Audrey Hepburn, the radiant Belgian-born actress, 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.
One of the great hits of our day, 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 become a wildly popular celebrity fave.
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.
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.
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 Harlow for her daughter, followed by Nicole Richie and Joel Madden—and it’s sure to catch on with other parents.
One of the few Scandinavian girls’ names to enter the American mainstream, thanks to luminous Swedish-born beauty, Ingrid Bergman. It has remained underused, though, and would make a fine fitting in/standing out choice
Scarlett Johansson has done more for this seductively southern name than Scarlett O’Hara ever did, bringing it up to #169—way higher than it has ever been before, spelled both with one l, as in the color, and two.
Originally spelled Sofia—Loren telegraphed Latin sensualità when she was at her peak several decades ago, but now, since there were well over 16,000 American Sophias born last year, the name has a much more diversified image.
For decades this haunting Choctaw name was associated with the witty, husky-voiced, somewhat outrageous Tallulah Bankhead, who was named for her paternal grandmother who, in turn, was named after the Georgia town, Tallulah Falls. It was revived by quirky baby-namers Demi Moore and Bruce Willis for their youngest daughter, and is now an accepted option for all.
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