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The Surprising Real Names of 20 Famous Celebrities





Celebrities have interesting names. Some are catchy and unique, while some just roll off the tongue so easily. Some of you may be wondering what some celebrities’ real names are and the story behind their Hollywood name, so we’ve compiled a comprehensive list for you!

Amanda Lee Rogers – Portia de Rossi

The name Portia is from a character in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice.” And according to Portia, “De Rossi because I was Australian and I thought that an exotic Italian name would somehow suit me more than Amanda Rogers.”

Adam Speigel – Spike Jonze

The critically acclaimed “Her” director got the name Spike from when he’d come to work without showering, so his hair would stick straight up.

Elizabeth Stamatina Fey – Tina Fey

MC Tina Fey
Tina is just a shortened version of her middle name.

Mark Sinclair Vincent – Vin Diesel

Vin is short for Vincent, and Diesel came from his friends telling him he ran on diesel fuel because of his energy.

Caryn Elaine Johnson – Whoppi Goldberg

Her theater friends over at San Diego noticed that Whoopi had a bit of a flatulence problem, and began calling her Whoopi. The name “Goldberg” is taken from her mother’s advice to pick a “Jewish-sounding” name to help advance her Hollywood career.

Alicia Augello Cook – Alicia Keys

Alicia felt that the name “Keys” better represented her both as a performer and as a person.

Angelina Voight – Angelina Jolie

Due to her dysfunctional relationship with her father, John Voight, Angelina chose to go with her middle name for her surname.

Krishna Pandit Bhanji – Ben Kingsley

Sir Ben Kingsley said that such a foreign sounding name might hurt his career.

Paul David Hewson – Bono

The U2 vocalist says Bono is a shortened version of “Bono Vox” meaning “good voice” in Latin.

Peter Gene Hernandez – Bruno Mars

Bruno was a nickname his dad gave him when he was younger after wrestler Bruno Sammartino. He added the “surname” Mars to give him an edge, as in he’s “out of this world.”

Demetria Gene Guynes – Demi Moore

She decided to keep her ex-husband Freddy Moore’s name even after their divorce in 1984.

Stacy Ann Ferguson – Fergie

With bandmates named, and Taboo, Stacy had to come up with a catchier name.

Eric Marlon Bishop – Jamie Foxx

He says he chose an androgynous name because he noticed that female comedians were picked more often than men to perform at comedy clubs.

Kathryn Hudson – Katy Perry

Katy used to produce Christian music under the name Kathryn Hudson. But she decided to stick with Katy, plus her mother’s maiden name, Perry, to avoid confusion with actress Kate Hudson.

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta – Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga states that she changed her name because Stefani is “a perpetually tortured artist” that she can’t be in public. Lady Gaga definitely suits her public image!

Louis Szekely – Louis C.K.

His Hungarian surname is pronounce SEK-kay, but he decided to change it to one that’s easier to pronounce: SEE-kay.

Christopher Brian Bridges – Ludacris

Ludacris is a nickname he made up to show that one side of him is calm and cool, while the other is beyond crazy.

Maurice Joseph Micklewhite – Michael Caine

Michael Caine explains that he was inspired by Humphrey Bogart’s character in “The Caine to Mutiny.”

Michael John Douglas – Michael Keaton

He didn’t want to be confused with actor Michael Douglas, and he liked the sound of Diane Keaton’s name.

Destiny Hope Cyrus – Miley Cyrus

Her dad nicknamed her “Smiley” to march her cheerfulness, and over the years it was shortened to just Miley.

Do you know of other celebrities who chose to change their birth name for Hollywood? Share your knowledge with us in the comments below!