By Linda Rosenkrantz
Who hasn’t felt a little sorry for the child born on Christmas day, whose special day isn’t special only to him, whose birthday party has to be rescheduled for a different date, and whose double gifts often disappoint. And yet enough of these Xmas-born babes have managed to surmount those obstacles and go on to great success. Here are a dozen Christmas-birthday celebs—with interesting baby names--who have done just that.
Cabell (Cab) Calloway—The great American jazz singer and orchestra leader (famous for “Minnie the Moocher” and “Hi De Ho”) was born with the unusual given name of Cabell, which he shared with his father. A medieval English surname, Cabell is an occupational name for a maker of ropes.
Clarissa (Clara) Barton—Clara Barton was the founder and first president of the American Red Cross, after being a hospital nurse during the Civil War. Her dainty given name Clarissa , with many literary and TV ties, now ranks at Number 670. The more buttoned-down Clara has been racing up the charts, now in the Top 100, its highest point since the 1930s.
Conrad Hilton—The founder of the Hilton Hotels chain was the one-time father-in-law of Elizabeth Taylor and great-grandfather of socialites Paris and Nicky. A solid perennial, Conrad currently ranks at #755 and 229 on Nameberry. It was jazzed up a bit by the character Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye Birdie.
Cosima Liszt was the daughter of composer Franz Liszt and wife of composer Richard Wagner, upon whose death she became the director of the famous Bayreuth Festival. The elegant Italian name Cosima has been used for their daughters by Sofia Coppola, Claudia Schiffer and celebrity chef Nigella Lawson and heard on Orphan Black.
Evangeline Booth, whose birth name was Evelyne but known as Eva, was the English-born first female General of the Salvation Army. The romantic name Evangeline ranks at a hot Number 267 nationally and even hotter Number 39 on Nameberry, thanks in part to Lost star Evangeline Lilly.
Helena Rubinstein, Christensen—There happens to be two noted namesakes called Helena who were born on Christmas Day: cosmetics mogul Helena (born Chaja) Rubinstein and Danish model Helena Christensen. A delicate saint’s and Shakespearean name, Helena is almost smack in the middle of the US pop list, but in the Top 50 in Germany, Portugal and Iceland. Helena Bonham Carter is its most noted bearer, actress Kelly Rutherford used it for her daughter in 2009.
Humphrey Bogart–Iconic Golden Age tough guy Bogart—ranked as the greatest male star of classic American cinema—was given the maiden name of his noted commercial illustrator mother, Maud Humphrey. The name has always been used more frequently in the UK than the US, but does rank at Number 420 on Nameberry.
Irish McCalla—Born Nellie Elizabeth, the actress known as Irish McCalla was the star of the fifties series Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. I’m kind of crushing on gender-neutral Irish, a could-be playmate of Ireland and French.
Isaac Newton—One of the most influential scientists of all time, Isaac Newton formulated the laws of motion and gravity that dominated views of the universe for centuries. He shared his father’s name, a biblical appellation meaning “laughter,” that has leaped up to #33, with indications that it will rise even further.
Justin Trudeau—The popular Prime Minister of Canada is another Christmas birthday boy. Justin, as in Timberlake and Bieber, peaked in the 90s (it reached Number 9 in 1990), but is still at Number 126.
Quentin Crisp—Born Denis Charles Pratt but choosing to be known as Quentin Crisp, he was an eccentric writer, illustrator, actor and artists’ model, best known for his book The Naked Civil Servant, which was made into a TV show. Quentin, now connected to director Tarentino, is one of the few usable Q-names for boys, and is positioned in 539th place and 366 on Nameberry. There were male and female Quentins in Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury.
Rodman (Rod) Serling—Rod Serling, the prolific early television writer best remembered for his resonant narration on his unique and memorable science fiction series, The Twilight Zone. Though Rodman is a less common long form of Rod than Rodney, it is an occasionally heard German name meaning “hero.” As a surname, it’s associated with Dennis R.
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