Celebrities & Pop Culture

The Surprising Real Names Of 35 Celebrities

We did not expect Tom's real name to be Thomas Mapother IV!

It’s no news flash that celebrities often adopt new names when they get into the entertainment business.

In decades past, it was anti-Semitism and other prejudices that led some actors to change their names for Hollywood. But today, when celebrities take stage names, it’s usually to maintain some anonymity, make their name easier to pronounce or simply to make it sound cooler than the one they were born with.

Stage names don’t seem to be as common in today’s entertainment business as they were in the old days, but we’ve managed to gather 35 actors who go by a different name than the one they were born with. I bet a few of them will surprise you!

Winona Ryder

Birth name: Winona Horowitz

winona ryder photo
Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez

 

Jackie Chan

Birth name: Chan Kong-sang

jackie chan vertical photo
Getty Images | Mike Coppola

 Mindy Kaling

Birth name: Vera Chokalingham

mindy kaling photo
Getty Images | Jonathan Leibson

Tim Allen

Birth name: Timothy Dick

tim allen photo
Getty Images | Frederick M. Brown

 Julianne Moore

Birth name: Julie Anne Smith

julianne moore photo
Getty Images | Pascal Le Segretain

 Demi Moore

Birth name: Demi Guynes

demi moore photo
Getty Images | Vivien Killilea

 Tom Cruise

Birth name: Thomas Mapother IV

tom cruise photo
Getty Images | Jamie McCarthy

 Nicolas Cage

Birth name: Nicolas Coppola

nicolas cage photo
Getty Images | Frazer Harrison

 

 Vin Diesel

Birth name: Mark Sinclair

vin diesel photo
Getty Images | Pascal Le Segretain

 Alison Brie

Birth name: Alison Schermerhorn

alison brie photo
Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez

 Jamie Foxx

Birth name: Eric Bishop

jamie foxx photo
Getty Images | Frazer Harrison

 Natalie Portman

Birth name: Natalie Hershlag

natalie portman photo
Getty Images | John Sciulli

 Blake Lively

Birth name: Blake Brown

blake lively photo
Getty Images | Jamie McCarthy

 

 Ben Kingsley

Birth name: Krishna Bhanji

ben kingsley photo
Getty Images | Jamie McCarthy

 Meg Ryan

Birth name: Margaret Hyra

meg ryan photo
Getty Images | Frederick M. Brown

 Michael Caine

Birth name: Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr.

michael caine photo
Getty Images | John Phillips

 Kat Dennings

Birth name: Katherine Litwack

kat dennings photo
Getty Images | Frazer Harrison

 Theo James

Birth name: Theo Taptiklis

theo james photo
Getty Images | Jamie McCarthy

 Whoopi Goldberg

Birth name: Caryn Johnson

whoopi goldberg photo
Getty Images | Jamie McCarthy

 Michael Keaton

Birth name: Michael Douglas

michael keaton photo
Getty Images | Dia Dipasupil

 Portia de Rossi

Birth name: Amanda Rogers

portia de rossi photo
Getty Images | Jerod Harris

 Alan Alda

Birth name: Alphonso D’Abruzzo

alan alda photo
Getty Images | Bryan Bedder

 Retta

Birth name: Marietta Sirleaf

retta photo
Getty Images | Jamie McCarthy

 Ralph Fiennes

Birth name: Ralph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes

ralph fiennes photo
Getty Images | John Phillips

 Amy Ryan

Birth name: Amy Dziewiontkowski

amy ryan photo
Getty Images | Michael Loccisano

 Jonah Hill

Birth name: Jonah Feldstein

jonah hill photo
Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez

 Queen Latifah

Birth name: Dana Owens

queen latifah photo
Getty Images | Frederick M. Brown

 Casey Affleck

Birth name: Caleb Affleck-Boldt

casey affleck 2016 photo
Getty Images | Dimitrios Kambouris

 Lea Michele

Birth name: Lea Sarfati

lea michelle photo
Getty Images | Matt Winkelmeyer

 Dennis Franz

Birth name: Dennis Schlacht

dennis franz photo
Getty Images | Frederick M. Brown

 Natasha Lyonne

Birth name: Natasha Braunstein

natasha lyonne photo
Getty Images | Christopher Polk

 Julie Bowen

Birth name: Julie Luetkemeyer

julie bowen photo
Getty Images | Paras Griffin

30. Martin Sheen

Birth name: Ramon Estevez

martin sheen photo
Getty Images | Matt Winkelmeyer

 

John Boyega

Birth name: John Adegboyega

john boyega photo
Getty Images | Tristan Fewings

 Brie Larson

Birth name: Brianne Desaulniers

brie larson photo
Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez

Did any of these name changes surprise you?