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Most popular baby names shared by Oscar winners

  • Most popular baby names shared by Oscar winners

    In a world where children are given names like Apple and Rocket, it’s easy to think today’s culture has done away with the classics. It’s certainly fair to say the baby name pool has become more eclectic. But there’s still room for names with history, and for those that reference a legacy of greatness. In fact, many of the classics are more than alive; they’re thriving. And what greater legacy to pass on to the next generation than the Academy Awards? Whether it’s motivated by the writing, the thespian talent, a riveting performance, or perspective-changing cinematography, naming a baby after an Oscar-winner is always a solid choice.

    It’s no secret that names hold a certain reference in parents’ minds; and, according to the numbers, this is very much true. To determine the most popular baby names shared by Oscar winners, Stacker compiled data from Behind the Name’s Oscar Award Winners Namesakes list and the Social Security Administration’s 2018 name popularity rankings. Then, we ranked names by the number of Oscar winners for best actor, best actress, and best director who share this name. Ties are broken by the names’ popularity in 2018. All 45 names shared by two or more Oscar winners for best actor, best actress, and best director are included in this gallery. The Oscar winners who share these names and the years they won their awards are also included. For stars who won multiple Oscars, the first year they won is included.

    Click ahead to see if your favorite name (or perchance your own) made the list. Or, better yet, be ready to be inspired.

    You may also like: Most popular baby names for baby boomers

  • #45. Kim

    - Today's name popularity rank: #4,046 (35 babies born)
    - Name shared by: 2 actresses
    --- Kim Basinger (1997), Kim Hunter (1951)

    Actress Kim Hunter took home the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 1951 for her role as Stella Kowalski in the Hollywood classic “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Kim Basinger followed Hunter with her Oscar win in 1997 for her supporting role as Lynn Bracken in “L.A. Confidential.” While Basinger was director Curtis Hanson’s top (and only) pick for the role, the actress apparently said no to it three times before agreeing to play Lynn.

  • #44. Tom

    - Today's name popularity rank: #2,103 (66 babies born)
    - Name shared by: 1 actor, 1 director
    --- Tom Hanks (1993), Tom Hooper (2010)

    It’s undeniable that Tom Hanks dominated the stage of ‘90s cinema. It’s equally unsurprising that his name is one of the top-ranked names of babies born in 2018. Hanks won his first Oscar for his leading role in “Philadelphia” in 1993 and the next year for his leading role in “Forrest Gump.” The second Tom that earned the name an Oscar is English director Tom Hooper who earned his Oscar for directing the 2010 film “The King’s Speech.”

  • #43. Joan

    - Today's name popularity rank: #1,722 (118 babies born)
    - Name shared by: 2 actresses
    --- Joan Crawford (1945), Joan Fontaine (1941)

    The award-winning ladies that claim this name as their own are definitely not void of the dramatics. Joan Fontaine earned an Oscar for her starring role in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Suspicion,” playing opposite Cary Grant. She is the only actor (woman or man) to win an Oscar for their role in a Hitchcock film. The second Joan to win an Oscar is Joan Crawford, who accepted her award for “Mildred Pierce”... in bed. Legend has it that the actress feigned illness on the night of the ceremony, but after hearing that she won, she quickly made herself up and invited press into her bedroom to accept the award within the comfort of her bed.

  • #42. Barry

    - Today's name popularity rank: #1,207 (154 babies born)
    - Name shared by: 1 actor, 1 director
    --- Barry Fitzgerald (1944), Barry Levinson (1988)

    Barry Levinson was awarded Best Director for “Rain Man” and three years later was nominated for the same distinction for “Bugsy.” It was actor Barry Fitzgerald, however, who first made an award-winning name out of Barry. Fitzgerald was nominated for both a leading and supporting role in the 1944 film “Going My Way,” but won the award for his supporting role.

  • #41. Susan

    - Today's name popularity rank: #1,079 (234 babies born)
    - Name shared by 2 actresses
    --- Susan Hayward (1958), Susan Sarandon (1995)

    The two Susans who have won Oscars, though decades apart, actually share a lot in common. Susan Hayward and Susan Sarandon have each won one award have four nominations—all of which are for leading roles. Hayward won her Oscar in 1958 for her starring role in “I Want to Live!,” which she also won a Golden Globe for. Sarandon won her Oscar in 1995 for her leading role in “Dead Man Walking.”

  • #40. Mercedes

    - Today's name popularity rank: #1,068 (236 babies born)
    - Name shared by: 2 actresses
    --- Mercedes McCambridge (1949), Mercedes Ruehl (1991)

    While Mercedes McCambridge may have won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in “All the King’s Men,” some may not know she also provided the raspy voice of the girl possessed by a demon in “The Exorcist.” McCambridge was nominated for another Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the 1956 film “Giant.” The second Oscar-winning Mercedes in question is the lovely Mercedes Ruehl, who won for her supporting role in “The Fisher King.”

  • #39. Patricia

    - Today's name popularity rank: #909 (293 babies born)
    - Name shared by: 2 actresses
    --- Patricia Arquette (2014), Patricia Neal (1963)

    Patricia Neal won an Oscar for her leading role in “Hud” in 1963, which French actress Annabelle accepted in her stead. Patricia Arquette won for her supporting role in the precedent-setting film “Boyhood,” a scripted film that was shot over the course of 10 years. During the 2014 ceremony, Arquette used her acceptance speech to talk about the importance of equal pay for equal work—an issue that still plagues the industry to this day.

  • #38. Ben

    - Today's name popularity rank: #692 (347 babies born)
    - Name shared by: 2 actors
    --- Ben Johnson (1971), Ben Kingsley (1982)

    The rugged Western actor Ben Johnson won one Oscar during his entire career for his role in the 1971 film “The Last Picture Show,” despite having about 300 films to his name. Ben Kingsley won his award for his role in 1982’s “Gandhi” where he portrayed the life of Mohandas Gandhi. This role was Kingsley’s first nomination and win for an Oscar.

  • #37. Lee

    - Today's name popularity rank: #688 (350 babies born)
    - Name shared by: 1 actor, 1 actress
    --- Lee Grant (1975), Lee Marvin (1965)

    The versatility of this name is displayed by the two Oscar-winning actors that bear it. First being actor Lee Marvin, who won for his leading role in the film “Cat Ballou” in 1965. The second is Lee Grant, an actress who won for her supporting role in the 1975 film “Shampoo.”

  • #36. Gary

    - Today's name popularity rank: #674 (367 babies born)
    - Name shared by: 2 actors
    --- Gary Cooper (1941), Gary Oldman (2017)

    Gary Cooper created a high bar for the name being one of the few to win three Oscars in his lifetime. Two awards were for his leading roles in “Sergeant York” and “High Noon” and his third award for his memorable performances international acclaim he gained for the motion picture industry. Gary Oldman is the second to earn the name prestige, earning the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in 2017’s “Darkest Hour.”

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