Names bring 'fame' for some San Antonians

Locals live life in spotlight, thanks to their famous names

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio may not be known as the land of mansions and movie stars, but one look at a phone directory could make it seem as though it is.

Dozens of locals live their days in the spotlight because they share a name with someone who is more famous -- people from pop music or politics, Hollywood or history.

Even a different spelling on her first name hasn't kept Celina (pronounced "Selena") Quintanilla from being compared to another, more well-known woman from the music world. The UTSA student was just 2 when Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Perez was shot dead in 1995.

"I just always grew up with the movie, so that was my memory of Selena," she said.

Now, she knows all about the singing sensation. Although her parents were fans of the more famous Selena, she said they did not purposely name her after the singer.

Another San Antonian regularly gets asked to show off his dance moves, thanks to his famous name.

"No, I can't Moonwalk. People ask me that question almost every day," said Michael Jackson. "Or they make that sound, ‘Ee hee' all the time."

Sharing a name with the King of Pop, the far West Side resident has to have a sense of humor.

However, he said he has learned that not everyone does. During a phone call he once placed to an office, he said he spoke to someone with no tolerance for jokes.

"The secretary answered the phone and she said, 'Who's calling?' And I said, 'This is Michael Jackson. May I speak to such and such?' She said, 'Are you serious? This is business. We don't play,'" he said.

The last thing attorney Sam Houston expected to find in court was a game. However, he said due to his famous name, he found himself answering questions like a contestant on a quiz show.

"(The judge) stopped the complete hearing and then began to quiz me about Sam Houston's history," he said.

Fortunately, this Sam Houston passed with flying colors.

The New Mexico native said growing up, he never gave his moniker a second thought. It was only after moving to Texas that he realized it was something special. The father of a 6-month-old girl said being named after the man known as the "Father of Texas" comes with its share of responsibilities.

"I think you're always on your best behavior because people will remember having met Sam Houston," he said.

Phone records also show people living in this city with names such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon, Sandra Bullock and Katy Perry, to name a few.

Other San Antonians with spotlight-grabbing names, meanwhile, have made a name for themselves in not such a good way.

See below for a slideshow of local people whose famous names have appeared on arrest records.  

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