LEONARDO
LIAM
LIONEL
MARCH (Fredric March was a successful actor from the 1920s to the 50s)
NICHOLSON
OLIVIER
OMAR
REX
RIVER
SPENCER
VIGGO
WILLEM

CHARACTERS

Fagin, Hannibal and a few other obvious bad guys aren’t on the 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 diferent 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 Osmond‘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 (Charleston 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.)

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