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Celebrities Who Changed Their Names

Updated on November 7, 2017
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks loves writing interesting things and sharing her writing with others.

Names | Source

Stage 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 of them are asked to change their names for various reasons.

Reasons Celebrities Change Their Names

The directors or producers might ask an actor or actress 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 name will be changed.

Long Name
Short Name
Clayton Holmes Grissom
Clay Aiken
Allen Stewart Konigsberg
Woody Allen
Jean-Claude Camille Fran├žois Van Varenberg
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Doris von Kappelhoff
Doris Day
Eric Marlon Bishop
Jamie Foxx
John Elroy Sanford
Redd Foxx
Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Elton John
Demetria Gene Guynes
Demi Moore
Issur Danielovitch Demsky
Kirk Douglas
Caryn Elaine Johnson
Whoopi Goldberg
Christopher Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher
Norma Jean Baker
Marilyn Monroe
Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra
Meg Ryan
Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg
Jane Seymour
Christian Michael Leonard Hawkins
Christian Slater
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon
John Elroy Sanford is Redd Foxx
John Elroy Sanford is Redd Foxx | Source
Jamie Foxx changed name because of Redd Foxx
Jamie Foxx changed name because of Redd Foxx | Source

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

Real Name
Stage Name
Julie Wells
Julie Andrews
David Jones
David Bowie
Nicolas Coppola
Nicolas Cage
Sally Mahoney.
Sally Field
Diane Hall.
Diane Keaton
Wynona Horowitz.
Wynona Ryder
Ronald Walken
Christopher Walken
William Bradley Pitt
Brad Pitt


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    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Thanks for sharing some interesting facts.

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks so much for your comment. I found it so interesting how Halle Berry and Alicia Keys got their names.

    • Dian'swords4u profile image

      Dian'swords4u 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Very interesting hub. I can see why some of them changed their names. I think our names that are given to us by our parents are special. Sometimes we are named after parents or grandparents or other meaningful people. I do however think that parents should be mindful of the consequences of names for their children. Sometimes they can be a bit unlikeable. Again, thanks for the hub.