25 Celebrities’ Real Names
#25 Charlie Sheen
Carlos Irwin Estevez
His paternal grandparents were originally from Ireland and Spain, hence the European sounding names.
Sheen’s father desired a more Americanized name. He took the name of the director that gave him his first break in Hollywood – Robert Dale Martin of CBS, and that of Fulton J. Sheen a Catholic televangelist.
Charlie was given a Spanish – Irish name, but he decided to adopt the more American sounding Charlie Sheen.
#24 Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Rafael Bottom
Born Joaquin Rafael Bottom in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1974, he was the third born of five siblings, all with weird sounding names such as Summer, Liberty, Rain, Jodean, and River.
After his parents were married in 1969, they embarked on travelling around South America with the Children of God cult. Dissatisfied with their cult, they returned to the US in 1978.
To symbolize new beginnings they began using Phoenix as a last name.
#23 Katy Perry
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson
The famous singer used to record Christian music as Kathryn Hudson, her birth names.
She released a gospel album under Red Hill Records titled Katy Hudson.
However, so as not to be confused with actress Kate Hudson, she started using Katy Perry, Perry being her mother’s maiden name.
#22 Demi Moore
Demetria Gene Guynes
After divorcing her husband Freddy Moore in 1984, Demi kept her husband’s last name.
Her daughter also changed her name from Tallulah, and now goes by Lula, because she hated her name.
#21 Mila Kunis
Milena Markovna Kunis
Born Milena Markovna Kunis in the Ukraine, her parents moves to Los Angeles, California when Mila Kunis was seven.
Her actor parents, father Mark and mother Elvira soon became actors, and gave her permission to change her name to Mila, when she got her first role on the day soap opera, “Days of our Lives.”
Aubrey Drake Graham
He used to go by Aubrey Graham when playing Jimmy Brooks, a wheelchair-bound paraplegic in “Degrassi,” a Canadian TV show.
After securing a record deal with Young Money Entertainment in 2009, he decided he would simply be known as Drake.
#19 Natalie Portman
Born to an American mother Shelley Stevens, and Israeli gynecologist father Avener Hershlag, the Oscar-winning actress was named Natalie Hershlag.
When her mother moved to the US, she legally changed both their last names to Stevens.
The actress now holds dual Israeli and American citizenship.
#18 Whoopi Goldberg
Caryn Elaine Johnson
“The View” correspondent and famous actress, Goldberg’s birth name is Caryn Elaine Johnson.
She only became Whoopi Goldberg when her friends in a San Diego theater teased her about having major flatulence problem. They nicknamed her Whoopi for the whoopee cushion.
Upon her mother’s suggestion, she took the name Goldberg, as they believed a Jewish sounding name would be advantageous in a career in Hollywood.
#17 Christopher Walken
A salon article in 2000, says that Walken was originally christened Ronald Colman, after the famous actor of the same name.
He changed his name to Christopher, when Monique Van Vooren the singer, called him that, as she thought he looked like a Christopher.
While the name has stuck, his friends still like to call him Ronnie.
#16 Jodie Foster
Alicia Christian Foster
According to her estranged brother Buddy, the name Jodie came from the nickname “Jo D,” that they used as a code name for their mother’s partner, Josephina Dominguez.
Alicia so loved the name, that she adopted it as a stage name.
#15 Louis C.K.
The popular comedian’s name is pronounced SEK-kay in his native Hungarian, but since people found it difficult to pronounce, he went for an easier sounding English SEE-kay.
How clever is that!
#14 Meg Ryan
Margaret Anne Hyra
She was born to Catholic parents Harry Hyra and Susan Jordan in Fairfield Connecticut.
Margaret Anne Hyra decided that she liked Meg Ryan better, after dropping out of New York University, to pursue a career in Hollywood.
#13 Jamie Foxx
Eric Marlon Bishop
Born Eric Marlon Bishop, it is rumored that Foxx believed that having an androgynous name, would make him be noticed.
He believed that, female comedians were preferred over men in comedy clubs.
#12 Tina Fey
Elizabeth Stamatina Fey
Weird as it may sound, she does share her name with her Liz Lemon character on “30 Rock”.
She just shortened her middle name, and came up with the shortened catchier version.
Christopher Brian Bridges
The rapper asserts that he has a split personality, best exemplified by his stage name.
He came up with the name to portray his two sides of just beyond crazy, and the cool, calm, and collected part.
Before he was a rapper, he used to be a radio presenter on Atlanta’s Hot 97, going by the moniker Chris Luva Luva.
Stacy Ann Ferguson
With band mates on the Black Eyed Peas going by weird monikers such as Taboo, apl.de.ap, and will.i.am, Stacy Ferguson was just too bland.
After touring with the all-girl group “Wild Orchid”, she decided to be known as Fergie, before joining the Black Eyed Peas.
#9 Reese Witherspoon
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon
Famous blonde actress known for her roles in “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Legally Blonde” changed her name, and went for “Reese”, her mother’s maiden name.
#8 Ben Kingsley
Krishna Pandit Bhanji
On an episode of “Inside the Actors Studio,” Kingsley said that he thought a foreign sounding name would restrict his career growth in Hollywood.
Hence, he adopted his English sounding name.
#7 Snoop Dogg
Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.
Originally known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, later only Snoop Dogg and currently known as Snoop Lion, this famous rapper got his nickname “Snoopy” from his mom, when he was a kid, because he looked like the character in the Peanuts cartoon.
#6 Michael Caine
Maurice Joseph Micklewhite
He was advised to change his name to Michael Caine by a casting agent.
In a 1999 interview, he asserts that he opted to his name, since he very much related to the character of Bogart in “The Caine Mutiny.”
He is Princess Diana’s distant relation, though he refuses to identify with the aristocracy.
Paul David Hewson
The well-known humanitarian and U2 front man, was born Paul David Hewson.
As a testament to his roots, his wife still goes by Ali Hewson. Gavin Friday, a close friend, gave him his stage name “Bono Vox,” that translates to “good voice” in Latin.
#4 Lady Gaga
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
The 26-year-old singer, is legally known as Stephani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.
She adopted the alter ego Lady Gaga, when she took to a career in music.
#3 Chevy Chase
Cornelius Crane Chase
Named after the famous industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt, his mother’s adoptive father, he changed his name to Chevy Chase – a nickname his grandmother gave to him from “The Ballad of Chevy Chase,” a medieval English poem.
Alecia Beth Moore
IMdB asserts that Pink gets her name from “Reservoir Dogs,” the film.
Pink’s friends though she bore a striking resemblance to the Steve Buscemi character, Mr. Pink and the name stuck.
Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner
Known as the lead singer of “The Police” in the 1980’s and as a solo artist, Sting got his nickname from the black and yellow sweater he used to wear in the begining of his career, which made him look like bumblebee.