Willa has become increasingly fashionable, with its combination of Willa (born Wilella) Cather-like pioneer strength and the graceful beauty of the willow tree. Actress Keri Russell named her daughter Willa Lou, late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman used Willa for the youngest of his three children, and David Mamet and Brian De Palma also have daughters named Willa, plus it's the middle name of Meryl Streep's actress daughter Mary (called Mamie.) Young Willa characters have appears on Six Feet Under and True Blood.
Willa originated as a short form of Wilhelmina. After a half-century hiatus, it reentered the U.S. Top 1000 in 2010 and soared to the Top 500, for the first time since 1949, last year.
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