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13 Stars Whose Real Names Are a Mystery, Even for Loyal Fans


Sometimes, celebrities have to change their names to sound better or in order not to be confused with other famous people. Very often, they make up new names using their childhood nicknames or simply invent something new.

We at Bright Side have made a compilation of famous celebrities that have changed their names.

Ornella Muti — Francesca Romana Rivelli

Francesca Romana Rivelli got her stage name, Ornella Muti, at the age of 15 when she appeared in the film, The Most Beautiful Wife. The director of the film, Damiano Damiani, gave the young actress a stage name to avoid confusing her with the popular Italian actress, Luisa Rivelli.

Ralph Lauren — Ralph Lifshitz

Ralph Lifshitz was born into a family of Jewish immigrants. At the age of 16, the future designer changed his last name to Lauren.

Jean-Claude Van Damme — Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg

Jean-Claude Van Varenberg changed his name to a shorter version, Jean-Claude Van Damme, to make it easier to pronounce.

Vivien Leigh — Vivian Mary Hartley

At the beginning of her career, her agent convinced the future star that the name Vivian Hartley was not a good idea for an actress. So she decided to use the name Vivien Leigh.

Angelina Jolie — Angelina Voight

The real last name of Angelina Jolie is Voight. But the difficult relationship with her father made her take a second name, Jolie.

Blake Lively — Blake Brown

Blake Lively had a different last name when she was born — it was Brown. But she decided to use her mother’s last name instead.

Antonio Banderas — José Antonio Domínguez Bandera

José Antonio Domínguez Bandera has a pretty long name, which is pretty standard for people from Spain. But for his professional life, he uses a shorter version, Antonio Banderas.

Liv Tyler — Liv Rundgren

Liv Tyler was born with the name Liv Rundgren, and for a long time, she thought that her father was musician Todd Rundgren that her mother was married to. But the truth was discovered when Liv noticed she took more after her actual father, the frontman of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler. That’s when Liv took the name of her father and kept Rundgren as her second name.

Bruno Mars — Peter Hernandez

Peter Hernandez is actually famous under the name Bruno Mars. At the age of 2, he had the nickname, Bruno, because he looked like wrestler Bruno Sammartino.

Alicia Keys — Alicia Augello Cook

Alicia Keys, who has 15 Grammy Awards, is actually Alicia Augello Cook.

Michael Kors — Karl Anderson

The famous American designer, Michael Kors, is actually Karl Anderson. Michael started designing clothes at the age of 19 and later, his collections were very successful and made him famous.

Bonnie Tyler — Gaynor Hopkins

Gaynor Hopkins first changed her name to Sherene Davis to avoid people confusing her with a Welsh folk singer named Mary Hopkin. Later, when she was signing a contract with RCA Records, she was suggested to change her name again. She made a list of first and last names from a newspaper and found a new name — Bonnie Tyler.

Joaquin Phoenix — Joaquin Bottom

The real last name of Joaquin Phoenix is Bottom. But his parents decided to change his last name to Phoenix — the bird that’s reborn from ashes.

If you became famous, would you change your name? Or would you keep the one you were born with?




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