Let’s have some fun! I threw together a little name generator designed to produce the kind of names silent actresses sported in the 1910s and 1920s.
Here’s a random name generator, if you want to gamble a bit, and here is a chart if you prefer to be more scientific:
I noticed that as far as surnames are concerned, actresses in the silent era often adopted names of famous hotels, adjectives describing traditionally feminine qualities, names that could double as a second given name and names that sounded aristocratic or French.
First names tended to be either in the top ten for the year of the actress’s birth, a popular nickname or an attempt to sound exotic. Cutesy names and rhyming names were perfectly acceptable.
And, of course, some actresses really were named that. I am thinking of Blanche Sweet and Clara Bow, who were both blessed with perfect silent actress names.
This is by no means scientific, just observations. And as this list is based on actresses in the American film industry, it will skew you in a Hollywood direction. I hope you have fun and be sure to share your name!
(If you want to be a cowboy, do try out my William S. Hart name generator as well!)
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Hi this is fun! Randomly my given name would be Clarice Croquette, sounds like a nice salad 😊.
Quite so, Miss Croquette. 🙂
My random name is Lina Cavendish. I quite like it 😊
Randomly generated, I got Ina O’Day — very nice! — although when handpicking, I became Virginia Rand 🙂
Another topic. Have you see Peter Jackson’s WW1 film: “They Shall Not Grow Old?”
It is terrific but I think it would be required viewing to be able to judge “The Big Parade” or “Tell it to the Marines.” Of special interest is the making of doc that follows the showing – especially the sequences showing various film speeds. The doc comments on the soldiers reaction to being filmed, that all had seen silent movies but that few had ever seen a movie camera.
Given the large box office of the film I believe there is talk of a release in January in NY and LA. Let us know what you think?
I am really opposed to it because I see the colorization and lip reading as a slippery slope. Silent London has an excellent piece covering her reservations about the film:
I just used the generator, and I must say, this is wonderful! I love all the names and combined they sound very Old Hollywood.
Have a great new year, Fritzi!
Ha ha. Always wanted to get rid of the “d” in my first name (Linda) and since my husband is an “O’Sullivan”, I guess I got the perfect silent-film name,–“Lina O’ Day”. Also very cheerful for the new year!
What a fun idea! The random gave me Dolly Devore…I like it 😀
Mildred O’Toole. Although Peaches Granville sounds like a cocktail, or a cold dessert. Or an alcoholic cold dessert.
The generator gave me Olive Windsor. I like it.
My cowboy name is Draw Jenkins. Yeah!
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