Zara is an evocative name, often used in early movies and novels for a sultry character from the East -- Greta Garbo played one in the 1932 film As You Desire Me. Britain's Princess Anne defied royal convention by giving her daughter the exotic Arabic name in 1981, thus bestowing on Zara instant upper-class status.
One of the first uses of Zara was by William Congreve in his 1697 play The Mourning Bride as the name of an African queen. Zara, Priestess of the Golden Flame, also was a Wonder Woman comic book villain.
Zara can also be spelled Zarah or Zahra, as Chris Rock did for his daughter. The related Zahara is the name of Brad and Angelina's oldest daughter. All forms of Zara are related to the biblical Sarah. Possible downside: the Zara clothing stores now in many malls.
Zara, the heroine of a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, is currently Number 318 in the U.S. It entered the list in 2005.