Josh Duhamel's Baby Has A Uniquely Old-School Name — And, No, It’s Not ‘Gary’


Congratulations are in order for actor Josh Duhamel and his wife, Audra Mari. On January 11, the couple welcomed their first child together (this is Duhamel’s second — he shares a son, Axl Jack, with ex-wife Fergie). Duhamel and Mari announced the birth of their baby in an Instagram photo of the infant’s feet with a caption that read simply: “Stephen Lawrence Duhamel.”

Though the name may be a surprise, the name Duhamel didn’t pick isn’t. In a September interview with Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos on Live With Mark And Kelly, Duhamel announced his wife’s pregnancy (he’d previously told Fatherly, in January 2023, that he and his wife were trying) and mentioned his 10-year-old son’s suggestion for a baby name.

“Do you have any baby names picked out?” Mark asked.

“I do, but I can’t tell you,” Duhamel responded.

“Has Axl picked out any names?” Kelly asked.

“Yeah, he likes… Gary,” Duhamel said, though he clearly wasn’t a fan of the suggestion. Duhamel did offer a compromise: If they got a dog, they would give the dog the name ‘Gary.’

While the decidedly older-school name Gary isn’t quite extinct — it’s not so unpopular to be in the company of names like Floyd, Herman, Chester, and Cecil — the name is long past its heyday. The name peaked in popularity in 1954, per the Social Security Administration, and only 234 babies were named Gary in the United States in 2022.

Meanwhile, the real name Duhamel and Mari chose for their baby is marginally more popular, but “Stephen” still bucks current baby-naming trends, which favor unique baby names that are shorter, vowel-heavy, and often pulled straight from the dictionary. Instead, Duhamel and his wife took a decidedly traditional route — even if Gary was out of the question.

Stephen, the 359th most popular baby boy name in 2022 in the U.S., is a name of Greek origin that means “crown.” Lawrence, a name of English origin, is also a renegade baby name — far more popular in the year 1945 than it is today. It’s the 551st most popular baby boy name in the United States at the moment and means “laurel.”





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