Many of the stars, who are household names around
the world today, changed their names at some point during their journey
When we consider how some of the best known people
of our time have changed their names, it is no surprise that some now
wonder whether a change of name will help them to accomplish their
Examples include legendary figures from Nelson
Mandela who was previously called Rolihlahla Mandela, to Tiger Woods who
was born Eldrick Woods.
The following are some of the well known actors and actresses who
have changed their name.
Woody Allen - Allan Stewart Konigsberg
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on 1st
December 1935 in New York. He is an actor, director, screenwriter,
comedian, writer, and musician. Over the years he has written and
directed his own movies, the majority of which he has also acted in.
Dame Julie Elizabeth Andrews - Julia
Julie Andrews was born Julia Elizabeth Wells on 1st
October 1935 in Surrey, England. Best known for her leading roles in
Mary Poppins (1964) and The Sound of Music(1965),
Andrews became a prominent actress, singer and author. She
revived her career in the 21 century starring in Princess Diaries
Jennifer Aniston - Jennifer Anastassakis
Jennifer Joanna Anniston was born Jennifer
Anastassakis on 11th February 1969 in California. She became
most famous when she took the role of Rachel in Friends
(1990s) through which she won an Emmy Award, Golden Globe award and
Screen Actors Guild Award. She has also starred in many Hollywood films,
often comedies. In 2000 she married Hollywood actor Brad Pitt but they
separated in 2005 when Pitt became involved with Angelina Jolie.
Richard Burton - Richard Walter Jenkins
Richard Burton born Richard Walter Jenkins on 10th
November 1925 passed away on 5th August 1984. He was a Welsh
actor and at one time, the highest paid actor in Hollywood. He grew up
in a working class family, one of thirteen children but began work on
the stage in the 1940s. He is also known for his association with
actress Elizabeth Taylor.
Nicolas Cage - Nicolas Coppola
Nicolas Cage was born Nicolas Coppola on 7th
January 1964 in California. Cage has starred in more than 70 Hollywood
films, and won several awards including the Independent Spirit Award and
the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Michael Caine - Maurice Joseph Micklewhite
Sir Michael Caine was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite on
14th March 1933 in London. He has starred in over 100 films,
most famous for his appearances in The Italian Job, Zulu, and as
Harry Palmer in Alfie. In 200 Queen Elizabeth II knighted Caine
for his significant contribution to cinema.
Vin Diesel - Mark Sinclair Vincent
Vin Diesel was born Mark Sinclair Vincent on July
18, 1967 in New York. He is an actor, writer, director and producer. He
has appeared in several successful Hollywood films including The Fast
and the Furious and Pitch Black and XxX.
Judy Garland - Frances Ethel Gumm
Judy Garland was born as Frances Ethel Gumm on 10th
June 1922 and passed away on 22nd June 1969 at just 47 years
of age. She was born in London and her professional acting career
spanned 45 years of her life. She was perhaps most famous for her role
in The Wizard of Oz.
Angelina Jolie - Angelina Jolie Voight
Angelina Jolie was born Angelina Jolie Voight on 4th
June 1975 in California. She acclaimed her widest fame for her portrayal
of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider(2001). More recently in 2005
she acted in Mr. and Mrs. Smith alongside Brad Pitt, her current
partner, a relationship which has received high media attention.
Marilyn Monroe - Norma Jean Mortensen Baker
Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jean Mortensen Baker
on 1st June 1926 but passed away at just 36 years old on 5th
August 1962. Born in California Monroe was a successful actress, singer
and model. In 1999 the American Film Institute ranked her as the 6th
greatest female star of all time.
John Wayne (Marion Michael
Morrison) - Marion Robert Morrison
Michael Morrison(stage name of John Wayne) was
born Marion Robert Morrison on 26th May 1907 and passed away
on 11th June 1979. He was an award winning American film
actor and director known for his distinctive voice, walk and height. He
also had strong political views and supported the 1950s anti-communist
The following are some of the well known singers who have changed
Bob Dylan - Robert Allen Zimmerman
Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on 24th
May 1941 in Minnesota. He has been a major figure in music for over
forty years and has enjoyed fame as a singer, songwriter, author, and
Sir Elton Hercules John - Reginald Kenneth
Sir Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on
25 March 1947 in London. He has become one of the most successful
artists of all time becoming famous for his singing, song writing,
composing and pianist abilities.
Madonna - Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone
Madonna was born Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born on 16th
August 1958 in Michigan and now simply goes by the name ‘Madonna’. She
gained global recognition after a series of hit singles
Marilyn Manson - Brian Hugh Warner
Marilyn Manson was born as Brian Hugh Warner on 5th
January 1969 in Ohio. It is believed that he formed his new name by
combining the actress Marilyn Monroe’s name with a convicted murderer
Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens - Steven Demetre
Steven Demetre Georgiou was best known for his
stage name of Cat Stevens, but later changed it to Yusuf Islam after his
conversion to Islam. He was born on 21 July 1948 in London and was a
prominent singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and philanthropist.
Adam Ant - Stuart Leslie Goddard
Adam Ant was born as Stuart Leslie Goddard on 3rd
November 1954 in London. He first gained popularity as the lead singer
of Adam and the Ants in the 1980s and later as a solo artist.
Cilla Black - Priscilla Marie Veronica White
Cilla Black was born as Priscilla Maria Veronica
White on 27th May 1943 in Liverpool. She is an English
singer, actress and television personality who first fist became famous
in 1963. She is most well known for her worldwide hit singles Anyone
Who Had A Heart, You're My World, and Alfie.
David Bowie - David Robert Hayward-Jones
David Bowie was born as David Robert Hayward-Jones
on 8th January 1947) in London. He is a primarily a musician
but also an actor and record producer known for his the influence his
work had over popular music.
Dido - Florian Cloud De Bounevialle
Dido was born as Florian Cloud De Bounevialle
Armstrong on 25th December 1971 in London. She began
recording in 1995 and enjoyed success with singles such as Here With
Me and Thank You.
Boy George - George Alan O'Dowd
Boy George was born as George Alan O'Dowd on 14th
June 1961 in London. He is a singer-songwriter who was part of the
English New Romantic movement which emerged in the early 1980s.
Jimi Hendrix - Johnny Allen Hendrix
James Marshall Hendrix (known as Jimi Hendrix) was
born as Johnny Allen Hendrix on 27th November 1942 in
Washington and passed away on 18th September 1970. He was a
guitarist, singer and songwriter. Many musicians and commentators in the
industry consider him to be the greatest guitarist in the history of
rock music. He is one of the most important and influential musicians of
his era across a range of genres.
Billy Idol - William Michael Albert Broad
Billy Idol was born as William Michael Albert Broad
on 30th November 1955,
and is an English rock musician. He first became famous as a member of
the band Generation X. Following this success he began a successful solo
career and now has a worldwide fan base.
Michael Lee Aday (Meat Loaf) - Marvin Lee
Michael Lee Aday (stage name of Meat Loaf) was born
as Marvin Lee Aday
on 27th September 1947 in Texas. He is a rock musician and
actor, noted for the Bat out of Hell album trilogy.
Freddie Mercury - Farrokh Bulsara
Freddie Mercury was born as Farrokh Bulsara on 5th
September 1946 and passed away on 24th November 1991. He is
best known for being the lead singer in the rock band Queen.
International its from the band included Bohemian Rhapsody,
Don’t Stop Me Now and We Are The Champions.
Bonnie Tyler - Gaynor Hopkins
Bonnie Tyler was born as Gaynor Hopkins on 8th
June 1951 Neath, Wales. She is recognisable as a singer with a highly
distinctive, husky voice.
Shania Twain - Eileen Regina Edwards
Shania Twain was born as Eileen Regina Edwards on
28th August 1965 in Canada. Her third album Come on Over
is the best-selling album in the history of country music. Particularly
popular were the singles That Don’t Impress Me Much and Man! I
Feel Like a Woman!
Tina Turner - Anna Mae Bullock
Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on 26th
of November 1939 in Tennessee. She is a singer and actress who’s career
has lasted over 50 years throughout which she has won many awards and
has been referred to as ‘The Queen of Rock and Roll’.
Sir Cliff Richard - Harry Roger Webb
Sir Cliff Richard was born Harry Roger Webb on 14th
October 1940. He is a singer-songwriter and entrepreneur. He dominated
the British popular music in the late 1950s and early 1960s and
continues to be a popular music, film and television personality in
Iggy Pop - James Newell Osterburg
Iggy Pop was born as James Newell Osterburg on 21st
April 1947 in Michigan. He is a rock singer, songwriter and has also
appeared occasionally as an actor.
Stevie Wonder – Steveland Hardaway Judkins
Stevie Wonder was born as Steveland Hardaway
Judkins (also known as Steveland Hardaway Morris) on 13th May
1950 in Michigan. He was a prominent figure in popular music in the late
20th Century recording over thirty top ten hits and winning
twenty-two Grammy Awards (the most ever won by a solo-artist).
Sportspeople, Politicians, and Historical
The following are some of the well known sportspeople, politicians
and historical figures who have changed their names.
Muhammad Ali - Cassius Marcellus Clay
Muhammad Ali was born as Cassius Marcellus Clay on
17th January 1942 in Kentucky. During his hugely successful
boxing career he was a three-time World Heavyweight Champion.
Elle MacPherson - Eleanor Nancy Gow
Elle MacPherson was born as Eleanor Nancy Gow on 29th
March 1963 in Australia. She is a successful model, actress, and
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton - William
Bill Clinton changed his surname from Blythe to
Clinton. He was born on 19th August 1946. He served as the 42nd
president of the United States standing in office from January 20,
1993 – January 20, 2001.
Malcolm X - Malcolm Little
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on 19th
May 1925 and died 21st February 1965. He was an
African-American Muslim minister, public speaker and human rights
Joseph Stalin - Iosif Vissarionovich
Joseph Stalin was born Iosif Vissarionovich
Dzhugashvilli on 18th December 1878 and died on 5th
March 1953. He was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the
Soviet Union’s Central Committee later rising to be the leader of the
Twiggy - Lesley Hornby
Twiggy was born as Lesley Hornby on 19th
September 1949 in London. She is a model, actress and singer and
currently also known by her married name Twiggy Lawson. She became the
first ever prominent teenage model at just 16 years old and is now
regarded as one of the most famous models of all time.
Roberta Cowell - Robert Cowell
Robert Cowell changed his first name to Roberta
following the first known British male-to-female became the first known
British male-to-female transsexual to undergo vaginoplasty on 15th
May 1951 via a surgical method.
Time Saving Tip:
The quickest and easiest way to change your name in the UK is to