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 LorettaYoung and ClarkGable had a daughter together in 1935 – but Gablewas married to someone else. Young hid her pregnancy with a hiatus in Europe, then stage-managed an “adoption” of her daughter months later.
When Ingrid Bergman – Oscar-nominated for roles as a nun and a saint – started an affair with director Roberto Rossellini, the scandal was epic. EdSullivan declined to have her on his show.
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. BothErrolFlynn and AudreyHepburn 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 – JimmyStewart’s twin daughters were born in 1951. One sister was called Judy, a popular pick for the era. SisterKelly’s name wasn’t common for girls, but leapt almost 200 places for girls in US the following year
Yasmin – RitaHayworth and PrinceAly Khan’s daughter, making her both Hollywood royalty and a real princess, too
Asa – AlJolson was born AsaYoelson, so his son became Asa, Jr. Plenty of parents have a namesake, but Jolson also named his only daughter Alicia
DesiderioAlberto IV – Better known as DesiArnaz, Jr., or LittleRicky. LucilleBall’s pregnancy and Desi’s birth were incorporated into Ball’s hit show – perhaps marking a turning point in our attitude towards Hollywood moms