Celebrity Names Blog

By Any Other Name: Holly Golightly was almost Connie Gustafson

By Any Other Name:  Holly Golightly was almost Connie Gustafson

Would the charming Holly Golightly have won our hearts so easily if she were called Connie Gustafson? CBS News reported that Breakfast at Tiffany’s writer Truman Capote’s manuscript for his famous novella is up for auction in New Hampshire, and among the hand written edits is a change to the young heroine’s name. Even in the book her name was never really set in stone: close readers may remember that the famous flirt was born Eula Mae Barnes, married and got her fab last name of Golightly, and chooses the name Holiday for herself. The name Holly Golightly seems so perfectly suited for a lighthearted wanderer through life, it’s hard to believe Capote ever considered another name for his heroine.

Though a few celebs have picked the names Holly or Holiday (including Lost’s Harold Perrineau just last month) these names have never been terribly popular and didn’t gain much steam following the book and film. But we think Audrey Hepburn’s winning performance playing the character was one of the iconic roles that influenced the current celeb love affair with the name Audrey, which entered the top #100 in 2002 and is now more popular than it has ever been.

Capote’s choice of Holly Golightly seems like an obvious improvement; it’s a shorthand for what the character is like, not to mention being unusual and catchy. The character of a flighty and impulsive young woman still speaks to women of many generations, so it’s no wonder we’re seeing Holly Golightly (played by Emilia Clarke, above) on Broadway this year in a brand new production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

What are some of your favorite character names? Is Holly Golightly a perfect fit or too on the nose?




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April 2, 2013 8:11 PM
By emilyrae (not verified)

Actually, I believe Holly Golightly's real name was Lulamae Barnes. At least that's how it is in my copy of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

April 9, 2013 3:22 AM
By hoose (not verified)

We find out what "unusual" name she ultimately decides to choose for her baby, but we're certainly excited.

April 22, 2013 9:23 AM
By cialis (not verified)

Brilliant! I love her!

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