Sadly, this week we lost a great actress, writer, and activist - Carrie Frances Fisher. From her early iconic role as Princess Leia in Star Wars to her recent advocacy for mental health education, she's been a fantastic cultural figure and inspiration to women and girls everywhere. As a name nerd, I figure the best way that I can honor her is to make her the focus of a name article!
Alright, so it's not a character name. Carrie was born to actors Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds in 1956, at which time the name ranked #208. Carrie left the top 1000 in 2007, but could make a comeback, especially in the next year.
Her first movie role was Lorna, the daughter of two main characters in Shampoo. The name is a literary invention from the nineteenth century, and it ranked in the US throughout the twentieth century. Despite its similarities to Lauren and Laura, it never garnered similar popularity.
While audiences were introduced to this Star Wars name back in the 1970's, Leia's popularity only rocketed in the past decade. With names like Lily and Layla so enticing, Leia was bound to follow! The name is still rising and will probably get a boost in 2017, but it will take awhile to find out for sure.
Carrie played Annie in Under the Rainbow, a 1981 comedy with Chevy Chase. While Annie ranked in the top 10 in the 1880's, it was surpassed by more formal names - and delegated to nickname status. Today, Annie is an adorable, retro choice - not unlike Carrie!
Starring alongside Tom Hanks in the comedy-thriller The Man with One Red Shoe, her character name of Paula is a mid-century standard. While Paula may not be ready to return to birth certificates, similar-sounding Paulina, Paulette, and Paloma are cute options for baby girls today.
Still in the top 500, April is a bright and friendly name perfect for springtime babies. The name comes from the Latin for "second," and counts sisters May and June as sweet, timely alternatives. Carrie Fisher played April in the Woody Allen classic, Hannah and Her Sisters.
Another comedy-thriller with Tom Hanks, The 'Burbs gives us Carrie Fisher as Carol Peterson. Carol is another mid-century name not yet ripe for revival - try Caroline, Charlotte, or Cora for a more contemporary take.
The quintessential French female name and a popular middle name for Americans, Marie is currently at one of its lowest points. Carrie played Marie in When Harry Met Sally (one of my favorite films), transforming from an insecure mistress into a strong and supportive wife and friend.
Carrie voiced Angela in Family Guy over a ten-year span, proving her acting abilities extended into animated comedy. Angela is currently on it's way out after a long career in the spotlight, but longer variations Angelina and Angelica are still in use.
Emmy-nominated for her guest role in 30 Rock, Carrie Fisher played comedy writer Rosemary Howard, Liz Lemon's hero. On the rise again, this botanical choice is at once vintage and vivacious, perfect for a modern girl. Rosemary also signifies remembrance - an excellent choice to remember an excellent woman.
What are your favorite Carrie Fisher roles? Any of these names on your list of favorites? Tell me in the comments!