Danica McKellar Welcomes Son Draco

09/10/2010 at 02:30 PM ET
David Livingston/Getty

Winnie Cooper’s a mom — former Wonder Years star Danica McKellar has given birth to her first child, a boy.

Son Draco Verta arrived on Tuesday evening, Sept. 7, McKellar’s rep confirms to PEOPLE exclusively. He weighed in at 7 lbs., 2 oz. and takes his moniker — which means dragon — from the constellation of the same name.

“We are humbled, overjoyed and so grateful for this miraculous gift,” McKellar and husband Mike Verta tell PEOPLE. “It’s like we’ve only now just learned the true meaning of love.”

McKellar, 35 — now a mathematician and author of three books on the subject, including the current bestseller HOT X: Algebra Exposedwed composer Verta in March 2009. They announced the pregnancy one year later.

— Sarah Michaud with reporting by Kate Coyne

FILED UNDER: Births , Exclusive , News

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Showing 66 comments

Elby on

I’ll probably get shot down for this but… Draco?!? Seriously? They must be big Harry Potter fans.

ang on

Congratulations Danika. I am sure he is a beautiful baby!

Jen DC on

@ Elby: It says right there that he’s named for the constellation.

I like it. I wonder if they have a middle name or if they left it Draco Verta. It sounds very dramatic and … something I can’t put my finger on. Operatic, maybe.

Bree on

Elby the first thing I thought of when I heard the name was Harry Potter as well. Not a fan of the name at all!!
Congrats to the family, I’m sure he is a gorgeous little man!!

Lacey on

Draco… Has he come to suck your blood? Not a fan of the name, but congratulations!

klutzy_girl on

Congratulations to them! Like others, I thought of Harry Potter, too. Like the name, though!

Kim on

Iffy on the name but count me as another person who also thought of the Harry Potter series! Congrats to all! I bet he’s beautiful! 😀

Shannon on

What an interesting name! Congrats!

Ellea on

I like the name. Its different and the cultural reference will probably mean very little to a baby born in 2010. By time he’s an adult or teen, I mean.

meghan on

Everyone is going to assume it’s a reference to Draco Malfoy. It’s not a commonly referenced constellation.

Lucy on

Congrats to Danica!

Although her statement is a bit cliche… in my experience it takes a little while for those euphoric feelings to appear after delivering a baby and celebs always tend to over-idealize these things to the point where you might end up feeling inadequate if you weren’t quite feeling that when your own bundle arrived!

Mira on

I couldn’t agree with you more, Lucy. I find this type of statement ridiculously contrived. The part about “the true meaning of love” is particularly irksome. What, you don’t love your parents and your husband? The feelings you have towards them are not “true” love? Maybe the love for a child is a different type of feeling, but to call it “true” love necessarily diminishes other types of loving feelings, which I think is unnecessary and offensive to your other family.

Marcie on

@Lucy – Just because your experience was different than Danica’s, it doesn’t mean that she is exaggerating or shouldn’t share her experience. I have two children, and it didn’t “take a little while” for me to experience those things. It happened automatically.You should never allow someone else’s opinion or different experience make you feel inadequite. Everyone is different, and that’s ok.

@ Mira – I do see your point about the wording, but I think what Danica means is that it wasn’t until she gave birth that she experienced Love on as deep a level. It’s just different. Not meaning that you love your parents or your husband any less, just that the love of a parent for their child is a different type of love. That’s all. Curiously asking..are you a parent?

D on

Is there no such thing, as a normal baby name anymore among celebrities? I’m mean, c’mon!

Julie on


I’m going to be run through the wringer for this, but I laughed out loud when I read this child’s name. I guess the more polite thing to do is say “that’s a really interesting name.”

Nicole on

Draco – come on! There are a million nice names out there for boys and they pick Draco? It reminds me of Drano. Not a Harry Potter fan so I have no idea who that character is. But seriously, Drano or Dragon. NOt a nice name for a little boy.

Jenna on

Congrats Winnie!

CMS on

Wow, people!! First you guys criticize the name, and then readers go on to actually question her love for the newborn. I’d never thought that someone would go so far to attack another person for expressing a deep and profound love for the babe they just gave birth to. You must be having quite a bad day to be so bitter…

Danica is a beautiful, brilliant and cultured woman, and I have no doubt that her son will be the same. Lucky boy!

Gigi on

If it was not a Harry Potter character people would probably really like it. As long as they are happy with it.

Mandii on

Ewwww. Just Ewww.

Cammy on

Draco was a vicious Roman Emperor known for his cruelty, thus the word Draconian – meaning harsh. Oh dear….. And like others, I’m sure the nasty kids will be thinking of Dracula….

jessicad on

I like the name! I’m a fan of unique names though.

Every woman is different and experiences different things when they give birth. I felt just like they did, when the colic kicked in a few weeks later not so much he he;)

dee on

I went to school with a guy named Draco, so I don’t see what the big deal is. He won’t be the third or fourth Grayson, Jackson, or Jaden in his class which is always a plus in my opinion.

Sonya on

I like the name (and it was a name before Harry Potter, JKR didn’t make it up).

Michelle Z. on

Did anyone else watch her on the Today show a few weeks ago? I kind of got second-hand embarrassment at the way she was rubbing her stomach. It was just…very…I don’t know what. I’m hoping someone else saw it, too, and can find the words.

It’s a very interesting name, and Draco goes well with the last name.

Fifi on

Well, I’m an adult Harry Potter fanatic, so I’m naturally biased in favor of this name. Beyond my own personal bias, it clearly has meaning to them, so it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of it. As for her feelings about her son, I don’t see why anyone is questioning her sincerity. Just because it may not have been your experience, doesn’t make it wrong, or a lie. Personally, I do love my daughter differently (and even more so) than anyone else I love. Love takes all different forms. People are so narrow minded on here.

Anne on

The immediate thing that popped into my mind was Dragon and the constellation but then again, I’m a fan of astronomy not Harry Potter. Kind of sad how the name is so commonly referenced by something as trivial as a movie.
I like the name, congrats to them.

Bancie1031 on

Congratulations to Danica and Mike! I can’t wait to see a picture of Draco. Danica is beautiful 😀
I don’t really like the name Draco but he’s not my son and as long as Danica and Mike like it then that’s all that matters.

Fifi on

Anne – I take offense to your comment about Harry Potter being “a trivial movie.” They are books, and they are fantastic. There are college courses that teach them, this isn’t Twilight we’re discussing. JK Rowling is a great writer. Astronomy is lovely, but no need to knock the literary minded people just becsuse you’re not.

Sheena on

Anne – Harry Potter is not just a movie,so before you comment do your homework on what you are talking about. Its a book series and several movies. And why is that sad? Pop culture is what is in the minds of everyone. Just because you thought of a dragon doesn’t make you any less influenced by it.

The name isnt a great one. Even as a Harry Potter fan I dont like it, I mean hes the BAD GUY! Who wants their son to be named after a vicious cruel thing like a dragon anyway? Its a weird name. Oh well. He will deal with it just like the other millions of kids with weird names in the world.

Rosie on

My bbff is naming her son, Severus. Draco is cute and manly. I love it!! 🙂 🙂

jessicad on

I had to google the today show clip after Michelle said something, I didn’t notice anything off about her belly rubbing! I was constantly touching my belly during pregnancy too though:) After watching the clip I’ll say she’s definitely a sexy mathematician, I like what she said about how women can be many things and there’s nothing wrong with being smart and having a healthy sexual identity. I like her even more now, thanks Michelle!

cris on

Good point Lucy! I felt so guilty because I was expecting to have this overwhelming feeling come over me after my child was born, and it did take a little while for that to happen. Not that I do not love my child to pieces, it just didn’t happen for me like you see in the movies!

Stella Bella on

Not a fan of the name at all, and I am one of the few who has never read Harry Potter, so I didn’t even know about that connection until I read the comments.

mom of 3 on

my first impression of Draco, I thought of ‘Dracula’. But to each his own. Who am I to judge somebody’s name choice. Congrats to her and her huby. I love the statement she made about just now learning about the true meaning of love. I felt the same way. The first glance I had of my son, I was head over heals in love!!! I never thought I could love somebody so intense as I did when I first saw him.

melania on

Congrats on the baby. The name is so bad, though. Draco?

Kristen on

When people, assuming other mothers, come in here and object to another woman’s name for her child I always wonder what that person would have named the child. Why don’t a few of you throw your children’s names out here so that we can comment and let you know if you have made the correct choice for your child.

Somehow I don’t see that happening…

Haleiwa on

Congratulations! I love “brainy” women!!!!! When I saw the name, Rocky 4 jumped into my head and made me think of the character of Drago. LOL I think the name is kinda cute. Her statement about the birth of her son was short and to the point and she doesn’t owe anyone something more poignant because their ittle whittle feelings are so sensitive.

JM on

fifi, took the words right out of my mouth. calling Harry Potter a movie rather than a book (or a series of books) shows A LOT of ignorance for someone who obviously considers themselves too sophisticated for such things. there is nothing wrong with Harry Potter, and i agree it’s not like we’re talking about Twilight here.

i don’t mind the name, wouldn’t choose it myself but i’ve heard worse. congratulations to the family.

Ashley on


Harry Potter encompasses an entire series of books which are already being considered childhood classics (and rightfully so- if you actually took the time to read them, you would learn why). They’re not simply “movies” and since millions upon millions of people around the world are fans of the series, it’s not really surprising that so many would automatically draw a parallel between the two. JK Rowling is a brilliant writer who obviously did her research, and I’m sure the reason why she chose the name Draco for the villain in her story is because of the negative historical connotations with it.

I’m a history nut, and I’m also interested in cultural myths so when I hear the name Draco, I automatically think of dragon. To some, the dragon is a symbol of evil. But there are many different reasons why people might not like the name (as someone else already mentioned, the Greek legislator Draco). It has deep historical roots with some bad associations. If you like the name, that’s great. Danica obviously does, but it’s not surprising that many people don’t.

Michelle on

I work with people of all different nationalities and Draco/Drago is a name I have seen often. I like it, it is a good strong name.

Congrats and happy to see there isn’t another baby named Braden/Jaden/Jackson!!

Lorus on

I like the name and who is to say that he’s going to be teased? I’ve seen plenty of more “normal” names get teased while wilder ones just breeze on through. It’s how a child carries him/herself that really depends on if they will get teased/bullied.

Mira on

Who’s questioning her love for her child? CMS, your reading comprehensions skills aren’t very good.

The statement “we’ve only now just learned the true meaning of love” clearly implies that any love that you felt before you had kids (i.e. for your other family members) wasn’t “true” and as great. I know that the people who use this cliche don’t mean to offend their family, but they do. And I do have children. But I don’t go around saying they are my only true love. And I would be offended if my husband said it.

Sky on

Fifi – you’re offended because someone thinks HP is stupid? Whoa.

Elizabeth on

Well, I’m certainly very happy for Danica and her husband, but I must admit I thought the name was a joke when I first heard it. Draco makes me think of both the Draco who inspired the term “Draconian” and also Draco from Harry Potter – neither of which I think of as particularly people I’d want to be associated with!

@Anne “as trivial as a movie”. Come on now, do you really not know that Harry Potter is a series of books? Which I’m guessing his future classmates are more likely to be aware of than the constellation, as lovely a reference as that is.

Daniella on

I actually go to college with a guy named Draco. His family is Greek & many of them either have classical Greek names or constellation names that you do not hear very often here in the US. I find his family’s naming style to be very meaningful, unique & fitting for them. He has two sisters named Lyra & Carina as well as two brothers named Caelum & Orion. The names all coorespond to the months in which they were born & are a homage to their homeland/family members.

So although Draco is usually associated with Harry Potter now (of which I’m a huge fan), the name definitely existed long before J.K. Rowling used it. I guess I do not find it to be particularly unusual since I already know someone (who was born pre-Harry Poter) with the name & I use/hear it on a fairly regular basis as a result.

Kim on

Not a fan of the name I’m not a huge Harry potter fan so that didnt immediately come to mind but as I was a history buff the Greek lawgiver guy Draco (think Draconian laws = really harsh laws) was what I thought of, doesnt bring to mind happiness and joy but ah well. Congrats that he came healthy and happy for hem 😀

Stella Bella on

I’m really not fond of the name and I didn’t know it was used in Harry Potter until I read the comments, so that wasn’t an influence on my reaction.
Anyway, congrats to them!

Luna on

Yeah, I’ll admit, Draco Malfoy was the first thing that popped into my head. And that name comes with a negative connotation, because Draco Malfoy is the antagonist (well one of them anyway) in the Harry Potter series. However, I’ve recently started to be aware of how often we criticize others’ name choices. These aren’t our children and it really does take all kinds to make the world go round. If every child had the same name as yours’ or names you liked, the world would be boring. It’s the Apples and Pilot Inspektors and Dracos that break up the monotony of the Jaydens, Madisyns, and Jacksons. So if Danica and Mike have a positive connotation with the name and it has meaning to them, then great. Congratulations to them. I’m glad they love him so dearly. 🙂

Aurora on

Fifi, I’m with you…Harry Potter is a series of 7 books, and actually, other than the Bible, THE best-selling books. They are also deemed by many to be responsible for enticing a reading-shy generation back to reading. As in, actually reading long, detailed, lovely books, not just snippets of “facts” on the internet. To imply they are unimportant or “a movie” is kind of lame. Anyway, this post isn’t about Harry Potter, despite Danica naming her child the same name as one of the evil characters (and of a viscious Roman ruler for that matter). To each their own, and congrats to them!

Mary on

Wow, some of the posters on this site are downright rude. The name choice of someone else’s child is really not something that causes me much concern one way or another, but apparently some people get so offended by it. However, Danica and her husband might look at names such as “Ava” or “Jack” or “Aidan” or “Madison” and wrinkle their nose in disgust or roll their eyes at the contrived names. Parents usually do not flip open a baby name book to a random page and blindly pick a name. It is done with care and consideration.

CelebBabyLover on

jessicad- I agree! I haven’t seen the clip, but I can’t understand what could possibly be wrong with a pregnant woman rubbing her belly! I see rubbing the belly as a way that a pregnant woman shows love for her baby! 🙂 As for the name….It’s not my favorite, but I don’t see anything wrong with it, either. It’s also not my kid. 🙂

M on

Am I the only one, a huge Potter-fan, who DIDN’T think of thát Draco right away?
Congrats to the family! Like the name!

Michelle Z. on

Hmmm…I went back and rewatched the Today show clip, and I wasn’t as bothered by her belly rubbing this time around. Maybe I’m thinking of another clip from another show? Or maybe I was having a grumpy day when I watched it originally.

I still give the name two thumbs up.

Carrie on

The worst part of this is that little kids (Say 4 or 5) have no idea that a name is unusual until they come home and tell their parents about their new friend Draco. Upon seeing their parents reaction to a name then take their parents cue and assume that it’s not just a regular name and teasing begins. And with the regularity of nasty comments about a name makes me worry for these kids and the bullying they will be subjected to because of parents like the ones on here.

ssjl on

I love the name Draco. It’s no better or worse than any other name I’ve heard. You people have a selective bias when it comes to celebrities. I’ve met many people who have very unusual names. I work with a woman named Pinky. It makes you feel better to try to be superior to a “celeb” in the name game. I’m a Harry Potter fan but I’ve also heard the name Draco before I read the books. Congrats to Danica & husband on the wonderful addition to their family.

Leann on

I actually like the name (but I’m a big Harry Potter fan, so there’s a little bias there) I like that they named him after a constellation. I totally agree with Carrie. Parents like the people saying rude things about the names are the reason teasing occurs. And Mira, why don’t you get over yourself? Who’s to say that her family is offended by what she said? Just because you think so doesn’t make it true. You should have read the explanation some people were nice enough to leave you about love having different forms. She didn’t say she had just discovered the true meaning of love, she just compared the feeling to that. Idiotic, overly sensitive, and hyper-critical people like you and Lacey make me sick.

LisaS on

Congratulations to the happy couple! What wonderful news and I’m sure Draco is a lovely baby.

As others have said, the name ‘Draco’ has been around long before Rowling. And yes, I’m an adult Harry Potter fan but when I first heard the name, I thought of the constellation first, then a dragon. Draco Malfoy popped up in my head next but it didn’t seem likely Danica and her husband would choose to name their son after him so I didn’t think anything of it.

As far as Rowling goes, she gave her characters names like Andromeda (a constellation named after a character in a Greek myth), Sirius (a star), Remus (one of the twins from Roman mythology), etc. Perhaps she too was inspired by these stories and astronomy, and chose to name one of her characters after the same constellation as Danica seems to have done here? Whatever the case might be, I think Draco sounds like a powerful name for a boy and all that matters is that his parents like it.

Kaz on

How is it pronounced, is it dray-co? or is it draco with a hard ‘a’? strange choice, but whatever, it’s her baby.

I am of the opinion that baby names have gone so strange nowadays, it seems a lot of people, celebs are not, are keen to be so different and ‘unique’. I don’t understand this because it’s not your name that makes you these things, it’s your character. I recently told a co-worker, a fan of wacky names herself (she loves ‘to be different’) that if I have a boy I’d like to call him John or David she was SHOCKED! And asked me why I would pick such a boring name when there are so many ‘cool’ names I could chose! I’m thinking she would love the name Draco. I do feel I’m in the minority with my way of thinking.

Anyway, rant over, congrats to Danica and family x

Jandy on

I think the name is fabulous. I love Draco Malfoy. I love Astronomy. And I love Roman History. I also love the right that we have to name our children what we please. If we were allowed to dictate what other people name their kids then I’d be first in line to rule out idiotically repetitive names like Keegan, Keaton, and Brittany. Hell – my own name is Jessica and I’m 30 years old so you can imagine how many other Jessica’s I shared elementary school with.

Congratulations to Danica and Mike – for their precious little baby and for having the confidence to choose a name they like that everyone else in America hadn’t already over-used.

As an aside, I tried to convince my husband to let me name our second son Thomas Andrew… after Mr. Tom Felton himself but I got that one slammed down because my Gryffindor-centric husband thought it was too Slytherin. The point is – everyone’s taste is their own.

CelebBabyLover on

Kaz- I think for some people, they like unusual names because they simply don’t like to “follow the crowd”. In otherwords, they don’t want their kid to be the ten millionth Ava or Aiden (and for the record, I actually like both of those names! I just used them as examples because they ARE very common!).

MiB on

Sheena, while I agree with your defence of the Harry Potter books (Harry Potter fan as I am), I have to disgree with you on the notion that dragons are vicious and evil creatures. In many cultures, they are seen as bringers of fortune, and I am sure that’s how Danica and Mike see them. I also briefly thought of Draco Malfoy, but then the image of a Dragen came before me, and I realized that he must be named for that.

Ashley, Draco Malfoy got his name from the constellation, in accordance with the Black family tradition of naming their children after star constellations (he is the son of Sirius Blacks cousin Narcissa).

Anyways, good luck to the new family, may little Draco always be a bringer of fortune to you!

dee on

cool i have always wanted to name my kid draco its an awesome name and i am a huge draco malfoy fan so yeah its so cool though

Jennifer Chew on

Trust me, some people have reasons why they have or give certain names. I am also a HUGE Harry Potter fan, and I know that there is a reason why Rowling named one of her characters “Draco.” I like the name, it’s different. It’s WAY better than my name!!! Growing up there was at least 20 other Jennifers I went to school with. To me, that is just not cool knowing that you are not the only one.

And trust me when I say this, if this kid grows up and turns out to be highly educated like his mother then no one would care that he had an “odd” name. So there if there’s is a reason why Danica named her son Draco, then so be it Danica understands FAR more than I, and a lot of others do academically. From what I heard Danica is not only a math buff, but she is also a big fan of the mythological stories as well, and she studied a bunch of those as well during her years in UCLA.

ladiida on

I have never in my life heard people get so psychotic because someone didnt like Harry Potter lmao. The coments about “we are not talking about twilight here” those are pretty insane too. Really people??? I have read both series and watched the movies that have come out…neither are so huge of a deal that I would get really upset by a negative comment…wow! Anyway, the name is strange and different. I wouldnt name my son Draco, but that is why we each have the right to name our own. Furthermore, to bad mouth her because she loves her child and expresses that in her own wording, is rediculous. The love for a child surpasses all other loves, you may not go around saying so, but it does. For her to express that after the birth of her first child is not so horrible. Really people, get over yourself.

alvin on

Danica Mckeller looks very good in all her bakini pics!