Wikipedia – List of stage names

Several decades ago, actors, comedians, and musicians changed their names when they hit the big time. I’m not really sure why, but that was the tradition. What confuses me even more is that stars still change their names today! What’s the point? Are they embarrassed of their names or, even worse, their heritage?

Here are some celebrities’ real names:

A:
Clay Aiken’s real name is Clay Grissom
Alan Alda’s real name is Alphonso D’Abruzzo
Jason Alexander’s real name is Jason Greenspan
Woody Allen’s real name is Allen Konigsberg
Maya Angelou’s real name is Marguerite Johnson
Fred Astaire’s real name is Fred Austerlitz

B:
Pat Benatar’s real name is Pat Andrzejewski
Jack Benny’s real name is Benjamin Kubelsky
Robert Blake’s real name is Michael Gubitosi
Bono’s real name is Paul Hewson
Victor Borge’s real name is Borge Rosenbaum
Charles Bronson’s real name is Charles Bunchinsky
Albert Brooks’s real name is Albert Einstein
Mel Brooks’s real name is Mel Kaminsky
George Burns’s real name is Nathan Birnbaum

C:
Dean Cain’s real name is Dean Tanaka
Michael Caine’s real name is Maurice Micklewhite, Jr.
Phoebe Cates’s real name is Phoebe Katz
Liz Claiborne’s real name is Anne Claiborne
Andrew “Dice” Clay’s real name is Andrew Silverstein
Alice Cooper’s real name is Vincent Furnier
David Copperfield’s real name is David Kotkin
Howard Cosell’s real name is Howard Cohen
Elvis Costello’s real name is Declan MacManus
Lou Costello’s real name is Lou Cristillo
Tony Curtis’s real name is Bernard Schwartz

D:
Rodney Dangerfield’s real name is Jacob Cohen
Kirk Douglas’s real name is Issur Danielovitch
Bob Dylan’s real name is Bob Zimmerman

E:
“Mama” Cass Elliott’s real name is Ellen Cohen

F:
Larry Fine’s real name is Louis Feinberg
Gerald Ford’s real name is Leslie King, Jr.
Dennis Franz’s real name is Dennis Schlachta

G:
Judy Garland’s real name is Frances Gumm
George Gershwin’s real name is Jacob Gershowitz
Kathie Lee Gifford’s real name is Kathie Lee Epstein
Elliott Gould’s real name is Elliott Goldstein
Cary Grant’s real name is Archibald Leach

H:
Daryl Hall’s real name is Daryl Hohl
Charlton Heston’s real name is John Carter
Harry Houdini’s real name is Ehrich Weiss
Curly Howard’s real name is Jerome Horwitz
Moe Howard’s real name is Harry Horwitz
Shemp Howard’s real name is Samuel Horwitz

K:
Boris Karloff’s real name is William Pratt
Danny Kaye’s real name is David Kaminsky
Michael Keaton’s real name is Michael Douglas
Alan King’s real name is Irwin Kniberg
Carole King’s real name is Carol Klein
Larry King’s real name is Larry Zeiger
Johnny Knoxville’s real name is Philip Clapp

L:
Ann Landers’s real name is Esther Friedman
Michael Landon’s real name is Eugene Orowitz
Estee Lauder’s real name is Josephine Mentzer
Stan Laurel’s real name is Arthur Jefferson
Joey Lawrence’s real name is Joey Mignogna, Jr.
“Grandpa” Al Lewis’s real name is Al Meister
Huey Lewis’s real name is Hugh Cregg III
Jerry Lewis’s real name is Jerry Levitch
Shari Lewis’s real name is Sonia Hurwitz
Peter Lorre’s real name is Laszlo Lowenstein
Courtney Love’s real name is Courtney Harrison

M:
Barry Manilow’s real name is Barry Pincus
Penny Marshall’s real name is Carole Masciarelli
Jackie Mason’s real name is Yacov Maza
Freddie Mercury’s real name is Farrokh Bulsara
Ethel Merman’s real name is Ethel Zimmermann
Lorne Michaels’s real name is Lorne Lipowitz
Joni Mitchell’s real name is Roberta Anderson

N:
Juice Newton’s real name is Judy Cohen

O:
Frank Oz’s real name is Richard Oznowicz

P:
Jack Palance’s real name is Volodymyr Palahnyuk
Iggy Pop’s real name is James Osterberg, Jr.
Natalie Portman’s real name is Natalie Hershlag

R:
Joey Ramone’s real name is Jeffry Hyman
Ayn Rand’s real name is Alisa Rosenbaum
Tony Randall’s real name is Arthur Rosenberg
Paul Reubens’s real name is Paul Rubenfeld
Edward G. Robinson’s real name is Emanuel Goldenberg
Roy Rogers’s real name is Leonard Slye
Jack Ruby’s real name is Jacob Rubenstein
Meg Ryan’s real name is Margaret Hyra
Winona Ryder’s real name is Winona Horowitz

S:
Soupy Sales’s real name is Milton Supman
Jane Seymour’s real name is Joyce Frankenberg
Artie Shaw’s real name is Arthur Arshawsky
Martin Sheen’s real name is Ramon Estevez
Gene Simmons’s real name is Chaim Witz
Anna Nicole Smith’s real name is Vickie Hogan
Jon Stewart’s real name is Jon Liebowitz
Sting’s real name is Gordon Sumner

T:
Danny Thomas’s real name is Amos Jacobs
Jonathan Taylor Thomas’s real name is Jonathan Weiss
Steven Tyler’s real name is Steven Tallarico

V:
Frankie Valli’s real name is Francis Castelluccio
Jean Claude Van Damme’s real name is Jean-Claude Van Varenburg
Eddie Vedder’s real name is Eddie Seversen III
Jesse Ventura’s real name is James Janos

W:
Vera Wang’s real name is Wang Weiwei
Jack Warden’s real name is John Lebzelter
Adam West’s real name is William Anderson
Vanna White’s real name is Vanna Rosich
Gene Wilder’s real name is Jerome Silberman
Shelley Winters’s real name is Shirley Schrift