Actors and actresses have to change their names for various reasons, mostly it’s for marketing purposes, so their names are easy to remember and easy to pronounce. There are actors who have to change their names because it sounds too much like another actor’s name.
Some actors in the 1950’s who may have had names that were deemed too ethnic also altered their names to sound more, Anglo or less “foreign”.
Here are 25 actors that made minor, major, and bit changes to their real names to enter the homes of millions of fans across the globe.
25. Miley Cyrus – Destiny Hope Cyrus
The singer, songwriter, and actress comes from an artistic family and is one of the most popular singers in the world. Born Destiny Hope Cyrus, Miley has won multiple awards and sold millions of records.
24. Vin Diesel – Mark Sinclair Vincent
The Fast and Furious actor is ultra cool, Vin Diesel, but he was born Mark Sinclair Vincent. Diesel got his big break in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan and Boiler Room.
23. Natalie Portman – Natalie Hershlag
The talented actress was born Natalie Hershlag and has starred in many films with critically acclaimed performances. Portman got her big break in Leon: The Professional and also starred in Episodes 1-3 in Star Wars, as well as Black Swan and V For Vendetta.
22. Snoop Dogg – Calvin Cordozar Broadus
The influential rapper and actor was born Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Snoop has done it all, but his first love is rapping and for that has had 17 nominations at the Grammy Awards.
21. Katy Perry – Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson
The Queen of Camp was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, but as Katy Perry she has dominated the globe with her singing and style. Perry is one of the top selling artists of all time as well as one of the most streamed artists in the world.
20. Jamie Foxx – Eric Marlon Bishop
Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx was born Eric Marlon Bishop, Foxx has gone on to star in an amazing list of films which includes Ray, Collateral, Django Unchained , and two Spider-Man movies. Foxx is also a singer, comedian, and DJ.
19. Mila Kunis – Milena Markovna Kunis
That 70’s Show had many breakout stars and Mila Kunis was one of them. Kunis was born Milena Markovna Kunis and comes from a Ukrainian family. Aside from various TV and movie projects she is best known for being the voice of Meg Griffin on the Fox animated series Family Guy.
18. Joaquin Phoenix – Joaquín Rafael Bottom
The talented Joaquin Phoenix was born Joaquín Rafael Bottom and is a part of a talented family that goes back to his mother who was an agent. Joaquin’s brother River was also extremely talented but passed away in 1993.
17. Alicia Keys – Alicia Augello Cook
The talented singer, songwriter, and pianist was born Alicia Augello Cook, and has produced 9 records and sold over 90 million records worldwide, making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists.
16. Elton John – Reginald Kenneth Dwight
World renowned singer Sir. Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, and he has gone on to sell 300 million records worldwide. John’s discography spans from 1969 – 2021.
15. Ana de Armas – Ana Celia de Armas Caso
Cuban actress Ana de Armas full name is Ana Celia de Armas Caso. Armas got her first movie role in the United States not knowing a word of English, but her talent showed through either way. In her starring role as Marilyn Monroe the film Blonde was a surprise two way hitter getting both Oscar and Razzie award nominations.
14. Michael Keaton – Michael John Douglas
The Batman and Beetlejuice actor was born Michael John Douglas, it was a smart move by Keaton to change his name, given there was already another critically acclaimed actor called Michael Douglas.
13. Lady Gaga – Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
The world renowned singer, composure, and now actress does it all but before she was Lady Gaga, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was writing music for Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block, and Pussycat Dolls.
12. Bruno Mars – Peter Gene Hernandez
The eccentric Bruno Mars was born Peter Gene Hernandez, he is an accomplished pop, R&B, funk, soul, reggae, disco, and rock artist. With 130 million records sold worldwide, Mars also can claim 15 Grammy Awards.
11. Topher Grace – Christopher John Grace
Another That 70´s Show alum, Topher Grace was born Christopher John Grace, and besides the famed sitcom, Grace has been able to star in films like Spider-Man 3, Traffic, and Interstellar.
10. Shania Twain – Eilleen Regina Edwards
With over 100 million records sold worldwide, singer and composer Shania Twain or Eilleen Regina Edwards, captivated the 90’s and early 2000s. Twain would also star in movies and TV shows.
9. Woody Allen – Allan Stewart Konigsberg
Famed director Woody Allan was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg, his notable works include, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Deconstructing Harry, Scoop, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
8. Julianne Moore – Julie Anne Smith
Famed actress Julianne Moore is really Julie Anne Smith, Moore is a talented actress who has starred in movies like The Fugitive, Boogie Nights, Hannibal, Children of Men, and the Kids are all right.
7. Ringo Starr – Richard Starkey
Famed Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was born Richard Starkey, one of the more popular members of the band, Starr is adored by millions around the world and went on to have a promising solo career.
6. Winona Ryder – Winona Laura Horowitz
The Dracula actress was born Winona Laura Horowitz, Winona Ryder has given very diverse performances in her career and been nominated for two Academy Awards.
5. Pelé – Edson Arantes do Nascimento
Pelé dazzled the world as the most recognizable soccer star until the arrivals of Diego Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi. The three-time World Cup winner was not a big fan of his stage name Pelé, but it would be known the world over.
4. Rihanna – Robyn Rihanna Fenty
The music superstar was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, When I hear Robyn, “I pay attention” she told Rolling Stone once and gets “numb” when hearing Rihanna yelled or spoken to her.
3. Brad Pitt – William Bradley Pitt
One of the biggest stars of all time was born William Bradley Pitt, the star of Se7en, True Romance, Interview with the Vampire, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is one of the most bankable actors of all time.
2. Audrey Hepburn – Audrey Kathleen Ruston
The famous actress actually went by two names, Audrey Kathleen Ruston and Edda Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston. The Breakfast at Tiffany’s star is one of the faces of Hollywood’s golden age.
1. Tom Cruise – Thomas Cruise Mapother IV
The Mission Impossible, Top Gun, Jerry Maguire, and A Few Good Men star was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV. Cruise loved to perform for his family and eventually took his talents to the movies where he has an extensive and amazing body of work.