100 Vintage Old Hollywood Names To Inspire You

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Feb 16, 2024 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Oct 28, 2020
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Age: 0-99
Read time: 8.8 Min

The glamour and glitz of names inspired by Hollywood is one-of-a-kind.

The Old Hollywood era, from the first silent film in 1910 to the early 1960s, is renowned as the Golden Age of Cinema. It's no surprise that the names inspired by this era are still popular as baby names today.

The vintage era produced wonderful vintage names. Old movie star names had a charm that inspires people today. Naming your child after Hollywood actors and actresses or the characters they played is a common trend. If you are looking for a touch of Old Hollywood glamour, this list will help provide your child with the chic name they deserve.

If you're looking for something more contemporary than old movie stars names, look at these modern boys' names or modern girls' names.

Legendary Names Of Old Hollywood Actresses

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Actresses from the Golden Age of Film have inspired many people with their fashion, lifestyle, and amazing performances. Browse this list of Old Hollywood starlets who may inspire the perfect name for your daughter.

1. Audrey (English origin) meaning "noble strength." This name became famous after legendary actress Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn is known for her iconic role in 'Breakfast At Tiffany's'.

2. Ava (English origin) meaning "bird." This name became popular because of actress Ava Gardner. Ava Gardner is known for the noir film 'The Killers'.

3. Billie (German origin) meaning "resolute protector." The name was made popular by actress Billie Holiday.

4. Carole (English origin) meaning "free person." Carole Lombard is a famous American actress.

5. Claudette (French origin) meaning "lame."

6. Ginger (English origin) meaning "pure." The name was made famous by actress, dancer and singer, Ginger Rogers.

7. Grace (Latin origin) meaning "charm." Grace Kelly was a famous American actress, who became Princess of Monaco.

8. Greer (Scottish origin), meaning "alert; watchful".

9. Greta (Greek origin) meaning "pearl." This legendary Greta Garbo won many hearts with her acting.

10. Hattie (American origin) meaning "home-ruler." The name is associated with 'Gone with the Wind' actress Hattie McDaniel.

11. Hedy (English origin) meaning "battle war." This beautiful actress Hedy Lamarr impressed everyone with her talents.

12. Henry (English origin) meaning "ruler" Henry Fonda was a famous American actor.

13. Holly (English origin) meaning "the holy tree."

14. Ingrid (English origin), meaning "beautiful," became popular due to actress Ingrid Bergman and her award-winning performances.

15. Josephine (French origin), meaning "shall grow', is associated with actress Josephine Baker.

16. June (Latin origin) meaning "young."

17. Katherine (Greek origin) meaning "pure." Katharine Hepburn was one of the best actresses of her time.

18. Lana (English origin), meaning "little rock".

19. Marilyn (American origin) meaning "beloved." No one can ever forget the impact actress Marilyn Monroe had for her comic roles on audiences.

20. Marlene (German origin) meaning "wished-for child," made popular by actress Marlene Dietrich.

21. Meryl (English Origin), meaning "shining ocean". The name is associated with legendary actress Meryl Streep who holds the record for an actress with most award wins.

22. Olivia (French origin) meaning "olive tree."

23. Rebecca (English origin) meaning "to tie." A famous movie by Alfred Hitchcock which defined the later suspense-style movies.

24. Rita (Spanish origin) meaning "pearl", became popular after actress Rita Hayworth.

25. Tallulah (American origin), meaning "leaping water," had instant fame due to actress Tallulah Bankhead.

26. Vivien (French origin) meaning "alive." This name is made famous by the 'Gone with the Wind' movie actress Vivien Leigh.

Greatest Classic Hollywood Actors

There are many fabulous Hollywood actors from the Golden Age of Film who have inspired people with their films and in real life. Some of these classic actors are listed below.

27. Alec (Greek origin) meaning "defender of man," best known because of Hollywood actor Alec Guinness from 'Star Wars' fame.

28. Bruce (English origin) meaning "thick brush."

29. Cary (English origin) meaning "pure." This name received fame courtesy to Hollywood's one of the greatest leading men, Cary Grant.

30. Charlie (English origin) meaning "free man." Charlie Chaplin never failed to amaze the audience with his silent comedy.

31. Clark (English origin), meaning "clerk," got popular by the American actor Clark Gable.

32. Dean (English origin) meaning "valley," made famous by 'Rebel Without A Cause' actor James Dean.

33. Errol (English origin) meaning "boar wolf."

34. Frank (English origin) meaning "free." Frank Sinatra was an actor and singer who sang this song 'Come Fly With Me.'

35. Gene (English origin) meaning "well-born." Gene Kelly was a famous Hollywood actor and dancer.

36. Humphrey (French origin) meaning "bear cub or peace". Humphrey Bogart was an iconic Hollywood actor.

37. Jack (English origin) meaning "supplanter."

38. Jimmy (English origin) meaning "holder of the heel." The name is popular because of actor Jimmy Stewart.

39. Kirk (English origin) meaning "church," became famous because of child actor, Kirk Douglas.

40. Laurence (English origin) meaning "laurel."

41. Marlon (English origin), meaning "dedicated to Mars" is best associated with award-winning actor Marlon Brando.

42. Mel (English origin), meaning "friend of justice," became famous due to Hollywood actor Mel Gibson.

43. Nils (Swedish origin) meaning "victory to the people." This classic Old Hollywood name is popular due to actor Nils Asther.

44. Olivier (English origin) became popular due to legendary actor, Laurence Olivier.

45. Omar (Arabic origin) meaning "flourishing," best known because of actor Omar Sharif.

46. Rex (Latin origin), meaning "king," became popular after movie star Rex Harrison and his role in 'Cleopatra'.

47. Robert (English origin), meaning "bright fame".

48. Rock (English origin) meaning "a notable crag." Rock Hudson, one of  Old Hollywood's heartthrobs.

49. Sidney (French origin) meaning "Saint Denis".

50. Spencer (English origin), meaning "administrator." The name rose to fame because of actor Spencer Tracy.

51. Sterling (English origin), meaning "pure", the name became famous after Old Hollywood actor Sterling Hayden.

52. Steve (Greek origin) meaning "wealth".

53. William (English origin) meaning "will or desire," most associated with Hollywood actor William Powell.

Unisex Names' Inspired by Hollywood

Unisex names are the perfect option if you would prefer to name your child something gender-neutral. Below we have listed unisex names from Old Hollywood.

54. Anthony (English origin), meaning "counsel," is best associated with award-winning actor Anthony Quinn.

55. Bette (American origin) meaning "God is my oath," made famous by legendary actress Bette Davis. Bette Davis has acted in over a hundred movies.

56. Cooper (English origin), meaning "barrel maker," got popular due to this award-winning actor Gary Cooper.

57. Curtis (French origin), meaning "polite".

58. Dana (Greek origin) meaning "my judge is God". It is the name of the famous actor, Dana Andrews.

59. Emerson (English origin) means "son of Emery," made famous by Hollywood actor Michael Emerson and considered one of the most unusual Hollywood names.

60. Gregory (Greek origin) meaning "watchful".

61. Hudson (German origin) meaning "hug," best known by actor Rock Hudson.

62. Ingrid (English origin) meaning "beautiful," made famous by Hollywood actress Ingrid Bergman.

63. Jagger (English origin) meaning "Carter".

64. James (English origin) meaning "supplanter'.  Although commonly associated with Hollywood boy names, James can also be used as a unisex name for a baby.

65. Katherine (English origin) meaning "pure," best associated with award-winning actress Katharine Hepburn.

66. Lauren (American origin), meaning "laurel tree," is most commonly connected with actress Lauren Bacall.

67. Mason (English origin) meaning "stoneworker."

68. Natalie (Latin origin), meaning "Christmas," got famous by 'Westside Story' actress Natalie Wood.

69. Orson (English origin) meaning "bear cub." Orson Welles was the only actor to receive an Academy Award for his debut film.

70. Phoenix (Greek origin), meaning "red," became famous after American actor Jude Phoenix.

71. River (English origin), meaning "stream of water".

72. Ruby (English origin), meaning "red," got popular due to actress Ruby Keeler. Considered one of the most popular Old Hollywood actress' names.

73. Shirley (English origin) meaning "bright meadow," made popular by award-winning movie star Shirley Temple.

74. Sophia (Greek origin) meaning "wisdom." This academy award-winning actress, Sophia Loren, makes for a cute baby girl name.

75. Sterling (English origin) meaning "pure," made famous due to talented Hollywood actor Sterling Hayden.

76. Temple (English origin), meaning "sanctuary," became popular in honor of Shirley Temple.

77. Theda (Greek origin) meaning "supreme gift".

78. Valentino (French origin) made famous by actor Rudolph Valentino.

79. Vivien (French origin), meaning "alive," inspired by one of the most talented actresses of the Golden Age, Vivien Leigh.

80. Wayne (English origin) meaning "driver of a wagon". John Wayne a famous actor and vintage name.

81. Winston (English origin), meaning "joyful stone," made popular because of actor Winston Duke.

Name Inspired By Hollywood's Legendary Artists

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Hollywood has introduced the world to the finest artists from legendary directors, cinematographers, musicians, to actors. Below is a list of names inspired by such legends contemporary and old.

82. Alfred (English origin) meaning "wise", is best associated with the famous director Alfred Hitchcock.

83. Billy (English origin) meaning "resolute protector".

84. Bob (English origin) meaning "bright fame", a name made famous by singer Bob Marley.

85. Burt (Old English origin) meaning "bright". Burt Lancaster is a popular actor's name from the vintage era.

86. Elvis (English origin) meaning "all-wise". This name got popular singer/actor Elvis Presley.

87. Frank (English origin) meaning "free". The name received fame due to director Frank Capra.

88. Fritz (German origin) meaning ''peace ruler".

89. Howard (English origin) meaning "high guard". This name is popular due to famous filmmaker Howard Hawks.

90. Ida (German origin) meaning "hardworking", became popular due to talented Hollywood actress, Ida Lupino.

91. John (Hebrew origin) meaning "God is gracious". Is best recognized by the contemporary famous singer, John Legend.

92. Leo (Latin origin) meaning "lion". This name got inspired by a famous movie director, Leo McCarey.

93. Marvin (English origin) meaning "great lord".

94. Mervyn (Welsh origin) meaning "lord". Best associated with 'Gypsy' movie director, Mervyn LeRoy.

95. Nicholas (Greek origin) meaning "victory".

96. Preston (English origin) meaning "priest's estate". The name got popular due to Academy Award Winner writer, Preston Sturges.

97. Raoul (French origin) meaning "wolf-counsel". This name is associated with actor and director Raoul Walsh.

98. Robert (English origin) meaning ''bright fame".

99. Stevie (Greek origin) meaning "crown". Inspired by Stevie Wonder a famous singer, born as cinema was becoming increasingly popular.

100. Victor (Latin origin) meaning "winner". This name because popular after movie director Victor Fleming.

Kidadl has plenty more baby names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for Old Hollywood names then take a look at these hipster names, or for something different see these Australian girl names.


Main image  credit: Gerry Matthews / Shutterstock.com

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

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Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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