Celebrities who have changed their name

Name change is not unusual in the world of celebrities. Stars change their given names for various reasons. Some do it to make their names easier to remember or to pronounce. Some just want to make it shorter, while others wish to get rid of any association with a particular ethnicity. Whatever the reason may be, these celebs decided to use a stage name that they weren’t born with.

Jodie Foster (Birth name: Alicia Foster)








Alicia Foster acts under her childhood nickname Jodie, which was given to her by her siblings. It has been reported that the name was a tribute to the Foster children’s aunt ‘Jo’, who was their mother’s live-in lover.

Charlie Sheen (Birth name: Carlos Irwin Estévez)

Sheen, Charlie







Like father, like son. Actor Charlie Sheen, born Carlos Irwin Estévez, decided to take dad Martin Sheen’s surname instead. But Martin Sheen was actually born Ramón Antonio Gerard Estévez, and adopted the name Sheen from his favorite Catholic archbishop, Fulton J. Sheen, in order to improve his chances at an acting career. It looks like it worked for both generations.

Lea Michele (Birth name: Lea Sarfati)








Lea Sarfati adopted the stage name Lea Michele at an early age during her first audition, and has never looked back since.

Brad Pitt (Birth name: William Bradley Pitt)








Not exactly a radical change but Brad Pitt was actually born William Bradley Pitt. The actor most likely decided to take a stage name to make it shorter and easier to remember. He simplified his name when he moved to LA as a teen.

Demi Moore (Birth name: Demetria Guynes)

Demi Moore







Despite the fact that Demi Moore no longer goes by her birth name, Demetria (her last name is from first husband Freddy Moore), she clearly has an affinity for unusual monikers: She named her three daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah. And it seems that name-swapping runs in the family: In 2007, Moore’s daughter Tallulah Willis (then 13 years old) legally changed her name to Lula Willis.

Michael Caine (Birth name: Maurice Joseph Micklewhite)

Sir Michael Caine-CLO-000334







The legendary actor actually changed his name twice. He first adopted the stage name Michael Scott, in July 1953 at the beginning of his acting career. In 1954 he moved to London and his agent told him that there was already a Michael Scott performing as an actor in London and that he had to think of a different name, so he finally became Michael Caine as we know him today.

Portia de Rossi (Birth name: Amanda Lee Rogers)








Amanda Lee Rogers changed her name to Portia de Rossi when she was 15. “I think it was largely due to my struggle about being gay. Everything just didn’t fit, and I was trying to find things I could identify myself with, and it started with my name,” she said. “I picked Portia because I was a Shakespeare fan (she’s a character in The Merchant of Venice). De Rossi because I was Australian and I thought that an exotic Italian name would somehow suit me more.”

Ashton Kutcher (Birth name: Christopher Kutcher)








The actor made his middle name, Ashton, his first name after signing up with a NY modeling agency, where there was already a model called “Chris”.

Michael Keaton (Birth name: Michael Douglas)








Actor Michael Keaton was actually named Michael Douglas, but when he moved to Los Angeles and started auditioning for TV roles, he had to change his name to avoid confusion with the more well-known star. He chose Keaton for a surname because he’d read an article about actress Diane Keaton and thought her name sounded good. Years later, Michael called Diane and thanked her for her name, but the two have more in common than he realized: Diane Keaton was actually born Diane Hall.

Whoopi Goldberg (Birth name: Caryn Johnson)








Caryn Johnson just isn’t as catchy as Whoopi Goldberg. The actress decided to give up her birth name when she started acting, and instead chose to go by her nickname, “Whoopee Cushion.” Her mother convinced her to change her last name to something more conventional, and suggested Goldberg.

Meg Ryan (Birth name: Margaret Hyra)








Meg changed her name from the straight-laced and ordinary sounding ‘Margaret Hyra’ to the decidedly more funky ‘Meg Ryan’ for her first foray into acting, and has stuck to the name ever since. The actress also renamed her adoptive daughter when the baby was a year old, explaining: “I thought she was Charlotte and she’s just not – she’s a Daisy,” Meg explained.

Vin Diesel (Birth name: Mark Sinclair Vincent)








Vin Diesel’s recognizable name is the result of two nicknames given by friends. His first name is a shortening of Vincent and “Diesel” is because his pals said he ran off it, describing his non-stop energy.


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