19 Celebrities We Had No Idea Had Different Names
You may not know this, but Laura Jeanne, Katheryn Hudson, and Amanda Leigh are some of the most famous actors and singers nowadays — but with different names. Either choosing a different last name or going with their nicknames, some celebrities prefer to create their careers under completely new aliases.
Bright Side did a little research and found the real names of 19 celebrities. And some of them are so different, we never could’ve guessed them on our own.
1. Julianne Moore — Julie Anne Smith
Because there was already a Julie Smith and a Julie Anne Smith, Julianne decided to combine her 2 first names and use her father’s middle name, Moore. But in her mind and in her private life, she says she is still a Julie.
2. Diane Keaton — Diane Hall
Keaton is Diane’s mother’s maiden name. Later, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Annie Hall, a character inspired by her. “Annie” is her nickname, and “Hall” is her original surname.
3. Reese Witherspoon — Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon
Laura Jeanne is Reese’s first name, but she decided to use her parents’ name in her career.
4. Ashton Kutcher — Christopher Ashton Kutcher
Using only his middle and last name, Christopher became famous all over the world as Ashton Kutcher.
5. Katy Perry — Katheryn Hudson
Katheryn began her career as Katy Hudson, but because she didn’t want to be confused with the actress Kate Hudson, she adopted her mother’s maiden name, “Perry,” as her stage name.
6. Bono — Paul David Hewson
Bono used several stage names throughout his singing career, but when his friend gave him the nickname, Bono Vox, it stuck with him. “Bono Vox” is inspired by Bonavox, a Latin phrase that means “good voice.” Today, Bono is not only his stage name but his friends and family also refer to him this way.
7. Mahershala Ali — Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore
Mahershala is the shorter, simpler version of Mahershalalhashbaz, while Ali was chosen due to religious significance.
8. Tina Fey — Elizabeth Stamatina Fey
Tina is Elizabeth’s nickname, which comes from her middle name, Stamatina. She’s been called Tina since childhood.
9. Olivia Wilde — Olivia Jane Cockburn
Olivia changed her last name to Wilde while in high school. It’s a tribute to the Irish author, Oscar Wilde.
10. Jonah Hill — Jonah Feldstein
Jonah’s complete name is Jonah Hill Feldstein, but he decided to use his middle name as a stage name. In fact, his sister, an actress named Beanie Feldstein, uses that last name, and few people know that they’re related.
11. Martin Sheen — Ramon Gerard Estevez
Back in the day, it was hard for Martin to get acting roles as Ramon Estevez. So he chose his stage name as a tribute to 2 great friends: the CBS casting director, Robert Dale Martin, and Fulton J. Sheen. It was so successful that even his son, Charlie, began using Sheen as his last name.
12. Michael Caine — Maurice Micklewhite
Considered a British icon, Michael Cane wasn’t always known for this name. He first adopted the name Michael White, which came from his last name, but because there was already a Michael White registered, in 1954 he decided to go under the name Michael Cane. It’s inspired by the movie, The Caine Mutiny, which was playing back then.
13. Mindy Kaling — Vera Chokalingam
Mindy’s complete name is Vera Mindy Chokalingam, and she said that her parents have called her Mindy since her early days. Because Chokalingam was often mispronounced, she decided to shorten it to Kaling.
14. Lucy Hale — Karen Lucille Hale
Lucy Hale is the short version of Lucille Hale.
15. Kit Harington — Christopher Catesby Harington
Harington was named by his mother as a tribute to Christopher Marlowe, an English playwright and a poet of the Elizabethan era. Both Christophers have their names shortened to Kit.
16. Fergie — Stacy Ann Ferguson
The Black Eyed Peas singer used the short version of her last name, Ferguson, to help her rise to fame.
17. Shania Twain — Eilleen Edwards
The origin of the name “Shania” is still a mystery. Some say that it comes from an Ojibwe word that means “on my way.” Twain came after Eilleen was adopted by her stepfather, Jerry Twain, when she legally changed her last name.
18. Jack Black — Thomas Jacob Black
Thomas Jacob Black decided to use the short version of his middle name, Jack, as his stage name.
19. Mandy Moore — Amanda Leigh Moore
Amanda only used her real name on her sixth music album, called Amanda Leigh, but she rose to fame years earlier using her nickname, Mandy.
How many of these names did you already know? How many of these stage names do you like better than the real names?