Celebrities Who Changed Their Names
We have become so accustomed to knowing celebrities by their stage names that we become quite amazed when we discover what's really on their legal birth certificates.
Many names have been changed by the individuals themselves, but many celebrities have been asked to change their names for various reasons.
Reasons Celebrities Change Their Names
Managers, directors, or producers might ask celebrities to change their names for more appeal and to make them easier to pronounce and spell.
Some long names are made shorter and some first names are dropped and some celebrities go by their middle names.
If a name has a negative connotation or unintentional humor, there is no question that the name will be changed.
Clayton Holmes Grissom
Allen Stewart Konigsberg
Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Doris von Kappelhoff
Eric Marlon Bishop
John Elroy Sanford
Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Demetria Gene Guynes
Issur Danielovitch Demsky
Caryn Elaine Johnson
Christopher Ashton Kutcher
Norma Jean Baker
Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra
Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg
Christian Michael Leonard Hawkins
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon
Eric Marlon Bishop found that female stand-up comedians were put at the head of the list to perform so he changed his name to Jamie Foxx because Jamie could be either a male or female name.
Spelling Foxx with two xx's was a tribute to Redd Foxx who also changed his name. His name was John Elroy Sanford. It appeared that Redd Foxx couldn't get the name Sanford out of his mind as evidenced by his long-running television show, "Sanford and Son."
Redd Foxx got his first name because of the reddish tone in his hair.
Shorter Names Made Longer
There are not many shorter names made longer with these exceptions:
- Jacob Cohen became Rodney Dangerfield; still two names but more syllables.
- Lou Upchurch changed his name to Lou Diamond Phillips.
Names Similar to Real Names
William Bradley Pitt
Celebrities Who Use All Three Names
Neil Patrick Harris
- Sarah Jessica Parker
- Michael Philip Thomas
Celebrities with a Middle Initial
Sometimes celebrities will use the entire time to be identified. Some of those celebrities include the following:
- Mary J. Blige
- Sterling K. Brown
- Former President George W. Bush
- Michael J. Fox
- Vivica A. Fox
- David S. Goyer
- Taraji P. Henson
- Samuel L. Jackson
Michael B. Jordan uses his middle initial to set himself apart from the basketball icon Michael Jordan.
- William H. Macy
- President Harry S. Truman used a middle initial even though he had no middle name.
- Courtney B. Vance