27 Celebs Whose Real Names You Probably Didn’t Know — Until Now (2022)

Even if you hear about stars like Gigi Hadid and Rihanna on the daily, you might be surprised to learn that those aren't actually their official legal names. In fact, there are many celebrities whose real names are different than what they go by in public — and their most diehard fans don’t always know it.

There are several reasons why a celebrity might choose to adopt an alternate name. For some, it could just be because they wish to go by their nickname or their middle name, as is the case for those like Hadid and the Duchess of Sussex, aka Rachel Meghan Markle. But for others, there could be an even more surprising reason behind their stage name.

It’s not uncommon for celebrities to choose to change their names before or as they break into stardom. Performers often take stage names (i.e. Lady Gaga) because their real name is dull, unmemorable, or maybe even taken already by someone else of fame. Some celebrities choose to take a second “professional” name in order to keep their personal lives separate from their work, and often the public doesn’t even know that the real names of actors, musicians, and other public figures are anything other than what they know them as.

If one of the most famous royals of the moment goes by a totally different name than her given one, then there are likely many other celebs out there who go by some rather interesting and unknown monikers, too. So, who else has totally changed things up? Below are 27 celebrity real names that might surprise you.

1. Meghan Markle

As previously mentioned, the world's very own Duchess of Sussex actually has a different real name, which is Rachel. But she's widely known as Meghan and has even been referred to as such by the Queen on numerous occasions. While Markle has never openly addressed why she goes by her middle name, rather than her given first, maybe it’s because there is an undeniable ring to a matching first letter full name.

2. Jason Momoa

You might be surprised to learn that Jason Momoa's real first name isn't actually Jason. (And no, Aquaman fans, it isn't Arthur.) According to his bio on IMDb, his given first name is Joseph, with Jason being one of his middle names. Who knew?

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3. Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus' parents had a different name in mind for their daughter when she was born. As her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, noted during a 2008 interview with Oprah Winfrey, his daughter's name was originally Destiny Hope. However, thanks to her childhood nickname of "Smiley," she quickly became known as the Miley everyone knows.

4. Bella Hadid

Both of the Hadid sisters' given names may be a bit surprising to learn, although definitely one more than the other. Bella Hadid's name is the less surprising of the two: The model’s full name is Isabella Khair Hadid, using the shortened “Bella” as her more recognized name.

5. Gigi Hadid

As for the elder sister of the Hadids (don’t forget they have a younger brother, Anwar, too), Gigi Hadid's full given name is Jelena Noura Hadid. Yes, her first name is actually Jelena, like the throwback Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez couple name. Perhaps it was smart of the model to go by the nickname Gigi instead.

6. Blake Lively

While her given first name, Blake, is quite unique, it's Blake Lively's real last name that might shock you. The actress (and now director) was actually born Blake Ellender Brown, but she has since changed her last name to Lively, which is the last name her mother adopted for her stage name. The rest of her family has since changed their last names, as well.

7. Mahershala Ali

You might know him as Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali, but his given name is actually quite different. His real full name is Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore, with his first name being derived from the Bible. After he converted to Islam, he changed his last name to Ali.

8. Kit Harington

Kit Harington's real first name is actually Christopher. And, wildly enough, he didn't even know that until he was 11 years old. Yes, seriously — so don’t feel bad if you’re just finding out now. But Kit, which serves as a nickname for Christopher, is rather catchy (or... kitschy), no?

9. Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn's first name is actually Lisa. She changed her stage name to the slightly catchier Olivia, which is her middle name. The actress and model dropped her first name in 2006 and has been going by Olivia both professionally and personally ever since.

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10. Lily James

There's a pretty emotional reason behind the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again star changing her given name (Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson) to Lily James. The actor's father, James "Jamie" Thomson, passed away in 2008. So, she decided to honor her father by adopting his first name as her last for her stage name. How sweet is that?

11. Rihanna

Everyone's favorite singer and beauty mogul, Rihanna, might be known by only one name, but it's a name that isn't her first. Her given name will ring mighty familiar to anyone who's a fan of the singer's beauty line. Rihanna's full name is actually Robyn Rihanna Fenty, with her middle name being Arabic and meaning "sweet basil."

12. Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt is yet another star who has decided to use his middle name as a stage moniker. The actor’s real full name is William Bradley Pitt. Seems a bit strange to find out someone whose name you’ve been saying for years is actually something different, no?

13. Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning goes by her middle name. Known for her performances in movies including The Twilight Saga and Uptown Girls, her actual first name is Hannah. To be fair, Dakota is a bit more memorable than Hannah.

14. Elle Fanning

Interestingly enough, just like her older sister, Elle Fanning goes by her middle name. Her given first name is actually Mary. Another couple of celebs going by their middle names — noticing a trend here?

15. Camila Cabello

Camila Cabello's real first name is actually Karla. As she explained, in a behind-the-scenes clip for her "Havana" music video in 2017, “Karla is my first name, Camila is my middle name. Long story short, my family always called me Camila." Another middle name preference in Hollywood?

16. Maisie Williams

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We all love Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. As it turns out, though, the English actress’ first name is actually a nickname for her real first name: Margaret. To be more precise, her full name is Margaret Constance Williams. The more you know!

17. Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel's actual name is very different from his stage one. The action star was born Mark Sinclair, but obviously changed his name to the catchy moniker he's known by today. At this point, it’s hard to imagine him going by anything other than Vin Diesel.

18. Rooney Mara

Rooney is definitely an interesting and memorable moniker. Like many others on this list, it's actually her middle name: Her given first name is Patricia.

19. Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys is known for her powerful singing voice and her undeniable talent, but she's not known by her given name of Alicia Cook. Her stage name of Keys ties in perfectly with her legendary career in music.

20. Emma Stone

Emma Stone, whose real first name is Emily, made a slight change when forming her stage name. As for the reason behind the switch, she has explained that her given moniker, Emily Stone, was already taken by another actress in the Screen Actors Guild.

21. Bruno Mars

Solo artist and member of Silk Sonic Bruno Mars was actually born Peter Gene Hernandez. The name Bruno was derived from a nickname he received when he was younger, as his family felt that he resembled wrestler Bruno Sammartino.

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22. Nina Dobrev

Nina Dobrev shortened her given name when it came to choose one for acting purposes. She was born Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva — which, to be fair, seems pretty long for signing signatures and casting calls. Nina is nice, short, and easy to spell and read.

23. Dove Cameron

Dove Olivia Cameron, best known for her leading role in the Disney Channel comedy series Liv and Maddie, legally changed her name to what it is now when she got into acting for a very personal and emotional reason. She was born Chloe Celeste Hosterman, but she decided to change it in honor of her late father. In 2017, Cameron replied to a user on Twitter who asked her about it, saying, “My father always called me dove. he took his own life when i was 15, i didn't get to say goodbye, so i changed it in honor of him.”

24. Lana Del Rey

The sultry singer songwriter was born Elizabeth “Lizzy” Woolridge Grant, which gives off a totally different vibe than her stage name. She chose Lana Del Rey after spending a lot of time in Miami with Cuban friends, as the name reminded them of the glamorous side of being near the sea. Even though she is originally from New York, the name more accurately represents her moody West Coast cool girl music style.

25. Olivia Wilde

The actress and filmmaker’s real name is Olivia Jane Cockburn. She changed it, however, as a way to separate her personal life from her professional life. For her stage name, Wilde decided to change her surname as a tribute to author and playwright Oscar Wilde and in turn the writers in her own family.

26. Katy Perry

Katy Perry was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. She chose to change it as she pursued a musical career in Hollywood, because she feared it would be too similar to actress Kate Hudson. And thus, the iconic Katy Perry we all know and love was born.

27. John Legend

Singer-songwriter John Legend is a name that nearly everyone knows, and for good reason. His real name, though, is John Roger Stephens. The story goes that while he was attending the University of Pennsylvania, someone gave him the idea to change his name to John Legend, because his voice sounded akin to an old-school soul singer — one of the legends, you might say.

The next time you hear the names of one of these celebs, you'll now be in the know about their not-so-secret, real moniker.

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FAQs

Which actors use their real names? ›

Celebrities Whose Names Sound Fake But Are Actually Real
  • Thelonius Monk. Legendary jazz pianist Thelonius Monk had a name you might expect of a heavy metal band or a Shakespearean character. ...
  • Yo-Yo Ma. ...
  • Oprah. ...
  • Wolf Blitzer. ...
  • Leonardo DiCaprio. ...
  • Yoko Ono. ...
  • Sharon Stone. ...
  • Billy Bob Thornton.
Mar 5, 2019

How do you come up with a celebrity name? ›

You can start by identifying a feel or concept or theme you want the name to suggest. Then, come up with names of celebrities, fictional characters, historical figures, and so on that suggest and define the feel, theme, or concept.

What celebrity has the longest name? ›

What celebrity has the longest name? That would be the late Pablo Picasso, whose full name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso.

What is the most famous celebrity name? ›

1. Dwayne Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, nicknamed “The Rock”, is the most famous person in the world as of 2022. Dwayne who was WWE champion wrestler earlier is now an actor and producer.

What name is the most popular? ›

Top Names Over the Last 100 Years
MalesFemales
RankNameName
1JamesMary
2RobertPatricia
3JohnJennifer
93 more rows

Who is the most famous actor? ›

Actually, based on science, Samuel L. Jackson is the most popular actor of all time, ever. According to a 2018 study published in Applied Network Science, using a wide range of metrics—including number of films, times appearing as top billing, and length of career—Jackson is peerless in the field.

Are stage names legal? ›

Actors can work a lifetime under a stage name without ever changing their name legally. Checks and contracts are made out to legal names while credits onscreen and on professional websites like IMDb use their stage names.

What name means strong and beautiful? ›

Here's our favorite girl's name meaning 'strong' and 'beautiful': Avyanna or Avianna: An American name from old Sanskrit words meaning 'strong, powerful woman'.

What are some cool stage names? ›

  • Allegra.
  • Ambrosia.
  • Andromeda.
  • Athena.
  • Amaranth.
  • Asphodel.
  • Bijou.
  • Belladonna.

Do actors have fake names? ›

In some cases, they adopt a stage name because SAG rules don't allow for more than one person in the organization to have the exact same name. In other cases, celebrities don't use their real name professionally because they don't want to be associated with a famous relative or confused with a different person.

What is a good celebrity name? ›

The 30 Best Celebrity Baby Names
  • Iris Mary. The Theory of Everything star Eddie Redmayne and his wife, PR executive Hannah Bagshawe, chose an elegant duo of names for their firstborn. ...
  • Silas Randall. ...
  • Maple Sylvie. ...
  • Gray Douglas. ...
  • Daisy Josephine. ...
  • Jack Oscar. ...
  • Lula Rose. ...
  • Montgomery Moses.
Dec 29, 2017

Can you change your name to a celebrity? ›

According to FindLaw, most states prohibit changing your name to escape debt, hide from criminal liability, or to commit a crime. You're also not allowed to change your name to an intentionally misleading name, such as that of a celebrity.

What famous actors use stage names? ›

Here are 22 celebs you probably didn't realize use stage names:
  • Olivia Wilde's real name is Olivia Jane Cockburn. ...
  • Zayn's given name is Zain Javadd Malik. ...
  • Brie Larson is actually Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers. ...
  • Emma Stone is actually Emily Jean Stone. ...
  • Nicki Minaj's real name is Onika Tanya Maraj.
Aug 14, 2021

What is the longest girl name? ›

The Girl with 1000-Plus Letters In Her Name | The Oprah Winfrey Show

What is the longest name ever? ›

The longest personal name is 747 characters long, and belongs to Hubert Blaine Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff Sr. (b. 4 August 1914, Germany) who passed away on 24 October 1997, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA, as verified on 1 January 2021.

Who has 1000 letters in their name? ›

HOUSTON - CoSandra Williams says she spent years planning her daughter's name. It may take that long before the girl can say it. The 6-year-old girl has more than 1,000 letters in her first name - and a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Who is No 1 celebrity in the world? ›

Dwayne Johnson

That's why he is the most popular celebrity in the world as of 2022. This American actor, businessman, and former professional wrestler is currently has a huge fan base all over the world. He was born on 2nd May 1972 and is well-known by the ring name The Rock.

Who is the most popular person ever? ›

Jesus Christ tops list of world's top ten most significant people EVER (according to Wikipedia)
  • Algorithm based on impact on opinions over time - and Wikipedia.
  • Top ten most significant in history puts Jesus in the number one spot.
  • The list also includes Muhammad, Lincoln, Hitler and Shakespeare.
Dec 11, 2013

What is the rarest girl name? ›

The rarest girl name is Elora because it is low on the popularity charts, but there are several rare girl names including Hadleigh and Ophelia. Some parents even decide to create a new name based on a place they love, a family member, or one with other cultural significance.

What's the most rarest name? ›

Both Dua and Lipa made the cut. You can learn a lot about what's going on in the world based on what people are naming their babies.

What was the saddest celebrity death? ›

#1: Paul Walker. With all the success surrounding Furious 7, no one has forgotten Paul Walker's untimely passing. His buddy Vin Diesel has made sure of that, honoring Paul's memory in many different ways since his death.

Who is the nicest guy in Hollywood? ›

Keanu Reeves has charmed fans with his response to being called the “nicest guy in Hollywood”.

Who is the most liked actress? ›

popularity is the % of people who have a positive opinion of a all-time actress. Find out more
  • 1 Betty White84%
  • 2 Sandra Bullock79%
  • 3 Sally Field74%
  • 4 Jamie Lee Curtis74%
  • 5 Lucille Ball73%
  • 6 Julia Roberts73%
  • 7 Marilyn Monroe70%
  • 8 Audrey Hepburn70%

How do I create a stage name myself? ›

How to Come Up With a Stage Name
  1. Use a variation of your actual name. ...
  2. Use a childhood nickname as inspiration. ...
  3. Pick a word that embodies your style. ...
  4. Think about artists that inspire you. ...
  5. Try brainstorming a couple of ideas.
Jun 7, 2021

Can two actors have the same name? ›

Union rules

Guilds and associations that represent actors, such as the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in the United States and British Actors' Equity Association in the United Kingdom, stipulate that no two members may have identical working names. An actor whose name has already been taken must choose a new name.

What are some professional names? ›

  • Ryan.
  • Matt.
  • Jessica.
  • Matthew.
  • Jason.
  • Scott.
  • Chris.
  • Brian.
Apr 27, 2011

What name means death? ›

Thana means “death.” Thanatos is also a Greek name for the god of death.

What is the coolest name for a girl? ›

Cool baby girl names
  • Tatum.
  • Vera.
  • Quinlynn.
  • Willa.
  • Willow.
  • Wren.
  • Xena.
  • Zelda.
May 12, 2020

What name means love? ›

Along with Esme and Amara, other top girl names that mean love include Mila, Amy, Amanda, Mabel, and Philippa. Top boy names that mean love include Rhys, Philip, Lev, and Hart. Names that mean love or beloved in languages other than English include Carys, Querida, Rudo, and Sajan.

What is a good rap name? ›

Cool And Creative Rap Name Ideas
  • Greezy Trillion.
  • Muscled dukes.
  • Scamazon Tinee.
  • Old Man 'First Letter Of Your Last Name'
  • Big 4.
  • Mama Made 2 Gangster.
  • Coco Paper.
  • Holy 'First Letter Of Your Last Name'

What is a good band name? ›

Rock Band Names
  • Stage Revolution.
  • Velvet Concord.
  • Ecstasy.
  • Afternoon Daydream.
  • Turning Jane.
  • Elaborate Constellations.
  • Double Helix.
  • Zombie Hoax.
Feb 17, 2022

Why do some celebrities go by one name? ›

Standing out in Hollywood isn't easy—but these stars manage to do it with a single name. Style, personality, and talent all have to be present to create a larger-than-life persona. If you've got all three, celebrities like Bruce and Britney prove that you don't even need a unique name to be known by just one.

What celebrities have named their babies? ›

  • Lyra Antarctica. Child of: Ed Sheeran and Cherry Seaborn.
  • Daisy Dove. Child of: Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry.
  • X Æ A-12. Child of: Elon Musk and Grimes.
  • Raddix. Child of: Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden.
  • Gravity. Child of: Lucky Blue Smith and Stormi Bree.
  • Kal-El. Child of: Nicolas Cage and Alice Kim.
  • Luna Simone. ...
  • Pilot Inspektor.
Mar 10, 2022

Who Named Child 7? ›

Seven, Puma and Mars, kids of Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu's baby names are as random as it gets. The singer welcomed son Seven, whom she shares with André 3000, in 1997.

What age can you legally change your name? ›

Once you're 16 years old, it's legally your own decision to change your name. If you're 16 or 17, you're treated in the same way as an adult, and you can change your own name (by deed poll) without your parents' consent. (And your parents cannot change your name for you without your own consent.)

Can I legally change my name? ›

You can change your name legally by completing a form, obtaining a court order requiring a cause, and establishing legal recognition.To file the appropriate forms and the filing fees, you will need to take them to the court clerk in your state.

How famous people got their names? ›

Many originate from childhood nicknames or were strategically chosen by management, but not all paths are the same. Some celebs came about the stage names in pretty shocking ways. There are so many celebrities who have changed their names who you might not know about.

Do celebrities legally change their names? ›

Do Actors Legally Change Their Names? Some actors choose to legally change their names in court, but many use and register stage names without ever formally changing it. For example, Christopher Walken goes by Ronnie—a shortened version of his real name, Ronald—in his daily life.

Are stage names legal? ›

Actors can work a lifetime under a stage name without ever changing their name legally. Most states make this process very easy, especially for child actors, and make room on the entertainment work permit to list a child's stage name. Checks and contracts are made out to legal names.

What name is the most popular? ›

Top Names Over the Last 100 Years
MalesFemales
RankNameName
1JamesMary
2RobertPatricia
3JohnJennifer
93 more rows

What are the coolest names? ›

150 of the Most Cool and Rare Baby Names
  • 50 cool boy names: Alden. Atticus. August. Beckett. Bowie. Brooks. Byron. Calvin. Chance. Cormac. Dashiell. Dexter. Easton. Edison. Elvis. Fitzgerald. Fox. Gus. ...
  • 50 cool girl names: Alma. Anais. Bea. Beatrix. Birdie. Briar. Brooklyn. Calliope. Calypso. Cora. Dixie. Eloise. Esme. Everly. Harlow. Harper. Hazel. Ione.

Even if you hear about stars like Gigi Hadid and Rihanna on the daily, you might be surprised to learn that those aren't actually their official legal names. In fact, there are many celebrities whose real names are different than what they go by in public — and their most diehard fans don’t always k...

Even if you hear about stars like Gigi Hadid and Rihanna on the daily, you might be surprised to learn that those aren't actually their official legal names.. In fact, there are many celebrities whose real names are different than what they go by in public — and their most diehard fans don’t always know it.. Performers often take stage names (i.e. Lady Gaga) because their real name is dull, unmemorable, or maybe even taken already by someone else of fame.. Some celebrities choose to take a second “professional” name in order to keep their personal lives separate from their work, and often the public doesn’t even know that the real names of actors, musicians, and other public figures are anything other than what they know them as.. Below are 27 celebrity real names that might surprise you.. The actress (and now director) was actually born Blake Ellender Brown, but she has since changed her last name to Lively, which is the last name her mother adopted for her stage name.. She changed her stage name to the slightly catchier Olivia, which is her middle name.. Brad Pitt is yet another star who has decided to use his middle name as a stage moniker.. Emma Stone, whose real first name is Emily, made a slight change when forming her stage name.

You might not realize it, but some of the biggest celebrity names in the world aren't real names at all.

You might not realize it, but some of the biggest celebrity names in the world aren't real names at all—they're stage names chosen for effect, designed to turn a humdrum and everyday moniker into something with a bit more sparkle and pizzazz.. The man born Eric Bishop started telling jokes in school but tried comedy professionally for the first time when his girlfriend dared him to go up on stage during an open mic night.. The electrifying singer was born Peter Hernández, but almost from birth, his father called him Bruno because the baby reminded him of bald and meaty professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino.. He changed it at 18 to avoid confusion with another British musician named Davy Jones, reported Time .. According to Biography , she was named after Winona, Minn. and her stage name was picked in tribute to soul and rock singer Mitch Ryder (Winona's father was a big fan).. After arriving in New York City at age 18, Lizzy Grant performed at clubs under several names , including her real name and also "Sparkle Rope Jump Queen.". According to a July 2016 story in The Telegraph , Caine officially changed his real name to match his stage name "to avoid being asked endless amounts of questions at airport security.". Born to a Russian father and English mother, her stage name both is and isn't her real name—it's an English-ized adaptation of the Russian name she was given at birth: Ilyena Mironov .. The singer reportedly changed her moniker primarily to avoid confusion with actress Kate Hudson and to create a bold character she could step into.. "I was scared that if you saw me, Katheryn Hudson, the girl wearing the Bioré strip on my nose, you'd be like, 'that's not glamorous,'" she told The Guardian in June 2017 "...I didn't want to be Katheryn Hudson.

It's common practice in Hollywood for stars to ditch the names on their birth certificates for a fresh new moniker. Read on to learn what Miley Cyrus, Frank Ocean and more were originally called.

If some stars' names sound too good to be true, that's because, most likely, they are.. Believe it or not, a lot of celebs change their names when they enter the entertainment industry.. Whether it's because fans have a crazy hard time pronouncing them, or there's a childhood nickname that just stuck over the years, plenty of famous faces switch up their monikers.. Some stars, like Miley Cyrus and Frank Ocean , have even made their name change legal.. The way Frank Ocean sees it, "None of us are our names.. If you don't like your name then change your name.". And it seems like a lot of other singers and actors agree with him.. Jennifer Aniston , Lady Gaga and even Jamie Foxx reinvented themselves by making the switch years ago, and now it is weird to even think that they could go by anything other than their well-known stage names.. Iggy Azalea Only Allows an "Elite" Group to Use Her Real Name

It's common practice in Hollywood for stars to ditch the names on their birth certificates for a fresh new moniker. Read on to learn what Miley Cyrus, Frank Ocean and more were originally called.

If some stars' names sound too good to be true, that's because, most likely, they are.. Believe it or not, a lot of celebs change their names when they enter the entertainment industry.. Whether it's because fans have a crazy hard time pronouncing them, or there's a childhood nickname that just stuck over the years, plenty of famous faces switch up their monikers.. Some stars, like Miley Cyrus and Frank Ocean , have even made their name change legal.. The way Frank Ocean sees it, "None of us are our names.. If you don't like your name then change your name.". And it seems like a lot of other singers and actors agree with him.. Jennifer Aniston , Lady Gaga and even Jamie Foxx reinvented themselves by making the switch years ago, and now it is weird to even think that they could go by anything other than their well-known stage names.. Iggy Azalea Only Allows an "Elite" Group to Use Her Real Name

Guess which famous person’s real name is “Olivia Jane Cockburn?”

Here are 55 people whose real names might surprise you.. Real Name : Albert Einstein. Real Name: Allen Konigsberg. Real Name: Olivia Jane Cockburn. Real Name: Maurice Micklewhite. Real Name: Her co-star, Rue McClanahan, was born with the first name of “ Eddi-Rue.”. Real Name: Miranda Jennifer Grossinger. Real Name: Lucille LeSueur. Real Name: Truman Streckfus Persons. Every time I see her real last name, I just think of the word “pantalones.”. Real Name: Howard Allen O’Brien. Real Name: Michael Douglas. Whenever Spike Lee acts like a royal brat, remembering that his real name is “Shelton” always puts things into perspective for me.

You’d be surprised to see how many actors have changed their name in Hollywood. Similar to writers with pen names, they change it to a stage handle to make it clicks better among their fans and to actually help their career.

//www.instagram.com/embed.js Born : William Bradley Pitt. Cardi B is actually short for Bacardi, like the rum.. “Somebody changed my name,” she told the publication.. I’ve always hated it.” But around close family, the rapper added, she prefers to be called by her given name, Onika.. //www.instagram.com/embed.js Born : Aubrey Drake Graham. “John Legend is a nickname that some friends started calling me, and it kind of grew into my stage name,” Legend explained to MTV News in a 2008 interview.. //www.instagram.com/embed.js In an interview with David Letterman in 2015, Foxx explained that he changed his name when he first started doing standup comedy, and tried out a unisex name for more stage time.

Pseudonyms are practically synonymous with Hollywood. The music industry? Good luck getting a musician NOT to have a stage name. Check out this list of 67 celebrities who don't use their real names.  Lorde Musical

Courtney Love’s birth name was Courtney Michelle Harrison.. Professional wrestler and reality TV star Hulk Hogan was born Terry Gene Bollea.. Rihanna was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty.. U2 frontman Bono was born Paul Hewson.. Dakota Fanning was born Hanna Fanning which is a little too close to Hannah Montana and Dakota is definitely not a Disney star.. Katy Perry was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson.. Jack Black is such a good stage name we’re SHOCKED it’s not the actor’s real name, which is actually Thomas Jacob Black.. New mom Olivia Wilde was born Olivia Jane Cockburn.. Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson but adopted the name Whoopi due to her love of…fart jokes.. Yeah, yeah, yeah…Lil Jon was born Jonathan Mortimer Smith.. Kirk Douglas, father of Michael Douglas, was born Issur Danielovitch Demsky.. From Batman to Beetlejuice, Michael Keaton was born Michael Douglas but changed his name to avoid confusion.

Sometimes, you just have to change your name to make it in Hollywood. And while that's no secret, it's interesting to see just how many of our favourite stars have opted for a stage name to set themselves apart from others in the limelight. Here are the celebrities whose real names you might have missed.

From Emma Stone and Helen Mirren to Meghan Markle and Reese Witherspoon, the number of A-listers who have ditched their monikers to get ahead is quite the surprise – and so are their birth names.. Getty ImagesWe’ve known her as the lovely Olivia Colman since she was Sophie from Peep Show , but like many actors, Olivia changed her name for the screen, choosing to go by one of her middle names rather than her given name of Sarah.. So to ask a 16-year-old to pick a new name is really an interesting process, because I was like, “I’m going to be Riley.” And so my name was Riley Stone for about six months.’ However, the name didn’t stick and Stone eventually opted for Emma as it was not only closer to her birth name, but because she loved Emma Bunton ‘Baby Spice’ from the Spice Girls.. Rex FeaturesThe British star’s father changed the family’s last name from Mironoff to Mirren in the fifties.. Rex Features‘John Legend is a nickname that some friends started calling me, and it kind of grew into my stage name,’ Legend revealed to MTV News in a 2008 interview.. Rex FeaturesThe Israeli actress was given a traditional Hebrew name by her parents but once the family moved to the US in 1984, they changed their Hershlag surname to Portman after the star’s maternal grandmother’s maiden name.. Rex FeaturesThe actress picked her stage name in honour of Oscar Wilde.. Rex FeaturesThe star was born with the first name ‘Laura’ but dropped both that and her middle name ‘Jeanne’ and instead adopted her mother’s maiden name ‘Reese’ when kick starting her career.. Rex FeaturesThe actress and comedian’s stage name is a shortened version of her middle name Stamatina.. Rex FeaturesWhoopi’s stage name was birthed after she struggled with bad case of flatulence and her friends at the theatre she worked at in her younger years noticed it.. Rex FeaturesThe actor changed his name to make it sound more American as he felt a foreign name wouldn’t work for him in Hollywood.. Getty ImagesThe legendary singer changed his name before he made it big time, seeking inspiriration from saxophonist Elton Dean and blues singer Long John Baldry for his stage name.

Curve ball!

Singer Kelly announced at the end of March that she was officially changing her name, dropping surname Clarkson in favour of her middle name: Brianne.. Speaking to Cosmopolitan US about changing their name as a teenager, Halsey explained, "At the time, I felt that Ashley didn’t deserve to be famous and successful because [they] weren't that special, but if I made Halsey , maybe could be.". While some fans pointed out her 'error' on social media, others were quick to point out Emma Stone's real name is actually Emily Jean Stone.. In first or second grade, there was a girl named Helena and it got confusing with the teacher who had to call out our names, and so the teacher asked my mum, 'If I needed to call Jelena a nickname, what would it be?'. When Liam tweeted : "WILLIAM JOHN PAUL GALLAGHER 21.9.72 SON OF MARGARET TONIGHT JOOLS HOLLAND AS YOU WERE X", fans were shocked to realise Liam wasn't actually his real name.. Real name: Christopher Ashton Kutcher. Amazingly, Kit didn't actually know his real name until he was 11, telling Glamour : "I think [my parents] could see that I wanted to be Kit, but Christopher was a bit of a tradition.

You know them, but not their names!

But, in 2010, the Twilight films started and Clarke was cast.. Getting his start in 1987 from the TV series L.A. Law , Mark Pellegrino has made appearances in TV movies, series, and films.. Instead, she went onto being the supporting female role in more films with big stars, the best friend in TV series, and her first recurring TV role was Bran Lowenstein in Love Monkey (2006).. He has been credited under many different names as well for various reasons and has been featured in many TV movies and series, and films.. He added his voice to many more videos, films, and video games, before taking on more shows like Less Than Perfect (2003-2006) and more TV shows on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.. She continued in TV movies and series, while also landing films.. A man of diverse characterization and 118 credits to his name, Nestor Serrano is quite the man to read the long list of credits of.. Getting his start in theater and being featured in many performances, Omid Abtahi first guest starred in JAG (2005) as the start of his film and television career.

From Meghan Markle to Brad Pitt, these are the stars whose birth names are not what you thought they were....

The "That's What I Like" singer was nicknamed Bruno for the cutest reason: because he was a chubby baby.. Harington didn't know his real name was Christopher until he was 11 years old.. "I think they could see that I wanted to be Kit, but Christopher was a bit of a tradition," he explained to Glamour .. "My brother's name is Jack, but his real name is John.. Moore's given name was too popular in actors' unions, so she created a mash-up of her other family members' names.. In an interview with The New York Times , she said, "My father's middle name is Moore; my mother's name is Anne.. But it was taken at SAG," the actress told W Magazine .. "So then I changed it to Emma, because you know, it's closer to Emily, but most people call me 'M,' that know me well.". Foxx explained the sneaky reason for his name change on Late Show with David Letterman .. Some people think it's religious, but it's not," she told Interview .. When Cyrus was a baby, her family called her "Smiley" because she always had a grin on her face.. Minaj didn't actually like the name change at all.. In 2014, Ocean legally changed his name to Christopher Francis Ocean.

These 21 celebrities go by their middle names professionally. Find out why they do it and the first names you never even knew.

Sometimes, this is for their career, but other times, it's just because they were called by their middle name growing up.. Actor and writer Mindy Kaling shortened her last name and began going by her middle name early in her career.. "When people call me Robyn, my head just flies around because I feel like that person knows me," the singer told Glamour in 2013.. My mum was Irish—and I don't know, maybe there's just some old thing where they call you by your second name.". Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com Full names: Mary Elle Fanning and Hannah Dakota Fanning. "I just never went by Mary, like ever," the actor said.. But since my mom goes by her middle name, we go by our middle names too.". "My first name is really Elizabeth—Elizabeth Tina—so she's one of the few people that knows that, so she calls me Betty," Fey said on Today in 2015.. "It's not the easiest name to grow up with in South East London to be really honest—a blonde annoying little boy wanting to be an actor called Jude. Singer Faith Hill goes by her middle name and uses her surname from her first marriage professionally.

It's not news that lots of celebrities use stage names for any one of a variety of reasons. Because sometimes these stage names are obvious. For example, would it shock you to learn her parents didn't name her Lady Gaga at birth?  But sometimes stage names are more subtle. Either way, you probably

Scroll to next question Paul Martinez Adam Garcia Peter Hernandez Bruno Venus. Fey's mother's maiden name is Zenobia Xenakes, but she went by the name Jeanne.. Fey's mother's maiden name is Zenobia Xenakes, but she went by the name Jeanne.. Black's father was also named Thomas, but they have different middle names.. Black's father was also named Thomas, but they have different middle names.

Here Are 20 Celebrities Who Don't Use Their Real Name And For Good Reason.

Almost everyone in Hollywood has changed a part of their name, either because another celebrity has the same exact name, or they don’t want to be associated with a famous relative, or they feel their normal name is boring, too long, or hard to pronounce so they change it.. When Michael Keaton decided he wanted to be an actor, he had no choice but to change his real name.. According to cheatsheet.com, Michael’s real name is Michael Douglas and since there was already an established actor with the name Michael Douglas and Keaton was up and coming, he was the one who had to change.. According to cheatsheet.com, Jamie was born Eric Marlon Bishop but changed it because when he started stand up comedy, he realized that female comedians were always asked to perform first.. According to cheatsheet.com, Lincoln was born Andrew James Clutterbuck, and his agent made him change it, not because there was another actor known with the name, but because it sounded goofy.. When Olivia Wilde decided she wanted to be an actress, her mother suggested that she change her name in order to have an identity outside the family.. According to harpersbazaar.com, The Weeknd was born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye but decided to change it because he hated his real name.. According to harpersbazaar.com, Emma was actually born Emily Jean Stone and when she got started in the business at 16, she had to change it because there was already an Emily Stone in Hollywood.. After her family moved to the US in 1984, they decided to change their surname to Portman, which was Natalie’s maternal grandmother’s maiden name.. According to harpersbazaar.com, Calvin was born Adam Richard Wiles, but changed it later in life in order to be more “racially ambiguous.”. According to harpersbazaar.com, Frank was born Christopher Edwin Breaux and in 2010 he decided to go on LegalZoom and change it to Christopher Frank Ocean because it sounded cool.

Brad Pitt, Rihanna, and Miley Cyrus aren't who you think they are.

The singer/songwriter told Newsweek she wanted to to change her last name to be better suited for the stage, and was considering taking on the title "Alicia Wild"—but her mom said no. ". And my mom was like, 'I call her Gigi sometimes,' and the name stuck," the model explained .. Musically, the "Wild Thoughts" singer has always gone by her middle name, Rihanna.. In an interview with Glamour , the Game of Thrones star revealed that his parents didn't tell him his real name was Christopher until he was 11 years old.. In an interview for Vevo , the singer revealed that a friend of hers lived on Halsey Street, and she spent her weekends away from her New Jersey hometown there making music.. No, this rock star's real last name is not "Love.". While guest starring on The Graham Norton Show , Goldberg revealed that she got her stage name by acting like a whoopee cushion when she first started out.. Yep, Joaquin spent the first few years of his life as a member of the Bottom family, until his parents left their religious group and chose Phoenix as the new family surname.. “My rule is, whatever you were calling me four years ago is what you should be calling me now, because I don’t like it when my family or close friends call me Nicki Minaj," she explained .

There are so many actors who might recognize but just can't figure what their name is. Here are some of the finest examples.

Another interesting detail that many overlook is that Zane had a role in the hit TV show Twin Peaks , starring in five episodes.. Her most recent role came in 2017 when she joined the cast of Preacher in a recurring role.. With other notable roles in movies such as Shutter Island and Gran Torino , Lynch is one of those actors who completely immerses himself into the role, no matter what it may be.. Avari’s career has remained steady, with a long string of high-profile appearances under his belt, including roles in shows like The X-Files , Star Trek , and Alias , to name a few.. With many voice roles under his belt in movies such as An American Tail: Fievel Goes West , Cats & Dogs , and Hotel Transylvania , people often say to themselves, “I know that voice from somewhere!” He has also made numerous movie appearances in the flesh, in hit flicks such as Big , Coneheads and The Wedding Singer , to name a few.. Best known for his role as Dr. Phillip Watters in the hit medical drama Chicago Hope , Hector Elizondo made the role his own for 141 episodes.. His most recent high-profile role came in 2017 with a voice role as Commissioner James Gordon in The Lego Batman Movie .. The actor has become even more successful than George, despite the latter having a more notable role on the aforementioned show.

How many did you already know about?

In first or second grade, there was a girl named Helena and it got confusing with the teacher who had to call out our names, and so the teacher asked my mom, “If I needed to call Jelena a nickname, what would it be?” And my mom was like, “I call her Gigi sometimes,” and the name stuck,' she explained.. Real name: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. Owing to another Emily Stone already existing in SAG (Screen Actors Guild) the actor settled on Emma - partially inspired by her favourite Spice Girl Emma Buton after first experimenting with Riley.. Real name: Christopher Catesby Harington. The Game of Thrones star's real name is Christopher but he didn't actually learn this until he was 11 years old.. Real name: Elizabeth Mitchell. The EGOT winning star changed his surname after originally performing under his real name though later changing it when his friends started calling him John Legend.. Real name: Christopher Ashton Kutcher. Real name: Elizabeth Woolridge Grant The 'Born To Die' singer settled on Lana Del Rey as a stage name, explaining the artistic reasons behind the choice to Vogue in 2011.. Real name: Elizabeth StamatinaFey. The comedian and writer goes by a nickname derived from her middle name but named her 30 Rock character after her real moniker, explaining to The Quad: 'My first name is Elizabeth, but I’ve always gone by Tina even from elementary school on.. Real name: Julie Anne Smith

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