Famous people with common last names

These are the 10 most common last names in the United States:

  1. Smith
  2. Johnson
  3. Williams
  4. Jones
  5. Brown
  6. Davis
  7. Miller
  8. Wilson
  9. Moore
  10. Taylor

Take a second before scrolling down – who do you think of when you hear each of those names? No first names, no businesses – the first person you think of.

Put each of them into Google, and the most “famous” person – that is, the top hit – associated with each name is:

  1. Will Smith
  2. Jack Johnson
  3. Robbie Williams
  4. Norah Jones
  5. Dan Brown
  6. Miles Davis
  7. Frank Miller
  8. Brian Wilson
  9. Michael Moore
  10. Elizabeth Taylor

Obviously, Google’s weighted in favor of the contemporary. I’d possibly only agree with Elizabeth Taylor and Miles Davis as the most famous person with each of their last names.

My first instinct for Smith – John Smith – is probably not right either, but Will Smith? Most famous Smith ever? I don’t buy it. Ditto Robbie Williams and, um, Frank Miller. I like Frank Miller, but is he really that famous (or, more specifically, are other Millers that unknown)?

What do you think?

My first thoughts?

  1. My next-door neighbors, after that, I thought of a lot of movie characters, but Will Smith never came up.
  2. Lyndon Johnson (who’s Jack Johnson?)
  3. Hank Williams, followed by John Williams
  4. Mrs. Jones (from the song)
  5. Encyclopedia Brown
  6. Bette Davis
  7. Glen Miller
  8. Woodrow Wilson
  9. Mary Tyler Moore
  10. Mary Taylor Moore :wink:
  1. John Smith
  2. ??? Johnson
  3. Robin Williams
  4. Jughead Jones
  5. Doc Brown
  6. Miles Davis
  7. Bode Miller (cuz he’s been in the news lately)
  8. Wilson (neighbor guy on Home Improvement)
  9. Mary Tyler Moore
  10. Tim Taylor

Yeah, so some aren’t real people. I guess I live in fantasyland.

  1. Arthur “Boogie” Smith
  2. Don Johnson
  3. Andy Williams
  4. Grace Jones
  5. Charles Brown
  6. Bette Davis
  7. Steve Miller
  8. Ann (or Nancy) Wilson
  9. Sam Moore
  10. Koko Taylor

I made this list without looking at anyone else’s. I didn’t know five of the people on the second list of the OP.

John Brown of Harper’s Ferry fame/infamy.

Robert Smith and Bill Wilson started Alcoholics Anonymous.

Those are the first Smith and Wilson I’ll think of, along with a few million other folks worldwide.

[QUOTE=Interrobang!?]

  1. Will Smith
  2. Don Johnson
  3. Michelle Williams
  4. Catherine Zeta-Jones
  5. Bobby Brown
  6. Brandon Davis
  7. Sienna Miller
  8. Owen Wilson
  9. Mandy Moore
  10. Elizabeth Taylor

Wil Smith was the first one that came to mind for me, but I definitely disagree with Jones (Tommy Lee), Miller (Dennis), Willams (Robin) and Moore (Demi).

  1. Robert Smith (of the Cure! fighting MechaStreisand!)
  2. Lyndon Johnson
  3. Hank Williams
  4. Tommy Lee Jones
  5. James Brown
  6. Miles Davis
  7. Dennis Miller
  8. Woodrow Wilson
  9. Michael Moore (tie: Mandy Moore)
  10. James Taylor

Ex-presidents and musicians for the most part. Can you tell I’m a music geek with a polisci degree?

  1. Smith, Maggie
  2. Johnson, Robert
  3. Williams, John
  4. Jones, John Paul (specifically the naval officer, not the musician)
  5. Brown, Willie (former mayor of San Francisco)
  6. Davis, Miles
  7. Miller, Arthur
  8. Wilson, Dooley (Sam the piano player from Casablanca)
  9. Moore, Roger
  10. Taylor, Elizabeth

I can’t find any common thread here; I have no idea why some of those named sprang to mind.

  1. Will Smith
  2. Jack Johnson
  3. John Williams
  4. Mike Jones
  5. Bobby Brown
  6. Bette Davis
  7. Steve Miller
  8. Rita Wilson
  9. Michael Moore
  10. Ann Taylor
  1. Smith - Will Smith
  2. Johnson - Andrew Johnson
  3. Williams - Vanessa Williams (quickly followed by Robin Williams)
  4. Jones - Barnaby, oddly enough
  5. Brown - James Brown
  6. Davis - Geena Davis
  7. Miller - Dennis
  8. Wilson - Rita
  9. Moore - Michael
  10. Taylor - Elizabeth

Without peeking at anyone’s:

  1. Adam Smith
  2. Betsey Johnson
  3. Venus Williams
  4. Star Jones
  5. Jim Brown
  6. Judy Davis
  7. Dennis Miller
  8. Rita Wilson
  9. Demi Moore
  10. Taylor–coming up blank, can only think of associates who aren’t famous
  1. Smith = Kate

  2. Johnson = Magic

  3. Williams =Tennessee

  4. Jones = Mother

  5. Brown = James (or my ex husband, Mike)

  6. Davis = Miles

  7. Miller = Glen

  8. Wilson =Woodrow

  9. Moore = Mary Tyler

  10. Taylor = Zackery

  1. Kevin Smith
  2. Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR driver)
  3. Robin Williams
  4. Grace Jones
  5. James Brown
  6. Geena Davis
  7. Dennis Miller
  8. Wilson Pickett :slight_smile:
  9. Roger Moore
  10. Jonathan Taylor Thomas (aka Randy Taylor)
  1. Smith - Will
  2. Johnson - Don
  3. Williams - Vanessa
  4. Jones - James Earl
  5. Brown - James
  6. Davis - Bette
  7. Miller - Glenn
  8. Wilson - Brian
  9. Moore - Mary Tyler
  10. Taylor - Elizabeth
  1. Adam Smith, economist.
  2. Randy Johnson, baseball player.
  3. Vanessa Williams, model/singer.
  4. Quincy Jones, musician.
  5. Ray Brown, negro league baseball player.
  6. Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy.
  7. Reggie Miller, basketball player.
  8. Woodrow Wilson, former president.
  9. Demi Moore, extremely wooden actress.
  10. Zachary Taylor, former president.

Six-tenths are dead white politicians and sports figures.

  1. Will Smith
  2. Lyndon Johnson
  3. Robbie/Robin Williams (tie)
  4. Tom Jones
  5. James Brown
  6. Jim Davis
  7. Frank Miller
  8. Wilson - Home Improvement guy
  9. Bobby Moore
  10. Tim Brook-Taylor (took me a few seconds to think of one though)

I am 30% assimilated with google.

  1. Robert Smith (former RB for the MN Vikings)
  2. Don Johnson
  3. Michelle Williams
  4. Katherine Zeta-Jones
  5. James Brown
  6. Ossie Davis
  7. Bode Miller
  8. Owen/Luke Wilson
  9. Mary Tyler Moore
  10. Elizabeth Taylor