Celebrity Names Blog

Celebrity Baby Name Alert: Abbey Ray Fabian

Actor Patrick Fabian is best known for his role as Ted Price on HBO's hit series "Big Love," but now there's an even bigger love in Fabian's life: his newborn daughter Abbey Ray, whose mother is comedienne and writer Mandy Steckelberg.

The new parents, who are big fans of The Beatles, reportedly named their daughter after Abbey Road. However, Abbey also comes from the Latin "abbatia" and is a monastery or convent run by an abbott or an abbess. Abbey is less common than Abby but is not unheard of; Abbey reached its peak in 2003 with a rank of #476. In 2009, it ranked #882.

And while we're seeing more and more baby girls with the name "Rae," Fabian and Steckelberg have chosen to spell Abbey's middle name with a "y" in honor of her late Great Grandfather Ray Steckelberg.

On Hollywood playgrounds, Abbey will hardly be the only "Ray" around. Actors Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli have a daughter named Lola Ray. So does actor Dermot Mulroney whose little girl is Mabel Ray. Ditto Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, who named their eldest daughter Maya Ray. And let's not forget about singer Alexa Ray Joel, the daughter of model Christie Brinkley and musician Billy Joel.

There are even more celebrity babies with the middle name Rae, however. Athlete Mary Lou Retton's daughter is Shayla Rae, and musician Bruce Springsteen named his daughter Jessica Rae. The actors Aaron Perry Johnson (Wylda Rae), Cam Joslin Gigandet (Everleigh Rae), Daniel Baldwin (Finley Rae), Mark Wahlberg (Ella Rae), and Robin Williams (Zelda Rae) all have daughters whose middle names are Rae.

Currently, neither Rae nor Ray make the charts. Rae for little girls peaked in the 1890s at #345 while baby girls named Ray peaked in the 1920s at #681. However, Rayna ranked #880 last year, and in 1994 Angela Chase had a best friend named Rayanne on the television show "My So-Called Life."

And here's another fun, little piece of trivia: At the start of his career in the early '90s, Fabian played Professor Jeremiah Lasky on "Saved by the Bell: The College Years." On the show his character had a daughter named Abby!

What do you think of Abbey Ray? Do you prefer Abby or Abbey? What about Rae or Ray? Did you give your child a name with an uncommon spelliing?

-- V.L.


Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

September 20, 2010 7:10 PM
By bajik (not verified)

I get the connection of Abbey from "Abbey Road", but it just looks misspelled to me as a girl's name. Also, I'm no fan of nicknames-as-names and so it's like a double whammy there, because Abby makes me think Abigail.

Rae/Ray is on my mental shortlist of really common middle names, so I'm not surprised to see all the examples of its use. It strikes me as country/Southern, but it fits right in the old-fashioned great-grandma-name trend.

September 21, 2010 1:45 PM
By Essy (not verified)

article didn't mention Miley Ray Cyrus * Ray after her father Billy Ray Cyrus.

never thought about how common Rae/Ray seems to be in Hollywood.

September 21, 2010 2:40 PM
By Rachel Leigh (not verified)

As a female Rae (well, Rachel) I feel that Ray with a Y is way to masculine for a girl. Abbey Ray, because of it's variant spelling of Abby could almost be a feminine sounding boys name in my opinion.

September 22, 2010 10:07 AM
By Spring (not verified)

I have an Abby Em, but that's her nickname...her full name is Abigayle Emelie.

October 20, 2010 8:03 PM
By ReiStar (not verified)

I prefer Rae, Rai, or Rei for a girl. Ray to me makes me think of old men.

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