30 Actors Who Modified Their Names

Ever puzzled why a star’s identify simply rolls off the tongue? Nicely consider it or not various A-listers weren’t born with dazzling monikers.

It takes loads to attain stardom—individuals are keen to vary their picture, character, and it seems, even their identify. Historically, celebrities have forsaken their beginning names for all kinds of causes. They could have determined the identify their mother and father gave them will probably be tough to pronounce or keep in mind, or lacks a sure pizazz.

Newsweek has rounded up a number of actors who’ve rebranded themselves and a few might shock you.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle in Australia
Meghan Markle walks in Fraser Island, Australia in 2018.
Chris Jackson/Getty Photos

The Duchess of Sussex was born Rachel Meghan Markle, however dropped her first identify in her skilled profession, although it’s not identified why. Unusually, it’s the similar identify as her character within the hit TV present Fits, the place Meghan performs paralegal Rachel Zane.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon attends the 2020 Self-importance Truthful Oscar Social gathering in California.
Gregg DeGuire/Getty

The Large Little Lies actor legally modified her first identify to Reese, which was her mom’s maiden identify. Her full identify is Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon and it’s thought she shortened it so as to add extra of a hoop.

Emma Stone

Emma Stone
Emma Stone attends the Premiere Of Sony Photos’ “Zombieland Double Faucet” in 2019 in California.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Photos

It is solely a small change, however the Spider-Man star altered her identify at age 16. After discovering that there was one other actor with an an identical identify registered with the Display screen Actors Guild, she modified her first identify from Emily to Emma.

Charlie Sheen

5-18-17 Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen is seen via a window as he sits on the set of the NBC “At this time” present in 2015.
Mike Segar/Reuters

Carlos Irwin Estevez. This was the identify given to Charlie Sheen at beginning by his mother and father Martin Sheen (whose actual identify is Ramón Estévez) and artist Janet Templeton. He honored his paternal roots later in life, altering his identify again to Carlos Estevez for his credit score within the movie Machete Kills.

Blake Full of life

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Actress Blake Full of life attends ‘The Shallows’ World Premiere in 2016, in New York Metropolis.
Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic/Getty

Born Blake Ellender Brown, the Gossip Woman actor selected to take her mom’s surname, Full of life.

Jonah Hill

Beanie Feldstein and Jonah Hill
Actors Beanie Feldstein (L) and Jonah Hill (R) attend the LA particular screening of “Booksmart” at Ace Lodge on Might 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Paul Archuleta/Getty/FilmMagic

The actor and director dropped his household identify, Feldstein, originally of his profession and makes use of his center identify, Hill. Followers had been startled on the 2018 Golden Globes once they made the connection that Hill was the brother of Booksmart actor Beanie Feldstein, who saved her household identify.

Mila Kunis

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Mila Kunis attends the Individuals’s Selection Awards 2018 at Barker Hangar on November 11, 2018, in Santa Monica, California.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Photos

Milena Markovna Kunis moved to Los Angeles from Ukraine when she was a toddler. The actor began shortening her identify within the early levels of her appearing profession in America.

Jude Legislation

the third day hbo
Jude Legislation starred in HBO’s “The Third Day.”

The British actor ditched his beginning identify, David, and took up the stage identify Jude when he enrolled with a youth drama group in London within the Eighties. The actor admitted throughout a 2016 look on U.Ok. chat present The Graham Norton Present that rising up he was as soon as mistaken for a lady due to his identify selection.

Vin Diesel

World's Highest-Paid Actors
Vin Diesel is without doubt one of the highest grossing actors within the U.S.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Photos

Initially Mark Sinclair, the Quick and Livid actor modified his identify at age 17 when he turned a bouncer at a modern New York membership.

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren in “Catherine the Nice”

Dame Helen Mirren was really born Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironov to a Russian father and an English mom. The British actor’s father modified the household identify to Miren within the Fifties.


IRihanna attends a press day for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Present in California in 2020.
Kevin Mazur//Getty Photos for Savage X Fenty Present Vol. 2 Introduced by Amazon Prime Video

The singer, actor, dressmaker and businesswoman was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty. In Arabic, her center identify refers to a scented flowering plant “candy basil”, and she or he nonetheless goes by Robyn together with her household and shut mates.

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt attends the 92nd Annual Academy Awards in California in 2020.
Amy Sussman/Getty Photos

William Bradley Pitt dropped the primary a part of his identify to go just by Brad.

Ashton Kutcher

ashton kutcher going from broke college loan
Ashton Kutcher talking on stage at a WeWork occasion.
Michael Kovac/Getty

One other small change, Christopher Kutcher modified his identify to Ashton, his center identify, when he turned an actor.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus attends the Tom Ford AW20 present at Milk Studios on February 7, 2020 in Hollywood, California.
Dave Benett/Getty Photos

Miley was initially named Future Hope Cyrus as a result of her mother and father, Billy Ray Cyrus and Leticia Jean, believed she would obtain nice issues. After rising to fame at an early age, she determined to make use of her childhood nickname “Miley” as her stage identify.

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde Talks 'Life Itself,' Directing Debut, Dunkin' Donuts
Olivia Wilde is pictured outdoors of Dunkin’ Donuts’ Residence That Runs on Dunkin’ on October 2, 2018, in New York Metropolis.
Cindy Ord/Getty Photos for Dunkin’ Donuts

The actor and filmmaker was born Olivia Jane Cockburn however was reportedly impressed to vary her identify whereas appearing in a play by Oscar Wilde whereas at college. She informed the Observer in 2007 that she modified her surname whereas taking part in Gwendoline in The Significance Of Being Earnest.

Nina Dobrev

Actors Diego Luna, Kiersey Clemons, Ellen Web page, Nina Dobrev and James Norton arrive on the premiere of ‘Flatliners’ in 2017. (Photograph by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

The Canadian and Bulgarian actor was born Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva however she shortened each her first and final names when she started her appearing profession.

Michael Caine

35 Michael Caine
Michael Caine had a far longer identify earlier than he was well-known.
Anthony Harvey/Getty Photos

Maurice Joseph Micklewhite’s first stage identify was Michael Scott, however this modified once more after the actor moved to London. He has revealed in interviews that he was impressed by a poster for the Humphrey Bogart drama The Caine Mutiny.

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman attends WE Day California at The Discussion board on April 25, 2019 in Inglewood, California.

Born in Israel as Natalie Hershlag, the Black Swan actor modified her identify to guard her privateness. As a toddler star, she adopted her grandmother’s surname, Portman, after successful an element in Luc Besson’s Leon.

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling
Actor, author and producer Mindy Kaling attends a screening “Late Night time” in 2019, in New York Metropolis.
Getty/Lars Niki/Getty Photos for The Academy Of Movement Image Arts & Sciences

The comic and actor shortened her full identify, Vera Mindy Chokalingam, early on in her profession after it was mispronounced quite a few instances in stand-up gigs.

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg on Lucy Flores' Biden Allegation
Whoopi Goldberg is pictured on “The View” on March 18.
ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua

Earlier than Caryn Elaine Johnson turned well-known, her co-workers had joked that she handed gasoline incessantly they usually gave her the nickname, Whoopi Cushion. It has been reported that her mom suggested her that she can be higher obtained in Hollywood if she glided by a Jewish surname, so she turned Whoopi Goldberg, however in response to the Jewish Chronicle, when requested about her identify at a charity occasion in London in 2011, she mentioned: “I simply know I’m Jewish.”

Tina Fey

Why Tina Fey Is in Hot Water
Tina Fey attends the 72nd Writers Guild Awards at Edison Ballroom on February 01, 2020, in New York Metropolis.
Dominik Bindl/WireImage

The Saturday Night time Stay comic, born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey, took her stage identify from her center identify. Nonetheless, Tina’s 30 Rock character, Liz Lemon, is definitely a riff on her given identify of Elizabeth.

Ice Dice

Ice Cube Shares George Carlin Quote
Ice Dice visits the “Sway within the Morning” present with Sway Calloway on Shade 45 at SiriusXM Studios on December 07, 2018, in New York Metropolis.
Roy Rochlin/Getty Photos

O’shea Jackson first received his nickname aged 13 from his brother, Clyde. In the midst of an argument, the well-known rapper and actor was informed: “I am gonna take you down there, I am slammin’ you within the freezer and once they pull you out you are gonna be an ice dice.”

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks
Director and actress Elizabeth Banks poses throughout the CinemaCon Large Display screen Achievement Awards at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada April 23, 2015.
Steve Marcus/Reuters

Elizabeth Banks modified her identify from Elizabeth Mitchell upon becoming a member of the Display screen Actor’s Guild, because the identify was already taken.

Jamie Foxx

jamie foxx oscars
Jamie Foxx was nominated for Greatest Supporting Actor for his work in ‘Collateral’ – the identical yr he received Greatest Actor for ‘Ray.’

Foxx, whereas beginning out as a comic, modified his identify from Eric Marlon Bishop within the hopes of sounding extra gender-neutral after he realized feminine comedians normally received referred to as up first to carry out at stand-up gigs. His surname was reportedly chosen as a tribute to the comic and actor Redd Foxx.

Ben Kingsley

Sir Ben Kingsley.
Robert Todd Williamson / Contour-Getty Photos

Born Krishna Bhanji, the actor has mentioned in interviews that he modified his identify when he began reaching fame within the late 70s for fears that an Asian identify would hinder his appearing profession.

Queen Latifah

the equalizer cbs
Queen Latifah in CBS’ ‘The Equalizer’

Latifah modified her identify from Dana Elaine Owens at solely eight years previous, following a pattern in her neighborhood of youngsters adopting names with Arabic roots. The identify means delicate, delicate, and sort, qualities which the Chicago actor mentioned she recognized with.

Nicholas Cage

Nicholas Cage
Nicholas Cage modified his identify to distance himself from well-known members of the family.
Getty Photos

Within the hopes of distancing himself from his well-known uncle, Francis Ford Coppola, Nicolas deserted his authentic surname to go by Cage.

Michael Keaton

22 Michael Keaton - Getty Images
Michael Keaton modified his identify after it was already taken.
Getty Photos

The Birdman actor selected the identify Keaton at random, after discovering that his actual identify, Michael Douglas, was already taken within the appearing union. A chat-show host named Mike Douglas and the well-known Wall Avenue actor Michael Douglas had already overwhelmed him to it.

Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas
Antonio Banderas attends the 2020 Annual Palm Springs Worldwide Movie Competition Movie Awards Gala on January 02, 2020 in Palm Springs, California. (Photograph by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Named José Antonio Banderas at beginning, the Spanish actor now goes by his center identify.

Meg Ryan

1961: Meg Ryan
Younger Meg Ryan, who has now retired from appearing.
Featureflash Photograph Company / Shutterstock

Earlier than she turned a family identify the Hollywood actor’s title was fairly a mouthful. She went from Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra to the easier-to-remember Meg Ryan, occurring to develop into one of many most-loved romantic comedy leads of the 80s and 90s.

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