Loss of Legends


I grew up watching both of these talented performers. Robin Williams’ films illuminated my childhood. He made me laugh till I cried, and cry because my heart was so full. My Mom is a lover of old films and I have many fond memories of cozying up with her on the couch and watching the legendary, and beautiful Lauren Bacall.

As I process and reflect on their passing, the name lover in me wonders if expecting parents who also loved these legends might use their namesakes? Let’s take a little look at their names now.

“Imagination is the highest flying kite” ~Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske. She choose the surname Bacall, which is a variation of her mother’s maiden name Weinstein-Bacal. In the early 1940’s Howard Hawks gave her her first film break as well as her new stage name, Lauren. The name Lauren didn’t enter the top 1,000 in the United States until 1964. A wildly popular name in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Lauren remains in the top 100 today at spot #91. Lauren comes from the names Laura or Laurence meaning “laurel tree”. The name Betty was number 4 in 1924, the year she was born.  A diminutive of the name Elizabeth, Betty has fallen out of fashion and has not been in the top 1,000 in the U.S. since 1996.

“Comedy is acting out optimism” – Robin Williams

Robin Williams was born Robin McLaurin Williams. His middle name, McLaurin is also his mother’s maiden name. Robin is a diminutive of the name Robert, which was his father’s first name.  Robin is a familiar bird name that also means “bright fame”. In 1951, the year Robin was born, his name was number 209 in popularity for boys in the United States.  Originally a male name, Robin became very popular for women in the United States and was in the top 100 for girls in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s.  It is no longer in the top 1,000 for either gender today.

Rest in Peace

2 responses to “Loss of Legends

  1. I was very sad to hear of Lauren Bacall and Robin Williams passing. Lauren was so stunning, and had one of the best lines in ‘The Mirror Has Two Faces’: “I should’ve never encouraged you to speak!” 😛 And I quote Robin Williams lines from ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ a lot 😛 They will be missed. Thanks for sharing about their name histories 🙂

  2. Thank you! My family quotes lots of Robin’s films too 🙂

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