Category: John Wayne
Once more this year we commemorate Father’s Day with a list of some notable names of the paternal parents of celebrities of various times and places, with some truly unusual examples, as in Archulus (Truman Capote) and Belmont (Humphrey Bogart). As with the moms we displayed on Mother’s Day, it turns out that quite a number of past (and a few present) notables have had Dads with interesting, and sometimes surprising, names. Here are some examples to prove the point:
ANDREJ — ANDY WARHOL
ARCHULUS — TRUMAN CAPOTE
I’ve always been intrigued with the names of the characters played by movie stars, especially the iconic figures of the Golden Age—the interplay between actor and character name, and the roles those names played in establishing and perpetuating their screen personas.
It certainly comes as no surprise that John Wayne played numerous heroes named John and Jim or that Cary Grant portrayed three Nicks or how many good girl Pollys and Pennys there were, played by the likes of the young Shirley Temple and Judy Garland. But there were a lot of interesting aberrations– for example, though to most of us Clark Gable will always be Rhett Butler, he was also Ace, Blackie (twice), Candy, Duke and Patch; Humphrey Bogart may live on eternally in video heaven as Rick, but he also answered to Baby Face, Bugs, Turkey, Duke, Gloves, Chips and Rocks, Joan Crawford was Bingo as well as Mildred Pierce, and Bette Davis was Fluff Phillips as well as Margo Channing.
Looking over some vintage cast credits, one thing that jumps out is the number of current trends that were anticipated in the movies of the 1930s, forties and fifties. For example:
In addition to those mentioned above, there were:
As reported in the not always reliable Star magazine, Nicole Richie, mother of Harlow Winter Kate, has at the top of her list of names for her baby-to-be Baron, inspired by Donald Trump’s little Barron. (Her other two published possibilities being Kypher and Martavious, about which I’ll restrain my comments). This is the latest evidence of a disturbing trendlet among celebs–Hollywood royalty taking their status literally and bestowing noble titles on their offspring.
So who are these little peers and peeresses of the realm?
At the top of the ranks would be King. Discounting Kingston Rossdale, whose nickname might be King, there is the son of rapper Jayceon (The Game) Taylor. Since The Game’s other nicknames include The California King and King of the West, what could be more logical than to have named his second son King Justice?
Next in line to the throne would be a Prince. Michael Jackson liked the idea of starting a royal line so much that he named both his sons Prince Michael Jackson–I born in 1997 and II (aka Blanket) in 2002. Not to be outdone, British model Katie Price (aka Jordan) and pop star husband Peter Andre called their little princess Princess (“Princess because she is our little princess”) Tiaamii, with Mum expressing ing her intention of commemorating the regal birth by getting a Princess and crown tattoo on her neck.
Both Diane Keaton and Justine Bateman have sons named Duke, but somehow this name doesn’t project the same air of entitlement or pretension to royalty the others do, probably because Duke has long been used as a laid-back nickname name, and because it was so much associated with anything-but-aristocratic John Wayne–who got his nickname from the family dog that used to follow him around: the dog was known as “Big Duke” and young Marion Morrison as “Little Duke.”
Though the British don’t have the rank of Count (it’s equivalent to an earl, and somehow My Name is Earl doesn’t have much of a royal ring)–show biz does. Never one to hide his light under a bushel, Danny Bonaduce has a son named Count Dante Jean-Michel Valentine and a daughter called Countess Isabella Michaela.
How much have other parents been picking up on this noble-name trend? Well, King, Prince, Princess, Baron, and three different spellings of Marquis are all on the current popularity list, but pretty near the bottom, each with under 500 anointed babies nationwide. And, personally–it would be fine with me if they didn’t rise any higher.