Celebrity Names: Hollywood’s Golden Age Glamour Boys
Marlon Brando was a junior, with a surname that derives from Brandeau, which belonged to one of his German immigrant forebears. Conjuring up the dynamic yet sensitive qualities of the iconic actor, Brando could make a great o-ending homage to an Uncle Brandon.
- Marlon Brando was a junior, with a surname that derives from Brandeau, which belonged to one of his German immigrant forebears. Conjuring up the dynamic yet sensitive qualities of the iconic actor, Brando could make a great o-ending homage to an Uncle Brandon." >
- James Cagney, the fiery red-haired tough guy/hoofer, lends his Irish surname a large measure of spirit and spunk, making it a fresher successor to the now dated Casey. Another familiarizing element was the popular eighties female cop show Cagney & Lacey ." >
- William Clark Gable ’s name was emblematic of the roguish romantic hero in the Golden Age of Hollywood, an image that still clings to it. Kevin Nealon used it for his son in 2007. Brings to mind cousin-names Mabel and Abel." >
- Ronald Colman started in the Silent Era, then went on to star in such classics as Lost Horizons and A Tale of Two Cities. Colman is a neglected trade name (“one who burns charcoal”) with the appealing nickname Cole." >
- Sean Connery, the original 007, bears an Irish surname related to the more common Conner and Connor. Connery’s got that great three-syllable lilt that makes it a livelier alternative to the more familiar others." >
- Harry Lillis Crosby, known as Bing from the age of six, bears an Anglo-Irish name deriving from the Old Norse words meaning cross and farm. With its double musical cred via David of Crosby, Stills and Nash, Crosby has been catching on with baby namers: it entered the Top 1000 in 2011 and this year rose 70 places to Number 670." >
- Errol Leslie Thompson Flynn was born in Tasmania but clearly had Irish roots. Baby name Flynn, also that of the dashing animated hero of Tangled, is just beginning to catch up with popular cousin Finn. Flynn first appeared on the list in 2011 (the year that Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom used it for their son), then quickly jumped almost 250 places this year and is sure to climb higher." >
- William Franklin Beedle, Jr. morphed into Oscar-winning charmer William Holden. Putting Beedle aside, Holden has been on the list for 26 years—somewhat influenced by Holden Caulfield-- and is now at a high of Number 296. A similarly long-running favorite is Cooper, as in Gary." >
- Rock Hudson went through several nominal changes, from his birth name of Roy Harold Sherer, Jr to Roy Fitzgerald and finally to the agent-coined Rock Hudson, the surname taken from an old car brand. Baby name Hudson hit the Top 100 this year; it reentered the pop list in 1995 after being off since 1915." >
- Fredric March was born Ernest Frederick McIntyre Bickel. March is one of the newest month names to be taking off—and among the few available to boys." >
- Robert Mitchum was actually born Robert Mitchum, which is an English-Irish name also spelled Mitcham. One of the first anti-heroes, known for his work in film noir, he was known as much for his exploits off-screen as on. Mitchum has some potential as an alternative to Mitchell as a pathway to cool nickname Mitch." >
- Laurence’s name is popular in France, and even more so in the Netherlands, where it is Number 52. Here, it would make a stylish Continental change from the growing-in-popularity Oliver, twin brother to Number 4 girls' name Olivia ." >
- Born Joseph Yule, Jr, fireball Mickey Rooney made it big as the teenaged Andy Hardy and is still going strong in his nineties. The top box office star for three years running, his first stage name was Mickey McGuire, but it was Rooney—the warm, rich Irish name that means ‘descendant of the hero’—that stuck, and could now make a cheerful cousin of Rory." >
- Valentino still sounds as romantic as Romeo. Silent screen idol Rudolph Valentino had eight birth names in all and just one of them was Valentina (sic). Valentino was on the pop list in his 1920's heyday, then dropped off to return in 2006. Ricky Martin used it for one of his twins." >
- Gene (born Orvon) Autry has a surname with just the right cowboy swagger. Its derivation is French, and its meaning is old and powerful. Autry could join other Au-starting names like Audrey, Aubrey and Auden; a similarly lean and lanky option is Destry." >
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on August 2nd, 2013 at 7:34 am
I wonder if Crosby’s gradual climb into the Top 1000 is anything to do with Sidney Crosby?
on August 2nd, 2013 at 8:47 am
Goodness, I’d forgotten how dashing some of these men were.
I’m honestly very surprised that Clark hasn’t taken off yet. I think it’s much more likely to become popular than Gable. I like it a lot.
on August 2nd, 2013 at 9:10 am
Crosby and Olivier are my favorites. They sound so adorable.
on August 2nd, 2013 at 10:18 am
These photos bring back a lot of memories for me. I used to watch the old Hollywood films with my parents. I had crushes on Ronald Colman (and his little moustache), Errol Flynn (he even seemed “dangerous” on screen) and my mother was a big Robert Mitchum fan (he of the cleft chin and sleepy eyes). But my all-time favourite actor was Sir Laurence Olivier. I love both names Laurence and Olivier. That wonderful actor had it all at one time including a glamorous wife named Vivien Leigh (aka Scarlett O’Hara). I can’t help but think that they don’t make “stars” like they use to. Thank you for a wonderful walk down memory lane! 🙂
on August 2nd, 2013 at 10:30 am
Didn’t you post this a few weeks ago? I’m getting serious deja vu right now.
on August 2nd, 2013 at 12:12 pm
I really like Autry, but people would slaughter it unknowingly with Audrey, and to me, that’s got to be the worst, especially for a boy; same with Olivier– but because of my love for Oliver, I have already asked my husband if he could consider Olivier (love his lead role in Pride and Prejudice!!). He won’t – lol.
I also love Bing Crosby, but could never use the name; however I can certainly see the draw towards Mitchum. I like that myself.
Never thought much of Rooney, but that would work well as a middle. Love that it means, decendant of the hero. Now that is cool….
on August 2nd, 2013 at 12:22 pm
I know a little Clark- he is almost two now. I also think it might take off. I would love to see some little Fredericks running around!
What about Tyrone, after Tyrone Power? He epitomized Old Hollywood Glamour.
on August 2nd, 2013 at 12:38 pm
I love Brando, Crosby (and Bing!), and Autry. I think they are all just grand!
on August 2nd, 2013 at 2:58 pm
*gasp* I’m SO happy to see Cagney here. I actually met a real-life, grown-up man named Cagney a couple of years ago and I was beyond thrilled. I’m also loving Connery, and Crosby too. I don’t find March appealing, but Frederick would be pretty wonderful.
on August 2nd, 2013 at 8:54 pm
Oh, this is such a great group of names. Lots of my favorites here. Gable, Crosby, Flynn, and Holden are all on my list. Used to love Hudson, but it had a big surge in popularity here in the Midwest over the last few years and it’s lost some of it’s charm for me.
I wonder how Rooney Mara will influence Rooney for girls.
Also I think Crosby’s increase in popularity is at least in part attributed to the character on the show Parenthood.
on August 3rd, 2013 at 8:50 am
@elliebean I was having deja vu too. I’ve definitely read this before, but good names nonetheless.
on August 3rd, 2013 at 9:53 am
Why are you repeating this? Boo! I wanted a new blog!
on August 3rd, 2013 at 7:42 pm
I love the name Rooney…we actually named our female dog Rooney a few months ago. Gable is handsome, but I would love to see Clark climb in popularity too 🙂
on August 3rd, 2013 at 10:49 pm
I’m not sure why you’re advocating their surnames as first names when their first names are pretty great, too. The only surnames I think are particularly usable are Brando, Flynn, Holden, Hudson and Valentino (and Olivier if you’re French). The first names I think are lovely and either currently popular or could easily become more popular are: James, Clark, Bing, William, Fredric, Laurence and Gene. I agree, Clark is very underrated, but my first thought when I hear this name is always Clark Griswold!
on August 5th, 2013 at 11:47 am
Gable and Connery great names
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