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On Wednesday we had Poppy as the Famous Name of the week, in which I mentioned actress Poppy Montgomery, who is 37 and still rocking her name.

Poppy is originally from Sydney, and as a girl, was a poor student who was expelled from six different private schools – even more than Holden Caulfield. Unlike Holden, she didn’t wind up at a rest cure for wealthy whackos, but dropped out at 14 to pursue a career in theatre, and travel around Bali with a boyfriend.

At 18 she moved to the United States to meet a boy in Florida she’d met when he was an exchange student. Within five days she realised she couldn’t stand him, and hopped on a bus to LA to become an actress. Through persistence, she signed with an agent, and worked on a number of TV shows during the late 1990s, including NYPD Blue and Party of Five.

Her big break came when she won the role of Marilyn Monroe in the 2001 miniseries, Blonde. She then got the lead female role in Without a Trace, which she took because she’d be working with fellow expat Aussie, Anthony LaPaglia. Currently she plays the lead in police drama Unforgettable, and Harry Potter fans will recognise her from biopic Magic Beyond Words, in which she played J.K. Rowling.

Poppy’s full name is Poppy Petal Emma Elizabeth Deveraux Donahue, and she has four sisters: Rosie Thorn, Daisy Yellow, Lily Belle and Marigold Sun. Poppy and her sisters were named after illustrations in the “Flower Fairy” books by Cicely Mary Barker. Poppy also has a brother, who is named Jethro Tull, after the band. Also in the blended family mix are Tara, Sean and Patrick.

Poppy claims that she and sisters’ names sound like “porno star” names and that she was “tortured” at school for being called Poppy – although as she could easily go by one of her more sedate middle names, it seems unlikely that the torture was really that unbearable or she dislikes her name.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Poppy’s parents must be free-spirited hippies who sell rainbow banners and unicorn bracelets from a caravan in Nimbin, but mum Nicola (nee Montgomery) is an executive in market research, and dad Phil Donahue runs a restaurant (from which Poppy got fired).

Poppy has one son, named Jackson Phillip Deveraux Montgomery Kaufman, Jackson’s dad is actor Adam Kaufman, who this year was in Hawaii Five-0. Poppy is currently dating Shawn Sanford, a Microsoft marketing executive.

Poppy is also a blogger at People magazine’s Moms & Babies Celebrity Baby Blog where she writes amusingly and realistically about bringing up Jackson on her own.

(Photo of Poppy from Zimbio)

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