When Cloris Leachman appeared on Perry Mason, she was avoiding choosing a name for her baby girl

There's a relatable reason why the actor and her husband took more than four months to name their newborn daughter!

In 1966, Cloris Leachman was cast to appear in what many fans consider the darkest episode of Perry Mason to ever air.

In "The Case of the Crafty Kidnapper," Perry Mason defends a man accused of murder, and in the midst of the case, a key witness' son gets kidnapped. The twists in this episode are not just unforeseeable, but shocking. Along with featuring one of the series' most eye-widening reveals, the episode also features Leachman showing up as the murder victim's wife, swearing revenge.

At this point in Leachman's career, she was likely best known for playing Ruth Martin, the adoptive mom of Timmy on Lassie. She played the role for a year before she moved on to pursue more dramatic work. (June Lockhart came in to replace her.)

In her real life, Leachman gave birth to her fifth child in 1966, just three months before she appeared on Perry Mason.

She was married to a Hollywood bigwig named George Englund and was already mom to four boys: Bryan, Morgan, Adam, and George.

The story goes that when Leachman found out her next child would be a girl, both she and her husband could not agree on a name.

The mom who called for Timmy on TV was so used to having boys, she couldn't think of what to call her daughter — even four months after the baby girl was born!

"It was such a shock getting a little girl after four boys, we just can't decide on her title," Leachman's husband told The San Francisco Examiner in 1966. "I've been holding out for some good authentic American Indian name like Cheyenne. Cloris says that's ridiculous when hooked up with Englund. She likes something simple like Ann."

In those four months, the couple didn't know what to tell people to call their infant daughter.

"When people ask the baby's name, we just say she's tentatively titled 'Miss Englund,'" George said.

Eventually, they did name the little darling, of course, and in the end, they went with neither Cheyenne nor Ann, but rather Dinah.

At a young age, Leachman's daughter Dinah started acting, appearing in two TV movies with her mom in 1974 and in the Emmy-nominated movie The Migrants, which also starred Ron Howard and Sissy Spacek.

On her website, Dinah wrote that when she turned 16, she ran away to finish high school in Paris, with her mom Cloris' approval. After graduating, Dinah said she traveled the world before deciding to get serious in life and return home, where she started a candle company.

What could lead a world traveler to lay down roots, you might wonder?

Dinah had a daughter of her own!

And when it came time for Leachman's daughter to pick out a name for her baby girl, she found a unique name, going with the lovely title Hallelujah.

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72doug Frouldeste 12 months ago
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33 months ago
I never knew this. BTW, Who was the cute little boy in the picture on the fireplace mantel? Was it Morgan Englund? He would have been almost three then.
peterm 33 months ago
is it running away when you hv permission??
Adanor 33 months ago
OK, the writer's of this story wrote a headline that made it sound like Ms. Leachman was so affected by "The Case of the Crafty Kidnapper," the episode that she was in, that she delayed naming her baby. And of course back then, you did not know the sex of your baby until the doctor announced it. So she was shocked, not by anything in the script, but that she had a girl, and she totally did not expect to have a girl. But I'm sure that while filming that episode, that she went home each night and gave her baby and her boys an extra hug.
Wiseguy Adanor 33 months ago
Writers...plural, not possessive, no apostrophe.
Tlor 33 months ago
I always feel sorry for the parents that name their kids odd names. I had an odd last name and my life was forever spelling it(telling them how to pronounce)to everyone I knew. It was tedious so I found a guy with a very easy to spell and pronounce name and married him!
justjeff Tlor 33 months ago
Unfortunately, guys can't do the same when they marry... so.. many of them elect to change their names through the court system...
Andybandit 33 months ago
Cool story. I can't believe she had 5 kids. Too many for me.
Tlor Andybandit 33 months ago
some people enjoy parenting, most aren't cut out for the job
MrsPhilHarris 33 months ago
I’m on the fence with “unique” names. I know of people that had unique names and they either went by another name or changed their name. I have a unique spelling and it’s a pain. I used to care but not anymore. Now when someone asks is it spelled blah, blah, blah, I say yes.
justjeff MrsPhilHarris 33 months ago
God bless my late mother for having a last minute change of heart and using more traditional spellings for my first and middle names. She originally spelled Jeffrey as Jeffery - kind of like saying my name with the hiccups...
MrsPhilHarris justjeff 33 months ago
Smart mother!
justjeff MrsPhilHarris 33 months ago
...and still missed terribly after 23 years...
MrsPhilHarris justjeff 33 months ago
Yes I can understand that.
JKMallaber 33 months ago
I can't hear the name Cloris without thinking of the Seinfeld episode with Mulva. (The Junior Mint)
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