French Stewart Welcomes Daughter Helene Claire

08/07/2013 at 05:00 PM ET

French Stewart Welcomes Daughter Helene Claire
Nadine Bosurgi

He may be starring in the new series Mom this fall, but French Stewart is all about dad — because he is one!

The actor and his wife Vanessa, an actress, welcomed daughter Helene Claire at 7 a.m. on Friday, June 28 in West Hollywood, Calif., Stewart’s rep confirms to PEOPLE.

“She was born six weeks early and could be held in the palm of your hand,” the proud papa, 49, tells PEOPLE.

The couple turned to their families for a bit of inspiration when choosing a name for their first child, paying tribute to both baby girl’s paternal and maternal sides.

“We named her after my lovely mother. My sister is also a Helene,” Stewart shares. “There are five wonderful Claires in Vanessa’s family so the tradition of it is very special for us.”

Despite her early arrival, baby Helene couldn’t have made her big debut at a better time. Stewart, who is also known for his former role on 3rd Rock From the Sun, admits his schedule lends to an easy balance between filming and family life.

“In the daytime I work on a special new show [Mom] with wonderful people. And at night I have new adventures with Vanessa and Helene,” he says of the new series, which premieres Sept. 23 on CBS.

“To tell you the truth, [the show] came at just the right time because my wife just had a baby a month ago. She’s in my pocket right now,” Stewart told PEOPLE at the Television Critics Association panel.

– Anya Leon with reporting by Patrick Gomez

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Showing 34 comments

Gigi on

Finally!! A beautiful, normal name!! She’s going to stand out in Hollywood like a sore thumb. Congrats to all!

klutzy_girl on

Aw, she’s cute! And I love the name.

Congratulations to them!

Tracy on

Beautiful picture of a lovely family. Congrats!!! She is gorgeous!! Always liked French Stewart.

curlyk on

So glad she is healthy, and what a beautiful name! Congrats to his nice, little family.

PS on

How lovely! Congratulations to the Stewarts!

Delancey on

A beautiful, classic name. Nothing against unusual baby names, however it’s so nice when family tradition is respected.

Corrie on

Oh my gosh, this is a lovely surprise. Congratulations to French and Vanessa…she is a beautiful baby girl with an equally beautiful name.

Julie on

Congrats to one of my favourite actors and his wife! I think French is a comic genius and I can’t wait to see his new TV show!

LC on

She is darling! I wonder if she will have his squinty eyes :-)

Anonymous on

Had no idea he was straight

justme on

What a beautiful name for a beautiful little girl!
Congratulations.

ME on

Love the name ❤❤❤

EmmaWasHere on

How sweet! Helene Claire is elegant and gorgeous!! Huge congrats to their family!!!

Anonymous on

Born six weeks early and could fit in the palm of your hand? Mmmm somehow I doubt that

Molly on

Beautiful name! Congrats!

Maggi on

I love the name Helene! Such a sweet article, and photo.

Marky on

I have to laugh when someone says, “Finally! A normal name in Hollywood!” If you think about it, many actors and actresses name their children perfectly lovely names, or names that aren’t classic, but the same names many of us have used. There are crazy names out there, but not everyone does it. Love, love, love it when people use “family” names!!

Liz on

Congratulations! What a beautiful baby & a beautiful name!!!!!!!

Callie on

He’s so funny, I’m glad he’s back on TV!!!

Anonymous on

beautiful new family!

Congratulations…

Been a big fan of French Stewart ever since his fantastic 3rd Rock from the Sun days! :)

Jen on

@ susan. You think 49 is an ‘old man’? Clearly you need to do some growing up.

Congratulations to this beautiful family. Glad the little one is healthy and all are doing well.

Anonymous on

Congratulations to the new Mama & Papa!! Look at that adorable little baby face. So glad she is healthy and strong.

I love the name!

Marky on

Anonymous, is French Stewart another one you think “looks gay”? This is not his first marriage or relationship; he just isn’t all public with every breath he takes. What’s with the need to comment on your perception of someone else’s sexuality?

Sharon on

Shut up Susan. Some people just have to ruin a good thing.

Sharon on

Congratulations! What a beautiful baby and sweet pic!

Anonymous on

Love the name. I had a preemie as well that was 10.5 weeks early and was just shy of 3 pounds. She didn’t fit in the palm of my hand but she was tiny. Congrats on your new baby girl!

Andrea on

My dad was 53 when I was born. Yes that us older than the norm but I wouldnt have it any other way. He is the best father anybody could ask for.

Paula on

Lovely name

Anonymous on

Anonymous- (the one who questioned him saying Helene could “fit in the palm of your hand” when she was born) He was probably exaggerating a bit. Proud new parents tend to do that. ;)

Anonymous on

Oh, and congrats to them!

Yelly on

I’m relieved it’s not a purple tube.

Anonymous on

Those saying normal name….define normal.

Cindy on

Is it just me or does anyone else think French Stewart looks like Ted Allen in this picture?

foodiesnob on

What a beautiful name for a beautiful baby girl. And thank God it’s a NORMAL name. Congrats to the happy couple and many blessings.

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