Friday, December 30, 2016

I Miss Debbie Reynolds - Her Best Character Names

Hello, readers!

Because this sh*tstorm of a year isn't bad enough, within a day of losing Carrie Fisher, film audiences lost another icon - her mother, Debbie Reynolds. A talented actress and entertainer, Reynolds amazed many generations of filmgoers, from her roles in Singin' in the Rain to Charlotte's Web to Halloweentown. And of course, among these roles, we have some great names to consider!

Kathy Selden
Reynolds was only nineteen when she played Kathy Selden in the classic musical, Singin' in the Rain. The name Kathy reached its popularity peak only a few years after the film was released, rising to #14 in 1958. Today, long form Katherine is favored, with Katie and Kaylee among beloved variants.

Julie Gillis
In 1955, Debbie played Julie in The Tender Trap, another musical comedy - but this time, with Frank Sinatra! The name Julie rose over the following decades, but has been on the decline. If Julia and Juliana are too common for you, look at July or Julianne.

Polly Parish
The musical comedies continue - Bundle of Joy was filmed while Reynolds was pregnant with Fisher. The name Polly hasn't ranked on the top 1000 since 1977, despite it's similarities to Holly and Molly. This adorable retro nickname for Mary could definitely make a comeback!

A mid-century choice, Debbie played the title character in the film Tammy and the Bachelor. Today, a familial Tammy may be better honored by Tamara, Tamsin, or Tamayo. The name Tammy comes from the Hebrew word for "date palm tree."

Lilith Prescott
The classic western film How the West Was Won brought us Debbie Reynolds as Lilith Prescott. Though Lily names are the current trend, Lilith only ranks at #588 - possibly due to its association with a demon in Jewish mythology.

Margaret "Molly" Brown
The Unsinkable Molly Brown brought Reynolds her only Oscar nomination for portraying a real-life survivor of the Titanic sinking. Though Molly has long been a nickname for Mary, it's also been used sporadically as a nickname for any M-name.

In 1973, Reynolds voiced the title character in Charlotte's Web, the animated film based on E.B. White's children's book. Charlotte is a literary favorite, appearing in all sorts of books dating from the nineteenth century forward. Today, Charlotte has settled into the top 10, and may rise to the top 5 soon - thanks to the little princess across the pond.

Agatha "Aggie" Cromwell
Everyone's favorite witchy grandmother, Debbie Reynolds joined the Disney Channel Original Movie family in 1998 with Halloweentown. Though Agatha has long been regarded as a less-than-attractive choice, it's getting more followers who love its offbeat yet feminine vibe.

Bobbi Adler
Portraying a semi-fictional version of herself, Debbie played Grace's mom Bobbi in Will & Grace over the span of a few seasons. Boyish classics like Billie and Bobbie (with the ending e) have been rediscovered for girls in the UK, but haven't quite yet reached the US.

One of her final film roles, Reynolds played Liberace's mother Frances in Behind the Candelabra. Frances is also her middle name (she was born Mary Frances Reynolds) and her daughter Carrie's middle name. This beautiful choice is rising quickly, thanks partially to the 100-year-rule.

Are there particularly beautiful names I missed? Debbie Reynolds had dozens of film roles not listed here. Tell me in the comments!

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