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What’s in a name?

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

Norma Jeane Mortenson

Norma Jeane Mortenson

Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm

Frances Ethel Gumm

Frances Ethel Gumm

Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach

Archibald Alexander Leach

Archibald Alexander Leach

Ginger Rogers was Virginia Katherine McMath

Virginia Katherine McMath

Virginia Katherine McMath

Jean Harlow had the strange name of Harlean Harlow Carpenter

Harlean Harlow Carpenter

Harlean Harlow Carpenter

Greta Garbo was Greta Louisa Gustafsson

Greta Louisa Gustafsson

Greta Louisa Gustafsson

Doris Day was Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff

Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff

Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff

Rita Hayworth was Rita Cansino

Rita Cansino

Rita Cansino

Vivien Leigh was Vivian Mary Hartley

Vivian Mary Hartley

Vivian Mary Hartley

Bette Davis was Ruth Elizabeth Davis

Ruth Elizabeth Davis

Ruth Elizabeth Davis

Debbie Reynolds was born Mary Frances Reynolds

Mary Frances Reynolds

Mary Frances Reynolds

Gary Cooper (super duper) was Frank James Cooper

Frank James Cooper

Frank James Cooper

Fred Astaire was Frederick Austerlitz

Frederick Austerlitz

Frederick Austerlitz

Lana Turner was Julia Jean Turner

Julia Jean Turner

Julia Jean Turner

William Clark Gable just lost the William to become Clark Gable

William Clark Gable

William Clark Gable

 

Myrna Loy was Myrna Adele Williams

Myrna Adele Williams

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!

    Lucille Fay LeSueur

Lucille Fay LeSueur

Gregory Peck was Eldred Gregory Peck

Eldred Gregory Peck

Eldred Gregory Peck

Audrey Hepburn was Audrey Kathleen Ruston

Audrey Kathleen Ruston

Audrey Kathleen Ruston

Mary Pickford was Gladys Marie Smith

Gladys Marie Smith

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.

Source and copyright: According to Japanese Copyright Law the copyright on this work has expired and is as such public domain.

Source and copyright: This media file is in the public domain in the United States.

4 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Caprice Royal

    All your posts are great posts but this one makes me smile more than others. I can’t imagine, for instance, Cary Grant advertised as Archibald Leach…too funny !

    Reply

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