Robin Williams named his baby after a video game character

Princess Zelda (in 1998)
Princess Zelda

A few months ago, Nintendo released Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, a remake of the original Ocarina of Time from 1998.

Who did they feature in the commercials for the new Ocarina? None other than Robin Williams, who named his daughter, Zelda, for Princess Zelda from the series. (Zelda Williams was in the commercial, too.)

Here are the commercials: Zelda Ad #1 and Zelda Ad #2.

Robin bought his first Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987 and became “completely immersed.”

When my wife was pregnant, my son Zachary mentioned that Zelda would be the perfect name for his new little sister.

Robin and his wife agreed, so when the baby girl was born on July 31, 1989, she was named Zelda Rae.

Here’s Robin and Zelda discussing her name [another vid].

Were other parents inspired to use the name Zelda as well around this time? Perhaps a few, though the numbers stay fairly flat:

  • 1991: 22 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1990: 18 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1989: 19 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1988: 17 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1987: 12 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1986: 16 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1985: 13 baby girls named Zelda

How was Princess Zelda named? Game creator Shigeru Miyamoto explains: “Zelda was the name of the wife of the famous novelist Francis Scott Fitzgerald. She was a famous and beautiful woman from all accounts, and I liked the sound of her name. So I took the liberty of using her name for the very first Zelda title.”

[On Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a few nights ago, Robin stated that his son Cody was also named for a video game character, but didn’t mention which game/character. My guess would be Cody from Final Fight.]

Sources: In the Game: Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, Ocarina of Time 3D Commercial Stars Robin Williams, Robin Williams and Daughter Pitch Video Game She Was Named After

Image: Screenshot of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

2 thoughts on “Robin Williams named his baby after a video game character

  1. Thanks for writing about this name. My great-grandmother was named Zelda Mae, and while I’ve always loved the name and tribute to her, I was scared away by the obvious video game reference many people would make. I’m assuming it was the same for many other parents.

  2. You’re very welcome. :) Yeah, it’s sad to see certain names saddled with associations like this. Ursula is another that comes to mind. You can love the name, but if you don’t care for the association (or the fact that there is an association) that makes it tough to give the name to a baby.

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