These 17 Celebrities Slightly Changed Their Names

We’ve all seen the lists of celebrities who adopted stage names before becoming famous . . . but Buzzfeed has a rundown of famous people who have just made SLIGHT TWEAKS to their names.


For example, did you know that MICHAEL J. FOX was born Michael A. Fox?  His middle name is Andrew, and he had to change his name because two people can’t be registered under the same name in the Screen Actors Guild.



There was already someone registered as “Michael Fox,” and he didn’t like the name “Michael A. Fox” because it sounds literally like “Michael, a fox.”  So he went with Michael J. Fox, in tribute to “Bonnie & Clyde” actor Michael J. Pollard.



Here are the others:



1.  Meryl Streep was born MARY Streep.  Her father nicknamed her Meryl, and initially she hated it, and wanted to be called Patty or Cathy.



2.  Emma Stone was born EMILY Stone.  She also changed her name when she joined the Screen Actors Guild.  There was another Emily Stone.



3.  Tea Leoni was born Tea PANTELEONI.  She just cut it in half.



4.  Barbra Streisand was born BARBARA Streisand.  She dropped one of the As when she was 18 because she wanted to be “unique.”



5.  Oprah Winfrey was born ORPAH Winfrey.  Her name evolved into Oprah because “people didn’t know how to pronounce Orpah.”



6.  Jennifer Aniston was Jennifer ANASTASSAKIS.  This one is a BIG stretch.  That was her father’s last name . . . but his family anglicized it when they moved to the U.S. from Greece, when HE was two.


So it’s unclear if Jennifer ever actually had the surname Anastassakis.



7.  Eric Bana was born Eric BANADINOVICH.  He never legally changed his name, but he goes by “Bana” professionally because it’s his nickname.



8.  Warren Beatty was born Warren BEATY.  He added another T for some reason.



9.  Toni Basil was born ANTONIA BASILOTTA.  She just simplified it.



10.  Garth Brooks was born TROYAL Garth Brooks.  He just goes by his middle name.



11.  Missy Elliott was born MELISSA Elliott.  She just goes by a nickname.



12.  Mila Kunis was born MILENA Kunis.  She just goes by a nickname.



13.  Zayn Malik was born ZAIN Malik.  It’s unclear why he changed the I to a Y.



14.  David Duchovny was originally David DUCOVNY.  David’s father took the H out of his last name because he was tired of it being mispronounced.


But David’s mother ADDED IT BACK IN when she divorced his father.



15.  Liam Neeson was born WILLIAM Neeson.  He just goes by a nickname.



16.  Sigourney Weaver was born SUSAN Weaver.  She changed her name to Sigourney when she was 14 after reading “The Great Gatsby”.  She also hated being called Susie.


Originally posted on February 19th, 2021


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Jake Walker

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