Quite a lot if we believe the Hollywood Studios of the 30s and 40s! There were only a handful of Classic Hollywood stars who kept their own names, including Jane Russell, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn and Grace Kelly. The majority of actors and actresses had their identities completely re-written. How many of these 20 did you know, and would they have been as successful if they’d kept their original names?
Marilyn Monroe was christened Norma Jeane Mortenson
Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm
Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach
Ginger Rogers was Virginia Katherine McMath
Jean Harlow had the strange name of Harlean Harlow Carpenter
Greta Garbo was Greta Louisa Gustafsson
Doris Day was Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff
Rita Hayworth was Rita Cansino
Vivien Leigh was Vivian Mary Hartley
Bette Davis was Ruth Elizabeth Davis
Debbie Reynolds was born Mary Frances Reynolds
Gary Cooper (super duper) was Frank James Cooper
Fred Astaire was Frederick Austerlitz
Lana Turner was Julia Jean Turner
William Clark Gable just lost the William to become Clark Gable
Myrna Loy was Myrna Adele Williams
And then there were the stars who had better names before. Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur and must have been gutted to lose her glamorous name!
Gregory Peck was Eldred Gregory Peck
Audrey Hepburn was Audrey Kathleen Ruston
Mary Pickford was Gladys Marie Smith
Source and source and source and source and source and source and source and source and source and copyright: This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed.
Source and source and source and source and source and source and source and source and source and copyright: This work is in the public domain in that it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice.