The baby name Belita first appeared in the SSA’s dataset in 1943:
- 1947: 18 baby girls named Belita
- 1946: 19 baby girls named Belita
- 1945: 20 baby girls named Belita
- 1944: 18 baby girls named Belita
- 1943: 7 baby girls named Belita [debut]
- 1942: unlisted
Where did it come from?
Figure skater-turned-film star Belita, a contemporary of Sonja Henie. Belita was being featured in a film called Silver Skates in 1943.
She was born Maria Belita Gladys Olive Lyne Jepson-Turner in England in 1923. She competed (as Belita Jepson-Turner) at the Winter Olympics in Berlin in 1936, placing 16th in ladies’ singles.
While stranded in the U.S. during World War II, she embarked upon a Hollywood career. Some of her other films include Lady, Let’s Dance! (1944), Suspense (1946), and Never Let Me Go (1953), which starred Clark Gable and Gene Tierney.
And her unusual name? It was inspired by an Argentine estancia (ranch). Her great-grandfather had relocated to Argentina in the 1800s and established five sizeable estancias, mainly for raising cattle. He also built railroads to his properties. One of the estancias (and the associated railroad station) was named La Belita after his wife, Isabelita. “Since then there has always been a Belita in the family,” Belita said.
Belita retired from both skating and show business during the second half of the 1950s.
What are your thoughts on the baby name Belita?
- All The Best, Belita: The Definitive Biography Of Belita Jepson-Turner – Skate Guard
- Belita Jepson-Turner (obit) – The Telegraph
- Muller, Eddie. “Belita: The Ice Queen of Film Noir.” Noir City Sentinel Jul-Aug 2009: 12-14.
- South American Skating History… You’d Be Surprised! – Skate Guard