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50 Celebrities Whose Actual Names You By no means Knew — Greatest Life

Whoopi Goldberg and Jamie Foxx are family names to anybody with a tv set. Caryn Johnson and Eric Bishop then again? To most individuals, these names imply nothing—however they’re really the delivery names of those legendary, A-list stars. No, it is not simply one-word divas like Madonna and Cher who use stage monikers. Even celebrities with run-of-the-mill names, like Martin Sheen and Meg Ryan, are secretly dwelling a double life. Learn on to search out out the actual names of a few of your favourite celebrities and why they go by one thing else professionally, and for stars who surprisingly share a delivery 12 months, try 100 Celebrities You Will not Imagine Are The Identical Age.

Demi Moore

Actual Identify: Demi Gene Guynes

Ghost star Demi Moore did not randomly select her new final identify. Lengthy earlier than she was linked to Bruce Willis or Ashton Kutcher, she was briefly married to a singer named Freddy Moore. However even earlier than they made it official, she determined to borrow his surname to make use of professionally. And although their relationship did not stick, that moniker did.

For stars who did not marry different stars, try 28 Celebrities Who Married Regular, Non-Well-known Folks.

Cardi B
Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

Actual Identify: Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar

Rapper Cardi B‘s stage identify is customized from a nickname she received throughout her childhood within the Bronx, New York. Since her older sister is called Hennessy and the 2 had been all the time collectively, she was usually known as Barcardi—one other boozy beverage.

Mahershala Ali
Featureflash Picture Company/Shutterstock

Actual Identify: Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore

Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali‘s pastor mom picked his identify out of the Bible, in response to the Guardian. He modified his final identify from Gilmore to Ali when he transformed from Christianity to Islam in 2000, and a number of other years later shortened his first identify within the hopes that it will advance his profession.

For extra massive names within the enterprise, try The Greatest Star Who’s the Identical Age as You.

Diane Keaton
Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

Actual Identify: Diane Corridor

It is fairly wild that actor Diane Keaton was really born Diane Corridor, when she’d go on to fame enjoying a personality who shares her authentic final identify. Keaton is her mom’s identify, which the star selected to go by earlier than she hit it massive.

Billie Eilish holding up her Grammy at the awards show in 2020
REUTERS/Alamy Inventory Picture

Actual Identify: Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell 

Music celebrity Billie Eilish goes by her first and center names professionally. Her full identify is as spectacular as her catalog and features a second center identify picked out by her older brother and collaborator Finneas O’Connell (Pirate) in addition to each of her dad and mom’ final names.

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Stevie Wonder, inspiring quotes

Actual Identify: Steveland Judkins

When Stevie Surprise first signed with Motown, he legally modified his identify from Steveland Judkins to Steveland Morris, taking over his mom’s maiden identify. Nevertheless, when Motown file govt Berry Gordy began calling him “Surprise,” Stevie modified his identify but once more, and thus the musician’s stage identify was born.

Tina Fey celebrity commercials

Actual Identify: Elizabeth Stamatina Fey

Whereas Fey is her actual final identify, Tina is definitely a shortened model of her center identify, Stamatina. Funnily sufficient, the actress’ given first identify is Elizabeth, which she used because the inspiration for the identify of her 30 Rock character, Liz Lemon.

For extra beloved collection, try The 50 Most In style TV Reveals of All Time.


Actual Identify: Paul David Hewson

Bono could solely have one identify now, however the U2 frontman was born with three: Paul David Hewson. As for his cognomen, the musician discovered his inspiration in his hometown of Dublin—from the identify of a listening to assist store, of all issues.

Kit Harrington and Rose Leslie

Actual Identify: Christopher Catesby Harington

The Sport of Thrones star’s actual identify is Christopher Catesby Harington, however he did not know his identify wasn’t Equipment Harrington till he was 11 years previous. He instructed Glamour: “Equipment is historically an offshoot of Christopher, it is simply not used that usually. My center identify is Catesby.” For extra pairs like Harrington and Rose Leslie, try 15 Onscreen {Couples} You Completely Forgot Dated in Actual Life.

Vin Diesel

Actual Identify: Mark Sinclair

That is proper, choose your jaw off the ground: Vin Diesel just isn’t the identify on the motion star’s delivery certificates. He was first given the far more conventional identify of Mark Sinclair. Whereas the actor hasn’t confirmed the origin of his stage identify, it supposedly stems from Vincent—the final identify the household took on when his mom remarried—and his personal energetic persona. One other Hollywood legend is that he needed to change his identify to guard himself when he labored as a bouncer, pre-stardom.

Natalie Portman

Actual Identify: Natalie Hershlag

For a few years, Israeli American actress Natalie Portman did some performing work beneath her given identify, Natalie Hershlag. It was solely whereas filming Luc Besson’s Leon within the early Nineties that she determined to go by Portman, taking over her paternal grandmother’s maiden identify.

Mindy Kaling, inspiring quotes

Actual Identify: Vera Chokalingam

Although actress Mindy Kaling was born Vera Chokalingam, she all the time glided by her center identify, Mindy, even earlier than stardom. And when she began taking over massive performing roles, Mindy determined to shorten her final identify all the way down to “Kaling,” giving her the moniker she makes use of immediately.

Winona Ryder red carpet
Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock

Actual Identify: Winona Laura Horowitz

There was nothing incorrect with the identify Winona Laura Horowitz, after all, however the Lady, Interrupted actress determined to tackle the surname Ryder anyway. The choice got here slightly serendipitously for Horowitz/Ryder, as her father occurred to be listening to a Mitch Ryder album when her agent requested her how she wished to be credited within the 1986 movie Lucas.

musician bruno mars

Actual Identify: Peter Gene Herandez

“[The stage name] Bruno is after Bruno Sammartino, who was this massive, fats wrestler,” Bruno Mars, born Peter Gene Herandez, instructed the Related Press. “I used to be this chunky little child, so my dad used to name me that as a nickname.” And his surname? “‘Mars got here up as a result of a variety of ladies say I am out of this world!”

Shania Twain Celebrities Who Won't Live in U.S.

Actual Identify: Eilleen Edwards

Pop icon Eilleen Edwards, higher often called Shania Twain, selected her final identify in honor of her Ojibwe stepfather, Jerry Twain. “Shania” is an Ojibwe identify which means “on my means,” although the singer has neither confirmed nor denied that she selected it for that purpose.

actor Ben Kingsley real celebrity names

Actual Identify: Krishna Pandit Bhanji

Schindler’s Checklist and Iron Man 3 actor Sir Ben Kingsley‘s actual identify is definitely Krishna Pandit Bhanji. The star modified his identify lengthy earlier than making it onto the A-list, utilizing his dad’s nickname (Ben) and his grandfather’s nickname (King Clove) to create his moniker.

Portia de Rossi

Actual Identify: Amanda Lee Rogers

Although born Amanda Lee Rogers, Arrested Improvement actress Portia De Rossi legally modified her identify on the age of 15. In an interview with The Advocate, she defined that she selected the identify Portia after the Shakespeare character in The Service provider of Venice and de Rossi as a result of, “I used to be Australian and I assumed that an unique Italian identify would someway swimsuit me greater than Amanda Rogers.”

Actor Michael Caine

Actual Identify: Maurice Micklewhite

His actual identify is Maurice Micklewhite, however actor Michael Caine has been going by his stage identify since 1954. And lately, the display screen legend really made the identify change official, noting that airport safety was changing into an excessive amount of of a trouble with two separate names.

As for the inspiration behind his identify? Nicely, the thespian initially wished to be Michael Scott, however when somebody of that identify was already outstanding in London the place his profession started, he modified his to “Caine” after spying a poster for the Humphrey Bogart automobile The Caine Mutiny.

Whoopi Goldberg funniest college classes

Actual Identify: Caryn Elaine Johnson

As soon as upon a time, this comedien was recognized by family and friends as Caryn Elaine Johnson. Nevertheless, when she determined to strive her luck in Hollywood, Caryn modified her identify completely, with Whoopi coming from her fondness for flatulence and Goldberg from a Jewish ancestor.

actress Carmen Electra real celebrity names

Actual Identify: Tara Patrick

It was in 1991 that Tara Patrick turned Carmen Electra. That 12 months, the aspiring actress met Prince, who instructed her that she regarded like an Electra, as she relayed to The Yo Present. Although she was hesitant to make use of the identify at first—”It sounded kinda like a superhero kind of identify.”—Carmen Electra caught, and the remainder is Hollywood historical past.

actor Martin Sheen

Actual Identify: Ramon Gerard Estevez

Ramon Gerard Estevez determined to undertake the skilled moniker of Martin Sheen when he entered the performing world and realized that he was being typecast. As for the place his appellation derives from, Estevez selected Martin after his agent and Sheen in honor of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. (And in case you are questioning, this does imply that Charlie Sheen‘s actual final identify can also be Estevez, and that Martin’s different son, Emilio Estevez, caught with the identify he was born with.)

Emma stone
Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock

Actual Identify: Emily Stone

“My actual identify is Emily Stone, however after I began performing, that identify was already taken by one other actress, so I needed to provide you with a distinct one,” Emma Stone defined to W Journal about her moniker. Initially she opted for Riley, however after listening to the identify out loud on the set of Malcolm within the Center, she realized that it did not match her in any respect.

Gene Simmons

Actual Identify: Chaim Witz

When his household immigrated to America from Israel, Gene Simmons modified his identify from Chaim Witz to Gene Klein. Ultimately, Klein determined to tackle Simmons for skilled functions.

Gigi Hadid

Actual Identify: Jelena Hadid

Although her actual identify is Jelena Hadid, this supermodel has been going by Gigi since elementary faculty. She defined to Vogue: “In first or second grade, there was a lady named Helena and it received complicated with the instructor who needed to name out our names. So the instructor requested my mother, ‘If I wanted to name Jelena a nickname, what wouldn’t it be?’ And my mother was like, ‘I name her Gigi typically,’ and the identify caught.”

Julianne Moore
Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock

Actual Identify: Julie Smith

“Once I went to affix the Display screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) as Julie Smith, they had been like, ‘There is a Julie Smith, there is a Julie Anne Smith. It’s important to select one other identify,'” the actress defined to The Hollywood Reporter. “My dad’s identify was Peter Moore Smith, and my mom’s identify was Anne Smith, [so] I used each their names so I would not damage anyone’s emotions.”

Lorde singer

Actual Identify: Ella Yelich-O’Connor

Her actual identify is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, however except you are her shut buddy or classmate, it is extra seemingly that her by her stage identify, Lorde. The singer concocted the moniker at simply 16 years previous, explaining on 60 Minutes that she “liked the best way” Lord sounded, however wished to “add an e to feminize it.”

Jamie Foxx
Featureflash Picture Company/Shutterstock

Actual Identify: Eric Marlon Bishop

When he had ambitions of enjoying for the Dallas Cowboys or changing into an expert pianist, Eric Marlon Bishop had no drawback utilizing his given identify. It was solely when Bishop started to carry out at comedy golf equipment in 1989 that he took on the identify Jamie Foxx (after Redd Foxx), hoping to be mistaken for a girl. See, on the time, ladies had been usually known as to the stage forward of the male comics, and Foxx simply did not have the persistence to attend till a later slot.

Jonah Hill

Actual Identify: Jonah Feldstein

Actor Jonah Hill‘s final identify is definitely Feldstein—however why he chooses to not use his given surname is one thing of a thriller. When one journalist from The Guardian requested Hill about his resolution, “his palpable self-control [broke] down” and he merely replied, “Can we simply not?” His actor sister Beanie Feldstein makes use of their precise final identify, nonetheless, which is why chances are you’ll not have realized that the Booksmart star is his sibling.

Meg Ryan

Actual Identify: Margaret Hyra

When registering for SAG, Margaret Hyra ditched her final identify in favor of her maternal grandmother’s maiden identify, Ryan.

Put your big toe in the milk of human kindness

Actual Identify: Declan Patrick McManus

As you may think, the King of Rock and Roll has one thing to do with Elvis Costello‘s stage identify. Born Declan Patrick McManus, the maestro initially glided by D.P. Costello, with the final identify coming from his father Day Costello. When he went solo, the rocker modified D.P. to Elvis.

Jennifer Aniston

Actual Identify: Jennifer Linn Anastassakis

Someplace alongside the best way, Jennifer Linn Anastassakis turned Jennifer Aniston. How? Her household modified their surname to “Aniston” on the on the recommendation of Jennifer’s godfather, actor Telly Savalas.

Larry King

Actual Identify: Lawrence Zeiger

Lawrence Zeiger turned Larry King whereas working at a small radio station in Miami Seaside. Whereas there, the overall supervisor of the station instructed him that his final identify was too ethnic, and so minutes earlier than occurring air, he selected the surname King, borrowing it from an commercial within the paper for King’s Wholesale Liquor.

Ringo Starr

Actual Identify: Richard Starkey

He could go by Ringo Starr, however the drummer’s actual identify is definitely Richard Starkey. As for the origins of his chosen title, Ringo was impressed by the gold ring he all the time wore, and Starr got here from his former colleagues, who used to name his drum solos “Starr Time” as a play on his final identify.

actress olivia wilde funniest pregnancy quotes

Actual Identify: Olivia Cockburn

After enjoying Gwendolen in her highschool’s manufacturing of Oscar Wilde‘s The Significance of Being Earnest, Olivia Cockburn determined to alter her final identify to Wilde.

Elton John royal wedding

Actual Identify: Reginald Dwight

On Jan. 7, 1972, Reginald Dwight legally modified his identify to Elton John, paying homage to former Bluesology bandmembers Elton Dean and Lengthy John Baldry. The story is retold within the latest biopic concerning the legend, Rocketman.

Frank Ocean

Actual Identify: Christopher Edwin Breaux

Christopher Edwin Breaux modified his identify to Christopher Francis Ocean in 2014. Later, the singer shortened it to Frank Ocean. He instructed Advanced of his resolution, “It simply felt cool. None of us are our names. If you happen to don’t love your identify, then change your identify.”

Katy Perry

Actual Identify: Katheryn Hudson

Katheryn Hudson adopted the moniker Katy Perry as a result of she did not need to be confused with Kate Hudson. Perry is her mom’s maiden identify.

Nicki Minaj grammys red carpet style fails

Actual Identify: Onika Tanya Maraj

It really wasn’t Onika Tanya Maraj’s concept to alter her identify to Nicki Minaj. “One of many first manufacturing offers I signed, the man wished my identify to be Minaj and I fought him tooth and nail,” Minaj instructed The Guardian. “However he satisfied me. I’ve all the time hated it.”

Tom Cruise

Actual Identify: Thomas Mapother IV

Born Thomas Mapother IV, this motion star was pleased to shed his estranged father’s final identify and as an alternative use his center identify when he rechristened himself Tom Cruise. Because of this, chances are you’ll not have realized that he is associated to Misplaced actor William Mapother—his first cousin.

Rihanna Grammys

Actual Identify: Robyn Rihanna Fenty

Although born Robyn Fenty, this soulful singer goes by her center identify, Rihanna. Nevertheless, in case you’re a fan of the Barbadian-born magnificence, then you definitely in all probability already knew her final identify, provided that it is also the identify of her cosmetics and lingerie strains.

Ludacris celebrity facts

Actual Identify: Christopher Brian Bridges 

Christopher Brian Bridges reportedly took the stage identify Ludacris to honor the identify his dad and mom selected for him. In a Reddit AMA, he answered a query about his stage identify by saying, “My first identify is ‘Chris’ and in case you look within the dictionary beneath the time period ‘ludicrous’ then it means ‘loopy, wild, ridiculous’—which just about explains all the pieces about me.”


Actual Identify: Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn

This Atlanta-based rapper’s actual identify is Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, however he prefers to go by Future. In line with an interview he did with MTV, the identify was given to him by G-Rock, a member of the musical collective Dungeon Household, when he instructed a younger Wilburn, “You are the long run. You are the long run. You are a younger man. You bought vitality. You are formidable. You are the way forward for the Dungeon Household.”

Miley cyrus red carpet

Actual Identify: Future Hope Cyrus

When Future Hope Cyrus was a child, her household known as her “Smiley.” She dropped the “S” and legally modified her identify to Miley Ray Cyrus in 2008, each maintaining her household identify and honoring her father, singer Billy Ray Cyrus, within the course of. She legally modified her identify once more when she married Liam Hemsworth, however the stars have since divorced.

Snoop Dogg

Actual Identify: Calvin Broadus Jr. 

As you may need already guessed, Snoop Dogg is not the rapper’s actual identify. Born Calvin Broadus, Jr., his “Snoop Dogg” nickname stems from the truth that as a toddler, his mom used to say that he regarded like Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s canine sidekick. “I used to like Peanuts and Charlie Brown—Snoopy was my favourite cartoon character rising up,” Snoop instructed Esquire. “I watched a lot, I began to seem like him.”

DJ Calvin Harris

Actual Identify: Adam Wiles

Calvin Harris has taken fairly a little bit of flak for the reasoning behind his stage identify. The DJ, born Adam Wiles, instructed Digital Spy: “My first single was extra of a soul observe, and I assumed ‘Calvin Harris’ sounded a bit extra racially ambiguous. I assumed individuals may not know if I used to be Black or not. After that, I used to be caught with it.”

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobreb, and Paul Wesley

Actual Identify: Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva

When she started to make a reputation for herself in Hollywood, Bulgarian-born actress Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva shortened her identify to Nina Dobrev, hoping to make it extra pronounceable and Americanized.

David Tennant
Shutterstock/lev radin

Actual Identify: David John McDonald

The Physician Who and Good Omens star could not go by his given identify of David McDonald, as a result of there was one other working actor with that identify. So, he instructed The Late Late Present host James Corden, he turned to a music journal for inspiration. Then simply 16, he ended up “form of” naming himself after Pet Store Boys member Neil Tennant. “I might have been something,” he joked. “Bojangles MacDuff.”

Alicia Keys

Actual Identify: Alicia Augello-Prepare dinner

Contemplating her unimaginable expertise, it is no marvel Alicia Keys adopted such a musical stage identify. Born Alicia Augello-Prepare dinner, the author and performer first thought of utilizing “Wild” as a stage identify. Her mom, she instructed Newsweek, mentioned that Alicia Wild appeared like “a stripper,” and thus she moved on.

Joaquin Phoenix
Shutterstock/Kathy Hutchins

Actual Identify: Joaquín Rafael Backside

Although his given identify is Joaquín Rafael Backside, the Oscar-winning actor and his household modified their surname to the symbolic Phoenix when he was nonetheless a toddler, after they left a strict non secular sect. Early in his performing profession, Joaquin Phoenix glided by the primary identify “Leaf,” to be according to his artist siblings River and Rain, however modified it again when he was nonetheless a teen.

Lana Del Rey
Shutterstock/Featureflash Picture Company

Actual Identify: Elizabeth Woolridge Grant 

Elizabeth Woolridge Grant would not have fairly the identical old-Hollywood ring as Lana Del Rey, and that was the purpose. “I wished a reputation I might form the music in the direction of,” the musician instructed Vogue. “I used to be going to Miami rather a lot on the time, talking a variety of Spanish with my buddies from Cuba—Lana Del Rey reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded attractive coming off the tip of the tongue.”

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