Celebrity Baby Names: Vintage trendsetters from Old Hollywood
Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman and husband Benjamin Millepied have yet to officially release the name of their newborn son. Could it be a new trend with celebrity baby names? Fellow celeb parents Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem never announced their son’s name, and neither did Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen, though in both cases, the news leaked out. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon dropped hints about their twins’ names for days before we all learned that their little ones were called Monroe and Moroccan.
Can you blame them? Whether the parents opt for something as traditional as James or as unusual as Pilot, their choice is discussed, rated, and thoroughly dissected, along with their choice of stroller, nursery décor, and baby clothes.
Things were a little different in Hollywood’s Golden Age. Studios reportedly wrote clauses into their stars’ contracts, penalizing them for becoming pregnant. While the pressure was greater for women, some men also feared that fatherhood could have a negative impact on their ability to land roles as a leading man.
Actors Loretta Young and Clark Gable had a daughter together in 1935 – but Gable was married to someone else. Young hid her pregnancy with a hiatus in Europe, then stage-managed an “adoption” of her daughter months later.
And yet, whether we were barely tolerant of celebrities’ roles as parents or interested in them beyond reason, one thing remains the same: actors tend to choose interesting names for their children. This list of names, most representing children born from the 1930s into the 1960s, would be perfectly acceptable for starbabies born today.
Their power as trendsetters was no less powerful. Both Errol Flynn and Audrey Hepburn had sons called Sean. Sean entered the US Top 1000 two years after Flynn’s son was born in 1941, and took another big leap after Hepburn’s Sean debuted in 1960. The pattern repeats for many of these names.
If we do ever learn the name Natalie and Benjamin picked for their bouncing baby boy, chances are it will continue the long-standing pattern of influencing at least some parents looking to name a son of their own.
Kelly – Jimmy Stewart’s twin daughters were born in 1951. One sister was called Judy, a popular pick for the era. Sister Kelly’s name wasn’t common for girls, but leapt almost 200 places for girls in US the following year
Desiderio Alberto IV – Better known as Desi Arnaz, Jr., or Little Ricky. Lucille Ball’s pregnancy and Desi’s birth were incorporated into Ball’s hit show – perhaps marking a turning point in our attitude towards Hollywood moms
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
on June 27th, 2011 at 8:53 am
I actually like quite a lot of those names. I think Tamsin Agnes Margaret is lovely!
on June 27th, 2011 at 9:46 am
I like a lot of them too! Claire Olivia/Clea is beautiful! Josephine Hannah is lovely too. And those boys: Gareth, Igor & Maximilian, *swoon*!
on June 27th, 2011 at 12:13 pm
This is a great blog, very interesting.
I’m starting to love Francesca! Interesting to see it here so many times.
on June 27th, 2011 at 2:12 pm
Tamsin Agnes Margaret is great, isn’t she?
And Lola, I knew you’d like the boys’ list!
Spotlightstarlit, I do like Francesca quite a bit … it makes me really adore Jason Bateman for choosing it for his daughter!
Charlotte Vera Said
on June 28th, 2011 at 1:13 am
Oooh, I like Laurence Olivier’s naming style!
on June 28th, 2011 at 1:54 am
Isotta is beautiful! It’s one i haven’t heard before and defiantly stopped me in my tracks.
Sunday Summary: 7/3/11 | Appellation Mountain Said
on July 3rd, 2011 at 11:41 am
[…] wrote about the first generation of eclectic Hollywood baby names for Nameberry last week. In more recent celebrity […]
justin bieber Said
on September 14th, 2011 at 3:46 pm
[…]Celebrity Baby Names: Vintage trendsetters from Old Hollywood – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry[…]…
leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.