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Faulkner

Overused and Underused Character Names on Soaps

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2 hours ago, Bright Eyes said:

GH - You have Mike Corbin, but left out his son Sonny and grandson Michael.

 

DAYS - Mickey as well.

Stone's name was Michael as well, I believe!

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I think there are more repeat male names than female in soaps, but that follows the regular naming trends in the US as shown below... 

 

While I believe there are a lot of Michael's on soaps, some of the other names listed are used a lot less though I think there have been a lot of Williams (Billy) and Robert and John. There are very few Barbara's but perhaps that is partly due to ATWT's Barbara...there really aren't many Patricia's in soaps either.

 

The Social Security website has name lists that can be sorted: The general site with this information is https://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/index.html

 

The list is 1918-2017 but only includes people who signed up for cards and not people who were unknowns at birth. (This list came from the following page and people who had more than one spelling like Sara and Sarah are under different totals)

 

https://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/decades/century.html 

 

Males Females
Rank Name Number Name Number
1 James 4,792,954 Mary 3,393,456
2 John 4,594,023 Patricia 1,564,163
3 Robert 4,571,203 Jennifer 1,465,928
4 Michael 4,315,462 Linda 1,448,097
5 William 3,662,399 Elizabeth 1,443,415
6 David 3,557,293 Barbara 1,410,059
7 Richard 2,487,983 Susan 1,106,071
8 Joseph 2,384,205 Jessica 1,043,436
9 Thomas 2,174,023 Sarah 996,554
10 Charles 2,144,937 Margaret 993,136

 

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There was Nurse Barbara, Sonia Satra’s crazy character on OLTL. And Erica’s nemesis Barbara on AMC. I think Holly’s mother on GL was named Barbara (edit: yes, she was). A handful.

 

I didn’t think Linda was such a popular name, but Melissa Leo played Linda Warner on AMC and Linda Patterson was a popular DAYS character in the ‘70s and ‘80s (played by the late Margaret Mason and Elaine Princi, who had previously played Kate Winograd on the show).

Edited by Faulkner

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In a way, I'm glad that the few African-Americans who ARE on soaps are not saddled with the kind of names you'd hear in your typical episode of "Maury"; really WTF monikers like "Xaviondre" and "Taykwonisha."

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On 7/25/2018 at 6:32 PM, beebs said:

Valerie Grant on DAYS is the only other one I can think of.

Also Valerie Spencer on General Hospital. And Valerie Collins on Dark Shadows (an alias used by the witch Angelique). Plus Valerie Ames Northcote on The Secret Storm.

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On ‎7‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 10:44 AM, Faulkner said:

There was that woman who put Brad in the cage on Y&R named Lisa, but agree it’s underused. I wonder if that’s a name writers stayed away from because Eileen’s portrayal was so iconic.

 

No one mentioned the wacky Dr. Lisa Niles from GH?  Have we already forgotten about her (endless) torture of Patrick and Robin.

 

Lol, on a different not my sister was named Jenna after Priscilla Presley's character on Dallas.  I think many other parents did that because I know like 10 Jenna's around 31-32, but none my age (35).

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7 minutes ago, carolineg said:

 

No one mentioned the wacky Dr. Lisa Niles from GH?  Have we already forgotten about her (endless) torture of Patrick and Robin.

 

Lol, on a different not my sister was named Jenna after Priscilla Presley's character on Dallas.  I think many other parents did that because I know like 10 Jenna's around 31-32, but none my age (35).

 

I know four thirtysomething Jennas, never considered a Dallas connection.

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2 minutes ago, SFK said:

 

I know four thirtysomething Jennas, never considered a Dallas connection.

 

It may be just a coincidence and I am not sure if the character was popular or not I just know a ton in that age range.  Not any a whole lot younger or older.  I think my mom said it was a unique name she never heard before.  But considering I have siblings named Amanda and Michael unique is pretty relative to my parents.:lol:

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Surprised Jenna wasn't used more.

Only recall Jenna Norris on AW.

 

Once a character is established on one show, it's very rare for another show to use that name.

eg Valerie was on Secret Storm 64-74, so no one else used that name in that time. The next Valerie was on Days starting in 76.

If a name is used on another show, it's usually for a very different type of character eg Alice Horton matriach, Alice Matthews ingenue.

Larissa is a name that hasn't popped up, but is somewhat known and would suit a teen girl character.

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4 minutes ago, Paul Raven said:

Surprised Jenna wasn't used more.

Only recall Jenna Norris on AW.

 

Once a character is established on one show, it's very rare for another show to use that name.

eg Valerie was on Secret Storm 64-74, so no one else used that name in that time. The next Valerie was on Days starting in 76.

If a name is used on another show, it's usually for a very different type of character eg Alice Horton matriach, Alice Matthews ingenue.

Larissa is a name that hasn't popped up, but is somewhat known and would suit a teen girl character.

 

Jenna Bradshaw on GL is the only other one I remember.

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Of course!

 

Looking at that list Charles has never had much use.

There was Charles Tyler and Charlie Brent on AMC, but I can't think of any other Charles or Charlie.

Cole on Y&R was born Charles Victor Howard  but Bill Bell obviously felt Charles was too old fashioned when the character returned.

Chuck Tyler was actually Charles yes?

Chuck on ATWT, Lisa's son was killed off and Snapper's son Chuckie on Y&R never returned as an adult.

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1 hour ago, Paul Raven said:

Of course!

 

Looking at that list Charles has never had much use.

There was Charles Tyler and Charlie Brent on AMC, but I can't think of any other Charles or Charlie.

Cole on Y&R was born Charles Victor Howard  but Bill Bell obviously felt Charles was too old fashioned when the character returned.

Chuck Tyler was actually Charles yes?

Chuck on ATWT, Lisa's son was killed off and Snapper's son Chuckie on Y&R never returned as an adult.

 

There was Charlie (CHAH-Lee #Viki) Banks (Brian Kerwin) on OLTL.

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