Where did the baby name Veleka come from in 1971?

Actress Veleka Gray
Veleka Gray

The name Veleka debuted impressively in the U.S. baby name data in 1971:

  • 1973: 7 baby girls named Veleka
  • 1972: 9 baby girls named Veleka
  • 1971: 21 baby girls named Veleka [debut]
  • 1970: unlisted
  • 1969: unlisted

What was the influence?

Actress Veleka Gray, who took over the role of popular character Laura Donnelly Elliott on the soap opera Love Is a Many Splendored Thing in September of 1970.

The name saw peak usage in 1978, while Veleka was on another soap, Love of Life, playing the character Mia Marriott.

Veleka (pronounced veh-LEE-kah) Gray — whose first name was sometimes spelled “Velekka” in credits — was born in New Orleans circa 1950. So far, I haven’t been able to determine whether “Veleka Gray” was a stage name or a birth name.

Do you like the name Veleka?

Sources: Veleka Gray, Veleka Gray – Wikipedia

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