Iconic Movie Character Names: Ladies First
Woody Allen’s 1977 hit movie Annie Hall starred Diane Keaton as the quirky Annie. (Hall being Keaton’s real last name), winning her a Best Actress award. Annie has been one of the all-time most popular nickname names for girls, but Annie Hall gave it an injection of style. Still adorable, but no longer one of the freshest choices on the list.
- Woody Allen’s 1977 hit movie Annie Hall starred Diane Keaton as the quirky Annie. (Hall being Keaton’s real last name), winning her a Best Actress award. Annie has been one of the all-time most popular nickname names for girls, but Annie Hall gave it an injection of style. Still adorable, but no longer one of the freshest choices on the list." >
- Jane Fonda won an Oscar for her complex bad-girl role in Klute in 1971, three years after her sensationally sexy showing in Barbarella. Bree did come onto the popularity list in 1972, but despite later appearances in Desperate Housewives and the Twilight series, has just fallen off the Top 1000 and may not be right for a 2014 baby." >
- Greta Garbo is remembered as playing the title character in the 1936, though her name was actually Marguerite Gautier, the tragic La Dame aux Camélias. Camille has had a consistent presence on the pop list, but is now at its highest ranking ever, at Number 243, and 183 on Nameberry. The lovely Camille is baby-appropriate right now, both classic and distinctive." >
- Judy Garland played the girl from Kansas in the 1939 The Wizard of Oz, the name Dorothy was in the Top 10—where it had been since 1904. Inevitably, Dorothy aged into a neglected Golden Girl, though the name has been making a comeback, on the rise for the past three years." >
- Rita Hayworth as Gilda in the 1946 film made a tremendous impact at the time. But the name, meaning “covered with gold” didn’t really share in its success—after a brief bump in the year of the movie’s release, Gilda completely fell off the list in 1960. Gilda may need another generation before it's prime for a comeback." >
- Audrey Hepburn was the charmingly enigmatic Holly Golightly character created by Truman Capote in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s— she had been originally called Connie Gustafson in earlier drafts. The Christmassy name Holly peaked in the US in the early ‘80s, though still hot in Britain. While not quite stylish, Holly still carries a measure of baby-ready charm." >
- Ingrid Bergman played the moving heroine Ilsa Lund in the 1942 classic Casablanca, opposite Humphrey Bogart. This German nickname for Elizabeth has never taken hold here—though Ingrid is one of the few Scandinavian girls’ names that has, thanks to the actress. Ilsa may be ready for rediscovery now, though, thanks to the emergence of animated character name, Elsa." >
- Lolita—the nickname given to nymphet Dolores Haze—an unsavory reputation it's never quite managed to shake off. Despite the fashion for double L names like Lola, you probably don't want to put this one on the birth certificate." >
- Marilyn Monroe’s signature roles, in the 1953 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a gold-digger character created by Anita Loos for her blockbuster novel back in 1925. Lorelei was a legendary ancient seductive siren whose name later came into the spotlight as that of both mother and daughter on Gilmore Girls. It’s currently Number 501 and baby-ready." >
- Bette Davis (who replaced an injured Claudette Colbert) in the 1950 All About Eve made fading actress Margo Channing an unforgettable character. Margo—also spelled Margot—a French diminutive of Margaret, is not to be found in the Top 1000, but is Number 234 on Nameberry. Margo is a classic in the style vanguard and a wonderful choice for a baby girl." >
- Nick and Nora Charles were the sparkling duo in the Depression Era Thin Man series, with Nora played by the witty and glamorous Myrna Loy. Nora is a timeless classic—once considered quintessentially Irish—that has just entered the Top 100 at #83—its highest ranking since 1913. Nora is a quiet, enduring choice in step with the times." >
- Roman Polanski psychological thriller that petrified every pregnant woman who saw it, Rosemary’s Baby, featured a young and innocent Mia Farrow in her most iconic role. The classic smoosh name Rosemary peaked at midcentury, but is beginning to climb back again. Update Rosemary with the nickname Romy." >
- Vivien Leigh was cast as the fiery heroine (born Katie Scarlett) of the 1939 Gone With the Wind. But it wasn’t until decades later, thanks largely to superstar Scarlett Johansson, that Scarlett is now a Top 50 name in the US and #21 in England. Today, Scarlett's only downside is that it may be TOO fashionable." >
- Meryl Streep’s shining talent, beauty and impeccable Polish accent in the 1982 Sophie’s Choice won her her first Best Actress Oscar in 1982. Though it has lagged behind Sophia in the US, her near identical twin Sophie is catching up, now at Number 76 and the top choice in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Does Sophie make a more distinctive-enough alternative to Sophia? Your call." >
- Elizabeth Taylor became a star with the release of National Velvet in 1944. The soft, luxuriant name Velvet appeared on the Social Security list only briefly in the early 60s. While word names have become more accepted, this one may never be quite baby-appropriate." >
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on July 11th, 2014 at 8:41 am
No mention that Holly Golightly is actually Holiday! Love the full name, not a fan of the nn. As for the other names, I like Margo(t), Isla, Nora, and Scarlett, and I’m very intrigued by Velvet as a name.
on July 11th, 2014 at 8:58 am
Holly Golightly’s name was actually Lula Mae Barnes.
I disagree that Bree is not usable for a 2014 baby. Names that are just outside the top 1000 are appealing to me and to others. Bree is short and snappy and pretty. I love it!
on July 11th, 2014 at 11:28 am
So many lovely choices. My personal favorites are:
Annie – though I would use it as a nickname for Anna or Annabel
Dorothy – I think it would be refreshing to see a little Dorothy running around today, plus the nn Dottie is adorable.
Ingrid – Not a fan of Ilsa, but the Ingrid is stunning. It’s strong but strikingly feminine
Margo – One of my favorites of all time! So gorgeous and spunky, hopefully Margo won’t catch on too quick…I would love to use it someday
Scarlett – Scarlett has a beauty and sass about her that cannot be matched. Plus, I love the nicknames Scout and Red.
on July 11th, 2014 at 4:19 pm
I didn’t understand the comment about Bree… In my opinion it’s one of the most baby-ready name on the list! What’s wrong with it? Bree is cute, spunky, short, feminine, easy to spell, and shares qualities with many of the top names such as Brianna. Plus Disney XD’s Lab Rats character Bree Davenport is a nice boost to the name. Bree was my favorite girl name just a couple years ago. It works perfectly fine and is better than Dorothy and Gilda for a 2014 baby.
Also, while this was fun to look at, I’ve only ever heard of three of these movies… The Wizard of Oz, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Gone with the Wind.
on July 11th, 2014 at 6:25 pm
Perhaps Laura or Barbara might be added to this list? Or maybe Gene as in Gene Tierney, the actress who played Laura? Barbara, as in Barbara O’Neill, a great actress, in All This and Heaven Too. Or perhaps Clover, from Inside Daisy Clover, to accompany Velvet?
on July 11th, 2014 at 7:01 pm
@miloowen: I did consider Laura, Daisy and Clover—but the list was just getting too long!
on July 12th, 2014 at 5:10 pm
on July 12th, 2014 at 6:56 pm
I have a Lorelei and a Scarlett. I also love Margo, but we’re done having babies. 🙂
on July 14th, 2014 at 9:42 am
I love the name Lolita and it is such a shame that a beautiful name is tainted, maybe beyond repair? I secretly hope not. Lita Margot is a lovely combination that I like but slightly disappointing at the shortness. X
on May 4th, 2015 at 7:14 am
Great list. I would love to see most of these names gain some traction. I’m iffy about Holly, though–I have more friends named Holly than I do Jennifer on my FB friend’s list–and I am a 70s Jennifer!
Also, I’m not too keen on Lolita. I had to read the book for class and I won’t ever get over that, even though the first paragraph is arguably one of the most beautiful pieces of prose ever written–and that it’s written about a name! The creep factor is way too strong. Plus, one of the fashion subcultures of Japan is the Lolita, and so there is a secondary association with that. (It’s not really based on the story–the look is about dressing like a very wealthy Victorian child–frilly, knee-length dresses, high necks, stockings, bonnets or large hair bows, parasols, and stuffed animals or dolls. There are variations, but it’s still kind of the idea of an adult woman dressing as a child. http://img.buzznet.com/assets/imgx/2/1/0/6/1/2/9/0/orig-21061290.jpg)
on May 4th, 2015 at 7:17 am
@crystaleyes: Great sibset! I love Lorelei and Scarlett together! I agree that Margo would be a great choice for a third!
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