Category: movie star baby names
You can tell how much Americans are inspired by famous actresses by looking at the baby name charts! When a new leading lady hits the scene, it’s almost expected that her name will become an influential baby names choice for newborns – at least for a little while.
This effect is especially easy to see with actresses that have uncommon, never-charted names. When they first become celebrities, their names get a boost – often enough for those names to appear in the SSA’s baby name data for the very first time.
Here are a dozen historical actresses, most of whom caused at least one debut appearance on the charts, and the stories behind their distinctive names:
So here are some iconic stars, and what we consider to be their two best character names—in Nameberry baby name terms— together with the one that stands out as the most incongruous and the movie in which he/she answered to that name.
Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman and husband Benjamin Millepied have yet to officially release the name of their newborn son. Could it be a new trend with celebrity baby names? Fellow celeb parents Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem never announced their son’s name, and neither did Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen, though in both cases, the news leaked out. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon dropped hints about their twins’ names for days before we all learned that their little ones were called Monroe and Moroccan.
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 Loretta Young and Clark Gable had a daughter together in 1935 – but Gable was married to someone else. Young hid her pregnancy with a hiatus in Europe, then stage-managed an “adoption” of her daughter months later.
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. Both Errol Flynn and Audrey Hepburn 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.
From the early days of silent pictures to the present day, a sprinkling of stardust has stuck to the names of some of the most iconic glamour girls. Whether their allure was sexy or serene, these superstars’ names make Nameberry’s top dozen.
Audrey— The radiant Belgian-born actress (born Edda), style icon and humanitarian lent a luminous glow to her name– an Old English saint’s appellation– which is being appreciated anew by modern parents, who have brought it into the Top 50.
Ava – One of the great hits of the decade, Ava still calls up the image of sultry Hollywood beauty Ava Gardner. Beginning with Heather Locklear, and Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe in the late 90s, it’s has been a wildly popular celebrity fave.
Charlize—Contemporary actress Charlize Theron was born in South Africa to parents of German, French and Dutch ancestry, and was given her distinctive name in honor of her father, Charles. It has just started to be used in this country in the past few years, with that ‘z’ adding sizzle to Charlie.
Greta – Early film icon Greta Garbo had an exotic and mysterious aura which still clings to her name. A German diminutive of Margarethe, Greta has been used for their daughters by David Caruso, and by Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline.
Harlow—This is one rare case where the last name is more glamorous than the first—Jean—of the sensual 1930s Platinum Blonde. Patricia Arquette was the first to use it for her daughter, followed by Nicole Richie and Joel Madden—and it’s sure to catch on with other parents.