Celebrity Dads with Cool Names

June 14, 2015 Abby Sandel

Nameberry celebrates dads — and especially dad names! From celebrity dads to the fathers who star in our own lives, we’ll be looking at the various intersections of fatherhood and baby names all week. Wishing you a Happy Father’s Day, berries!

Celebrity baby names are always in the spotlight. But how about the names of the celebrities themselves?

Plenty of Hollywood A-listers answer to ordinary appellations. There’s Robert (Downey, Jr.), Mark (Wahlberg), Will (Smith), and a couple of guys called Chris, Brad, and Matthew. Regular guy names.

But then there are those other dads, the ones with the cool names. The celebrities whose names set trends.

Is it harder to name your children when you’ve got an interesting, edgy name? Maybe, but these nine dads have done it. Not only are their names all kinds of cool, the baby names they’ve chosen for their children are every bit as trailblazing. It must run in the family.

Let’s take a look at nine Hollywood dads with great names, and the celebrity baby names they’ve chosen for their children.

Rider Boy Meets World alum Rider Strong is reprising his role on Girl Meets World. He plays Shawn, BFF to Cory, the original Boy. Now Cory is dad to Riley, the Girl at the center of the spin-off. In real life, Rider and wife Alexandra Barreto are celebrating their first Father’s Day in 2015. Son Indigo was born in December of last year. Spelled Ryder, this name has gone from obscure surname to the US Top 100 since the 1990s. Could Indigo crack the Top 100 in another twenty years?

Vin Vin Diesel was born plain old Mark Sinclair. His professional name seems to be a nod to his stepfather, Irving Vincent. Vin and model Paloma Jimenez have three children. There’s firstborn daughter Hania Riley. Son Vincent shares the family name. Lastly, Pauline honors Vin’s dear friend and Fast and the Furious castmate, the late Paul Walker. Pauline was in style limbo, but the JimenezDiesel family might be high profile enough to make the name shine once more. And Vin? Sixteen boys were given the name in 2014 – a new high.

Powers – American parents have embraced big, bold names like Legend and Duke for our sons. Powers would fit right in. It’s the given name of Emmy-award winning actor Powers Boothe. His television career has stretched over four decades, playing Phillip Marlowe on HBO in the 1980s, and most recently, Lamar Wyatt, business tycoon dad to Rayna James on Nashville. His two children are grown-up: actress daughter Parisse and son Preston, born in 1989 – more than a decade before Britney’s Sean Preston.

Rocky – Speaking of big, bold names, how about Rocky? A few decades ago, Rocky was a boxer or possibly a racoon. But in recent years, it’s caught on as a given name. More than 200 newborn boys were named Rocky in 2014. Actor Rocky Carroll – you know him from the NCIS franchise – was born Roscoe. He and wife Gabrielle are parents to daughter Elissa. Elissa might look like a creative respelling of Alyssa, but in Roman myth, Elissa rules as the Queen of Carthage.

Misha – Some of the coolest names for men in 2015 aren’t tough guy names at all. With Noah ranked Number 1 in the US, it’s no surprise that lots of softer names for boys are on the rise. Misha – a Russian diminutive of Michael – is rare in the US, but has a lot of Slavic charm. Actor Misha Collins, of Supernatural, is father to two children with wife Victoria: son West Anaximander and daughter Maison Marie. Obscure Greek philosopher middle and French noun first? That’s some daring naming!

Dax – Yes, Dax is actor and comedian Dax Shepard’s real name. He’s said that his mother borrowed it from a Harold Robbins novel. Mrs. Shepard might not have been the only one. There was an uptick in boys named Dax in the 1970s. But Dax’s moment is really today, the age of Max and Paxton and Axl and Jackson – choose your spelling. Dax is also dad to two daughters with Kristen Bell: Lincoln and Delta.

Savion Savion Glover’s given name was almost unique until he started dancing in the 1980s. In 2008, there were 264 newborn boys given the name, which makes it feel just about mainstream. He and dancer wife Nina Glover named their son Chaney after another legendary dancer.

Beck – Trailblazing singer-songwriter Beck first hit it big in the 1990s. That’s when the name first started to trend upwards for boys in the US, along with surname name Beckett. The musician and his actress wife Marissa Ribisi are parents to two nicely named children – son Cosimo and daughter Tuesday. The names are unexpected, quirky, and definitley cool.

Jensen – The second Supernatural cast member to make this list is Jensen Ackles (show in illustration). Ackles and wife Danneel Harris have a daughter named Justice Jay – J.J. for short. Justice often makes headlines because it’s banned as a baby name in New Zealand – though parents persist in attempting to use it. In the US, Justice ranked Number 531 for boys and Number 420 for girls – not all that rare, actually. But it does seem like a name slightly off-center, which is fitting for parents whose names are a little bit different.

Which is your favorite father-child combination? Dad Beck with kids Cosimo and Tuesday makes me happy every time I see it! Are there any other father-child combinations that should be on this list?

About the author


Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at

View all of Abby's articles


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