Female Names from Early Cinema, Part 4

Here’s the fourth batch of intriguing female names I found in old issues of Photoplay:


Naturitch (sometimes written Nat-U-Ritch) was played by actress Red Wing (real name: Lillian St. Cyr) in the silent film The Squaw Man (1914), but the name Naturitch has never appeared on the SSA’s list.

Naturitch (character), Photoplay, 1919
Naturitch, Photoplay, Jan. of 1919

The Squaw Man is notable for two reasons: it was the first feature-length movie filmed in Hollywood specifically, and it was also the first film to be directed by Cecil B. DeMille.


Actress Anna Q. Nilsson, middle name Quirentia, appeared in over 200 films (a mix of feature-lengths and shorts) from 1911 to 1954, but the name Quirentia has never appeared on the SSA’s list.

Anna Q. Nilsson, Photoplay, 1916
Anna Q. Nilsson, Photoplay, June of 1916

Photo caption: “Anna Q. Nilsson is, as her name indicates, a native of neutral Sweden, her birth being recorded in the torn of Ystad. She first wooed dramatic renown on the stage of her native land and came to America in 1907. Four years later she entered the realm of the flickering shadows as a member of the Kalem company and appeared in many productions of that concern. She was requisitioned by Fox last year and was the star in “Regeneration.””

The middle name Quirentia is a nod to Anna’s birth date: March 30th, which is the feast day of St. Quirinius. Photoplay misspelled her middle name at least twice that I noticed — as “Quirientia” in the March 1915 issue and as “Querentia” in the August 1919 issue.


Actress Sabra de Shon appeared in a single short film in 1915, but she had no influence on the usage of the name Sabra.

Sabra de Shon, Photoplay, 1915
Sabra de Shon, Photoplay, June of 1915

Sabra is in the top right photo. Caption: “Sabra de Shon, of Eclair, created Mrs. Hawkins, in “Quincy Adams Sawyer” and played the part for ten years.”


Actress Teddy Sampson appeared in about 44 films (a mix of feature-lengths and shorts) from 1914 to 1923, but she had no influence on the usage of the name Teddy.

Teddy Sampson, Photoplay, 1915
Teddy Sampson, Photoplay, Aug. of 1915

Photo caption: “Teddy Sampson says it’s only fair that a little girl like herself should have been born in a big city like New York. She made her public debut at the age of 15 in a Gus Edwards vaudeville act — “School Days” — at the Circle Theater. She was introduced to Mr. Griffith of the Reliance-Majestic company while appearing at the Palace theater in New York, and the interview ended in her engagement to enter the moving picture field.”

More female names from early cinema: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

2 thoughts on “Female Names from Early Cinema, Part 4

  1. Quirentia is fantastic! Four-syllable obscurity while still sounding feminine and exotic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.