Monday 27th December 2010
I'm not one to gossip but……So what’s in a name, well plenty when you’re a star.
All five sons in the English 1960’s TV puppet series “Thunderbirds” where named after famous astronauts for the 60’s: Scott Carpenter, Virgil Grissom, Alan Shepard, Gordon Cooper and John Glenn.
LL Cool J’s first real name is James.
Hugh Grant is listed in the English edition of Who’s Who as Hugh John Mungo Grant.
In 1996, ex-Beatle Ringo Starr appeared in a Japanese advert for apple sauce, which, just coincidentally, is what his name means in Japanese.
Hulk Hogan’s real name is Terry Bollea.
Sir Elton John has a nickname for Billy Connolly — Maureen. Sir Elton’s nickname is Sharon.
Originally the movie Close Encounters was going to be titled Watch the Skies.
Liza Minnelli’s middle name is May.
Vin Diesel was born Vincent but he’s never revealed his true last name.
It’s rumoured that the Beatles were originally going to be called the Meatles. Legend has it they picked the name because John Lennon once worked in a meat market.
The smash hit Austin Powers movie The Spy Who Shagged Me didn’t easily translate into other languages. Here are a few examples:
Iceland: The Spy Who Nailed Me
Japan: Austin Powers Deluxe
Spain: The Spy Who Serviced Me
France: The Spy Who Shot Me
Singapore: The Spy Who Was Good To Me
Germany: The Spy in the Secret Missionary Position
Latin America: The Seductive Spy
Then the movie was nearly called Austinpussy.
He started his professional wrestling career as Flex Kavana, then he took on the name, Rocky Maivia. Today we know him as movie star, The Rock. Mind you, his parents still call him by his real name, Duane Johnson.
In 1997, Madonna provoked condemnation from the Catholic Church after naming her baby daughter Lourdes.
Kate Hudson’s middle name is Garry. Because of the space between her eyes, her brother Oliver nicknamed her Hammerhead Shark.
An agent once suggested to Leonardo DiCaprio that he should change his name to Lenny William, which was easier to pronounce.
In November 2002, Courteney Cox dropped her actor husband David Arquette’s last name from her moniker. Speaking to In Style magazine, the TV actress revealed she had reverted to her maiden name out of respect for her father Richard Cox, who had died of cancer in 2001. ‘When I was a kid, I wanted to change my name so badly because I didn’t like it,’ she said. ‘Now that my dad’s gone, I don’t want to lose it. It’s not an issue for David … I am an Arquette, but I’m also a Cox … And when we have children they will not be Cox-Arquettes, they will be Arquettes.’
Richard Gere and actress Carey Lowell named their son Jigme — which is ‘fearless’ in Tibetan—in honour of Richard’s Buddhist faith.
Country super-singing-star Shania Twain was originally named Eileen Edwards. When she signed with Mercury Records, she was urged to change her first name and selected Shania because it honours her stepfather’s Ojibwa Indian ancestry and means ‘I’m on my way’ in Ojibwa.
R2D2, the little robot hero of the 1977 movie Star Wars, was named after a piece of film editors’ jargon — it means ‘Reel 2, Dialogue 2’.
Harrison Ford’s dad was an Irish Catholic who worked as an advertising executive. His mum was a Russian Jew.
Nicolas Cage was born Nicholas Coppola. He changed it and assumed the name Cage in admiration of composer John Cage and comic-book character Luke Cage.
Debra Winger was born into a Hungarian-Jewish orthodox family in Ohio. Her family were the owners of the Winger Brothers Meat Company.
Kiefer Sutherland’s first name was taken from the writer Warren David Kiefer, who scripted his dad Donald’s debut movie, Castle of the Living Dead. He was christened Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland in London, where he was born in 1966.
Lou Diamond Phillips was named after the World War II hero, Leland ‘Lou’ Diamond. His dad was a navy aircraft mechanic.
Laura Dern was born with theatre and show business in her blood; both her mum, Diane Ladd, and her dad, Bruce Dern, are Oscar nominees. They parted when Laura was just two years old. Her great-uncle was the poet and playwright Archibald MacLeish; Tennessee Williams was a cousin and her great-grandfather was a governor of Utah. She says that one of her earliest memories of her dad was in the movie Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte.
At an early age William Dafoe rebelled against his name, because he hated the nickname Billy, so he changed it to Willem.
Best-selling author Anne Rice was born Howard Allen O’Brien.
Michael Douglas changed his name to Michael Keaton, because there was already a Michael Douglas in show business. He named himself Keaton after seeing a newspaper picture of Diane Keaton.
Courtney Thorne-Smith’s name is a combination of her dad’s name, Smith, and her mum’s maiden name, which was Thorne.
It’s rumoured that John Travolta named his son, Jett, because of his passion for planes. After all, John has eight different jet licences.
Bruce Springsteen never liked his nickname ‘The Boss’, which he got back in the 1970s while he was working small nightclubs in Asbury Park, New York.
Sir Elton John has used the names Bobo Latrine, Sir Brian Bigbum and Sir Humphrey Handbag when he’s booked into hotels around the world. He did it as an ‘in’ joke and so the press and fans don’t know what hotel he’s staying in.
The ‘L’ in Samuel L Jackson stands for Leroy.
Christina Claire Ciminella changed her name to Wynonna after the town of Wynonna, when she heard it mentioned in the song Route 66.
Catherine Zeta-Jones adopted the name Zeta from her grandmother’s Christian name.
Gordon Matthew got the nickname ‘Sting’ because his favourite shirt had black-and-yellow stripes just like a bee.
Sean Penn and his wife Robin named their son (born in 1993) Hopper Jack after Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson.
Rob Lowe’s middle name is Helper.
Lucy Liu’s middle name is Alexis.
At 22, Nathan Lane took the name Nathan (his real name is Joseph) after playing Nathan Detroit in a dinner-theatre production of the musical Guys and Dolls. Also, there was another Joe Lane already registered with the American Actors Equity.
Joseph Fiennes’s middle name is Alberic.
Robert Downey Jr’s middle name is John.
Benjamin Bratt was so thin at high school he got the nickname ‘Scarecrow’.
Kevin Spacey’s real surname is Fowler. Spacey is a contraction of Spencer Tracy, his favourite actor.
Jamie Lee is married to Christopher Guest, who is an English Lord. He became the fifth Lord Haden-Guest when his father died in 1966. So by rights you should always address Jamie as Lady Haden-Guest.
Jennifer Aniston only uses her maiden name for film and TV credits. Her family name used to be Anastassakis.
Actor Jude Law was named after the Beatles song Hey Jude.
Avid painter and long-time singer Tony Bennett signs his paintings under his family name, Anthony Domenick Benedetto.
Whoopi Goldberg’s real name is Caryn Johnson. School classmates nicknamed her Whoopi Cushion; her mum suggested switching cushion to Goldberg so she’d be taken seriously as an actress.
When Frasier star David Hyde Pierce moved to Hollywood and joined the Screen Actors Guild, he discovered there was another David Pierce, and began using his middle name as well.
Amanda Rogers changed her name to Portia De Rossi at the age of fourteen.
The two English actors Colin Firth and Peter Firth are not related.
Marie Osmond’s first name is really Olive. Somehow Olive Osmond doesn’t have the same ring as Marie Osmond.
Some cartoon characters started life with a different name. Mickey Mouse was born Mortimer Mouse; Goofy was first known as Dippy Dawg; Happy Rabbit changed his name to Bugs Bunny and Tom, of Tom and Jerry fame, was first named Jasper.
Shock rocker Marilyn Manson’s real name is Brian Warner.
Paul was the real name of the original Lassie, and every Lassie since has been given the nickname Paul.
Sir Elton John, born Reg Dwight, took his stage name from two of his friends, Elton Dean and Long John Baldry, whom he played with in a band in grammar school. He was the very first superstar to admit to being bisexual.
Dustin Hoffman’s mother was a great fan of the silent cowboy movie star Dustin Farnum, who starred in the first full-length movie ever made in Hollywood. That’s where Dustin gets his name.
Have you ever wondered how River Phoenix, the young Hollywood actor, got his name? His parents were hippies in the 1960s and named him after the River of Life in Hermann Hesse’s book Siddhartha. They took their surname, Phoenix, from the mythical bird which burnt itself but rose from the ashes to live again. Incidentally, River’s brothers and sisters also have names reminiscent of flower-power days; Leaf, Rainbow, Summer and Liberty.
When they were making the first Jaws movie, the cast and crew nicknamed the shark Bruce, which was a name that stuck through all the sequels.
Doris von Kappellhof was named Doris Day by bandleader Barney Rapp, whose favourite song was Day After Day, which Doris had sung many times with the band.
Maurice Joseph Micklewhite got his stage name from the movie The Caine Mutiny. We know him as Sir Michael Caine.
Marilyn Monroe got her Christian name from her 20th Century-Fox agent Ben Lyon, because of his admiration for the actress Marilyn Miller. Monroe was her mother’s maiden name.
Here are a few more celebs that tried to improve on the names they were given at birth:
|Andy Garcia||Andres Garcia-Menendez|
|Axl Rose||William Bailey|
|Bo Derek||Mary Cathleen Collins|
|Ben Kingsley||Krishna Bhanji|
|Brad Pitt||William Bradley Pitt|
|Courtney Love||Love Michelle Harrison|
|Christian Slater||Christian Hawkins|
|David Bowie||David Jones|
|Demi Moore||Demitria Guynes|
|Doris Day||Doris von Kappellhaf|
|Elle Macpherson||Eleanor Gow|
|Eric Clapton||Eric Clapp|
|George Michael||Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou|
|Geena Davis||Viginia Davis|
|Goldie Hawn||Goldie Studlendgehawn|
|Julie Andrews||Julia Elizabeth Wells|
|Jane Seymour||Joyce Penelope Frankenberg|
|Jason Alexander||Jay Scott Greenspan|
|Jackie Chan||Chan Kwong-Sang|
|Jonathan Taylor||Thomas Jonathan Weiss|
|Jodie Foster||Alicia Christian Foster|
|Jennifer Jason||Leigh Jennifer Morrow|
|Kate Capshaw||Kathy Sue Nail|
|Kathy Bates||Kathleen Doyal Bates|
|Kirk Douglas||Issur Danielovitch|
|Meg Ryan||Margaret Hyra|
|Mel Gibson||Columcille Gerard Gibson|
|Michael Keaton||Michael Douglas|
|Ricky Martin||Enrique Martin Morales|
|Rita Hayworth||Margarita Cansino|
|Stevie Wonder||Steveland Morris Hardaway|
|Susan Sarandon||Susan Abigail Tomalin|
|Tim Allen||Tim Allen Dick|
|Tom Cruise||Thomas Cruise Mapother IV|
|Woody Harrelson||Woodrow Tracy Harrelson|
|Woody Allen||Allen Stewart Konigsberg|
|Whoopi Goldberg||Caryn Johnson|
|Winona Ryder||Winona Horowitz|
Jim Carrey’s middle name is Eugene.
Nicole Kidman’s nickname in school was ‘Stalky’.
Mickey Mouse is known as ‘Topolion’ in Italy.
Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s 1946 movie It’s a Wonderful Life.
Billy Joel’s nickname is ‘The Piano Man’, but years ago he played piano in a Los Angeles hotel lounge bar under the name of William Martin.
The sorcerer’s name in the Disney movie Fantasia is Yensid, which is Disney spelt backwards.
Muppet Show creator Jim Henson named Kermit the Frog after Kermit Scott, a childhood friend who became a Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University.
Robbie Williams’ middle name is Maximillian.
It is rumoured that Nightmare on Elm Street director Wes Craven named the nasty Freddy Krueger after a grade school bully who always tormented him.
Jennifer Love Hewitt’s older brother Todd picked Jennifer’s name when she was born.
Cybill Shepherd was named after her grandfather Cy and her father Bill…..but my lips are sealed!