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A comprehensive guide to changing

your name by Deed Poll in the UK

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Changing Your Name

Reasons for a Name Change

 

Famous Name Changes

 
 

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Many of the stars, who are household names around the world today, changed their names at some point during their journey to success.

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 own ambitions. 

Examples include legendary figures from Nelson Mandela who was previously called Rolihlahla Mandela, to Tiger Woods who was born Eldrick Woods.

 

Actors

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 Elizabeth Wells 

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 and Shrek.

  

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
 

Marion 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 positions. 

 

 

Singers

The following are some of the well known singers who have changed their names.

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 poet.

 

Sir Elton Hercules John - Reginald Kenneth Dwight 

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 Charles Manson. 

 

Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens - Steven Demetre Georgiou  

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 Armstrong 

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 Aday 

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 Britain.  

 

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 Figures

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 businesswoman.

  

William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton - William Jefferson Blythe 

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 activist.  

 

Joseph Stalin - Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvilli 

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 Soviet Union.

  

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

Apply For Your Deed Poll Online.

 

 

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