Celebrities Who Have Changed Their Names (They Aren't Who You Think They Are)

14 Celebs Who Have Changed Their Names (They Aren’t Who You Think They Are)

Think this is Tom Cruise? Think again. Some celebs, including Mr. Mapother pictured above, have changed their names before becoming famous. Which Hollywood heavyweights were born with a different name? Find out!

Reese Witherspoon

Photo: WENN

The actress shortened her name from Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon for the big screen — “Reese” is mom’s maiden name.

Katy Perry

Photo: WENN

Perry’s first album was a self-titled release under her given name, Katy Hudson.


Photo: WENN

Just like Madonna and Cher, Aubrey Drake Graham dropped parts of his name so he’s now simply known as Drake.

Natalie Portman

Photo: WENN

Portman, who was born Natalie Herschlag, is a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, where she was born.

Whoopi Goldberg

Photo: WENN

Caryn Elaine Johnson picked her stage name when people referred to her gassiness as being similar to a whoopee cushion.

Jamie Foxx

Photo: WENN

Eric Marlon Bishop changed his name when he began his stand-up career in honor of comedian Redd Foxx.

Tina Fey

Photo: WENN

Fey didn’t have to look far for her character Liz Lemon’s name on 30 Rock. The actress was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey.

Stevie Wonder

Photo: WENN

For such a wonder of talent, it may be surprising to know that Stevie Wonder used to be Stevland Hardaway Morris.

Charlie Sheen

Photo: WENN

Sheen, whose real name is Carlos Estevez, took his stage name from his father Ramon Estevez, who is better known as Martin Sheen.

Dakota Fanning

Photo: WENN

Apparently, Hannah isn’t exotic enough for a movie star name, which may be why the actress dropped it and is better known by her middle name, Dakota.

Olivia Wilde

Photo: WENN

The actress was born with the less wild name Olivia Jane Cockburn. She took her stage name in honor of poet and writer Oscar Wilde.


Photo: WENN

Pink, who got her name from a character in the movie Reservoir Dogs, was actually born as the less-than-colorful Alicia Moore.

Tom Cruise

Photo: WENN

Before he was a top gun, Cruise was better known as Thomas Mapother IV.

Spike Lee

Photo: WENN

Before making movies and having courtside seats for the Knicks, Spike was better known as Shelton Lee.

Alicia Keys

Photo: WENN

One key to Alicia’s success may be her name change from Alicia Cook.

Tina Turner

Photo: WENN

Anna Mae Bullock got her stage name from her ex-husband Ike Turner.

Portia De Rossi

Photo: WENN

Amanda Rogers changed her name in high school to be more daring.

Jon Stewart

Photo: WENN

Stewart’s stage name was inspired by his given name, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz.

Miley Cyrus

Photo: WENN

When she was born, Miley’s country-singing dad gave her the name Destiny Cyrus.

Ralph Lauren

Photo: WENN

Lauren’s name is probably easier to fit on a clothing tag than his real name, Ralph Rueben Lifshitz.


    I’m about to change my name to, MR. “THIS WEBSITE SUCKS”! JENKINS.

  • Ambitious12

    first off Drake didn’t change his name His middle name is Drake, and also it’s his stage name….What rapper would want to be called by their first name? 2nd I will not sit here and flip through all these pages

  • Not clicking through all those pages. Newsflash: You’re losing readers like that……..

  • Antonio

    I was actually curious as to see what names these celebritries used to carry. Nice website! Thanks.

    • its

      I was

  • Mr. Ben

    Hate this “pages” link, shame on cnn for hosting such a poor user experience. It violates my end-user agreement. :/

  • nunya

    this is annoying….

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