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Casper Van Dien hopes his son changes his name

The Starship Troopers star felt compelled to christen his son Casper because the eldest boy in each generation of his family has been given the name.

Van Dien’s dad gave the actor permission to ignore the family rule, and he regrets not picking another name – and so he has given his young son the OK to opt for another moniker when he’s older.

The actor tells BlogTalkRadio.com, “I’m the fifth Casper but there might be more Caspers that were older than us. We’re all named after a woman called Anne Casperus and one of the three wise men; there was Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar. Casper came from Gaspar and it means ‘the bearer of the gift’ and Van Dien means ‘of service.’ So my name means the bearer of the gift of service.

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“It’s been a tradition in my family for quite a few generations to name the first son Casper. My son is named Casper and sometimes I regret that; I wish I had changed it because we have a lot of other cool names in the family history. It’s something I didn’t want to break but my dad told me I could.

“I told my son he could break the tradition and he says he doesn’t want to, but I hope he kind of does. I hope he goes with like, Garrett or something.”

But Van Dien admits his boy does have a very cool name thanks to his family ties – the kid’s mother is movie great Robert Mitchum’s granddaughter: “My son was also named after Robert Mitchum – Casper Robert Mitchum Van Dien – who was his great grandfather.”

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