General Hospital's Bradford Anderson Names Daughter After Spiritual Warrior Arjuna
Soap operas are known for having characters with cool names (think: Frisco, Duke, Sonny, Jagger and Stone) and now General Hospital star Bradford Anderson — who plays quirky computer hacker Spinelli — has given a fashionable name to his new daughter.
After six days of labor and grueling delivery, which the actor’s wife Kiera, a yoga instructor, detailed in a candid blog post, the couple finally got to meet their daughter, Juna Meredith Anderson, on July 18. The baby’s name comes from Indian mythology, Kiera explained in her blog, writing: “Juna was inspired by the character of Arjuna, the spiritual warrior in the [Hindu scripture] Bhagavad Gita. I come back to this text often to remind myself not to cling too tightly to material things, to desires, or to ideas. These are lessons I hope to pass on to my daughter.”
Arjuna — meaning “bright,” “shining,” “white” or “silver” — was known for being a superhuman archer with a reputation for being unbeatable. He was compared with Achilles and Odysseus. Arjuna's father was the king of the gods, Indra. Arjuna is also an herb, which is said to help maintain normal blood flow in the heart. Shortening the name to Juna — which has never appeared on the Top-1000 popular baby names list — gives it a more modern feeling. Juna reminds us of on-the-rise name Luna (currently No. 343 on the list), which was used by Ellen Pompeo for daughter Stella Luna Ivery and Constance Marie for Luna Marie Katich.
As explored by Laura Wattenberg in the Baby Name Wizard blog this week, names with an “-a” ending -- like Juna -- are the classic marker of feminine names. Read her full post here.
“J” names that are similar to Juna are June (No. 597), Juniper and Junia, which is a biblical name that Zac Hanson gave to his daughter last year. Junia is the feminine form of Junius, an old Roman name deriving from Juno. Of course Juno was also the popular 2007 movie about teen pregnancy which starred Ellen Page. Read our in-depth posting about the name Junia here.
Back to Bradford and Kiera's new daughter, the couple went with Meredith (No. 603) as her middle name. In their case, Meredith is a place name -- it's the New Hampshire town where Bradford, who's also part of the band Port Chuck with his General Hospital costars, grew up before hitting Hollywood and becoming a popular daytime TV star. Place names continue to be popular and in this case have added meaning because Bradford grew up there.
The new dad hasn't yet talked about paying tribute to his hometown through his daughter's name, but he has gushed about being a new dad to Juna, via Twitter, writing, "She is wicked awesome."
What do you think of the name Juna? Do you think it has popularity potential? Talk back now. Plus: Share your favorite soap actor or character's name below.