What gave the baby name Jacy a boost in the early 1970s?

The character Jacy Farrow (played by Cybill Shepherd) from the movie "The Last Picture Show" (1971).
Jacy Farrow from “The Last Picture Show”

The name Jacy, which had been in the U.S. baby name data since the early ’60s, saw a modest jump in usage in 1972:

  • 1974: 47 baby girls named Jacy
  • 1973: 36 baby girls named Jacy
  • 1972: 25 baby girls named Jacy
  • 1971: 9 baby girls named Jacy
  • 1970: 7 baby girls named Jacy


Because of the coming-of-age film The Last Picture Show, which was released in October of 1971.

The film, shot in black-and-white upon the advice of Orson Welles, was set in north Texas in the early 1950s. One of the main characters was Jacy Farrow (played by Cybill Shepherd), who was both the prettiest and the wealthiest girl in the small town of Anarene.

The Last Picture Show was one of the highest-grossing films of 1971, and ended up with eight Oscar nominations (and two wins — for supporting actor Ben Johnson and supporting actress Cloris Leachman).

The movie was based on the 1966 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry, who was also the writer behind the movie Hud.

The name Jacy saw another rise in usage in the early 1990s, possibly because The Last Picture Show‘s sequel, Texasville, came out in mid-1990.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Jacy?

Sources: The Last Picture Show – Wikipedia, AFI Catalog Spotlight: The Last Picture Show, SSA

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