Famous Legal Name Changes That May Surprise You

Famous Legal Name Changes That May Surprise You

by Oct 9, 2019Family Law

Last week we wrote about common reasons why people legally change their names. But one of the reasons we left off of the list was stage names. Many actors, musicians, and other performers legally change their names to either simplify them or simply make them sound “cooler” than their legal birth names.

In fact, you’ll probably be surprised by many of the names on this list. How many people look at a rock star or movie icon and think “I wonder if that’s their real name?” The truth is that it’s a lot more common than you think.

Here are some famous legal name changes that you probably would have never expected.
 

Actors & Actresses

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston
Anyone over 30 knows Jennifer Aniston as the character Rachel from the television show Friends. Jennifer Aniston was born Jennifer Anastassakis in 1969 in the town of Sherman Oaks, California. Her father opted to change the family surname at the time Jennifer was born in order to fit in better in their recently adopted country.

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise
Not only is Tom Cruise one of the most famous action stars on the planet, he’s also got one of the coolest names ever right? Not really. Born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, one of his agents asked him to start using Cruise as his surname early in his career. Based on how it’s gone so far, it seems like a wise suggestion. Can you imagine going to see a Mission Impossible film starring Thomas Mapother?

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Musicians

Katy Perry

Katy Perry
Pop star Katy Perry was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson in Santa Barbara, California in 1984. She legally changed her name so she wouldn’t be confused with actress Kate Hudson.

Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars was born Peter Gene Hernandez in 1985. When he was two years old, his father started calling him Bruno as a nickname. The surname Mars just sounded cool and “larger than life” to the acclaimed songwriter, so that became his name.

Elton John

Elton John
One of the most iconic rock and roll musicians of all time, Elton John was born with the decidedly less dapper name Reginald Kenneth Dwight. Recognizing that his name was unlikely to draw in crowds when he began performing, he changed his name based on two blues legends: saxophonist Elton Dean and singer Long John Baldry.
 

Do You Want To Change Your Name?

If you would like to legally change your name, consider speaking with a family law attorney first. While an attorney is not required to change your name legally, the process is fairly complicated and can be confusing for those unfamiliar with how it’s done.

To learn more, or to get help with changing your name, please contact us today.

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At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.

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