By Lisa Milbrand
March 02, 2014

Break out the champagne and the fancy hors d'oeuvres—today's my version of the Superbowl, the Oscars. While the number of nominated films I get to see (at least in the non-animated categories) has fallen exponentially since I had kids, I'm always excited to check out the fashions and start crafting my own imaginary acceptance speech.

But while I love Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Lawrence and all the other nominees, watching the Oscars always makes me nostalgic for my old-school favorite movies, often starring legendary actors who never even scored an Oscar. (Cary Grant only scored an honorary Oscar for all of his years starring in amazing films like His Girl Friday and Philadelphia StoryMarilyn Monroe never scored one either, despite hilarious turns in Some Like It Hot and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.)

If you're a big movie buff, there are plenty of wonderful names to consider among past (and current) honorees—here are some of my favorites.

You can't go wrong with Meryl Streep, nominated yet again this year for her role in August: Osage County. She's scored the most total nominations, with 18—and three wins among them. Her name is a variant of Muriel, which means "of the sea."

Bette Davis was the first woman to receive 10 nominations—and had five consecutive, along with fellow actress Greer Garson. Bette is a variant of Elizabeth, which means consecrated to God.

Walt Disney won the most Oscars, with 22 victories. His name is short for Walter, a German name that means ruler, and is currently on an upsurge.

The legendary costume designer Edith Head is known as the most-honored woman in Oscar history, with 7 wins, including two for Roman Holiday and Sabrina, where she outfitted the equally legendary Audrey Hepburn. Edith means prosperous in war, and is currently on a bit of an uptick and in the top 800 names.

Katharine Hepburn is the winningest actress with four acting awards—and an inspiration for my daughter's name. Katharine means pure. Her true love, Spencer Tracy, was among the first to win twice consecutively. His name, Spencer, means steward, and is currently in the top 250 names for boys.

And last but not least, Marlon Brando was a legendary actor who scored the most consecutive nominations with four in a row. His name's origin is a bit of a mystery, but the name is currently in the top 700 in the U.S. Some more adventurous namers have chosen Brando instead to honor the Oscar winner.

What's your favorite Oscar-related name? Share it in the comments! (And see what other Oscar-related name I picked for the Cool Name of the Week.)

Find out the meaning of your favorite baby names with our Baby Name Finder, and keep up with the latest in baby name news.

Image: Oscar award by Joe Seer /


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