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Famous Stage Names

Guest Author - Nancy Man

Many of the famous names we know aren't the actual names of the people they're associated with -- they're stage names, coined (in most cases) to either cover up a person's heritage or to make the name more appealing to contemporary audiences.

For instance, the birth names of the following actors and singers were much more "ethnic"-sounding than their later stage names:

Alan Alda was born Alfonso Joseph D'Abruzzo
Alex Trebek was born Giorgi Suka-Alex Trebek
Ben Kingsley was born Krishna Banji
Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara
George Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou
Hedy Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler
Johnny Desmond was born Giovanni Alfredo De Simone
Lila Lee was born Augusta Wilhelmena Fredericka Appel
Martin Sheen was born Ramon Gerardo Antonio Estevez
Natalie Wood was born Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko
Rita Hayworth was born Margarita Carmen Cansino
Sophia Loren was born Sofia Villani Scicolone

The following actors and singers simplified their original names:

Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach
Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Fred Astaire was born Frederick Austerlitz
Jane Seymour was born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenburg
Macy Gray was born Natalie Renee McIntyre
Meg Ryan was born Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra
Michael Caine was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite
Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley
Peggy Lee was born Norma Deloris Egstrom
Rock Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr.
Sandra Dee was born Alexandria Cymboliak Zuck
Veronica Lake was born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman

And these actors and singers changed their birth names to "add" a little something (e.g., sophistication, sexiness, quirkiness):

Anna Nicole Smith was born Vickie Lynn Hogan
Billie Holiday was born Eleanora Fagan
Brigitte Bardot was born Camille Javal
Carmen Electra was born Tara Leigh Patrick
Engelbert Humperdinck was born Arnold George Dorsey
Erykah Badu was born Erica Abi Wright
Gypsy Rose Lee was born Louise Rose Hovick
Jamie Foxx was born Eric Bishop
Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm
Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske
Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jean Mortenson
Morgan Fairchild was born Patsy Ann McClenny
Rodney Dangerfield was born Jacob Cohen
Sigourney Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver
Stockard Channing was born Susan Antonia Williams Stockard

So what do stage names have to do with baby names?

Well, we want our children to be perceived a certain way, just as actors and singers do. So as you consider baby names, don't forget to ask yourself what each name "says" about the bearer -- what sort of "message" each name conveys -- and whether these connotations are acceptable and/or desirable to you.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Nancy Man. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Nancy Man. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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