This is a brief look into the myriad of stars who have either changed their name or use stage names to either enhance their appeal or afford a little pinch of privacy.  We will continue with this list in later articles.  Don't forget to Share this so you can leave your friends equally as star-struck!

Mila Kunis

At the age of seven, Milena Markovna Kunis and her family moved from Ukraine to Los Angeles, CA.

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Mila's mother, Elvira, and father, Mark, soon enrolled her in acting classes and allowed Mila to shorten her name when she started booking her first roles on "Days of our Lives," "7th Heaven" and playing a young Angelina Jolie in "Gia."

Kit Harington

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington belongs in the Maggie Gyllenhaal club. As a child, he assumed his name was Kit, but nope – it’s Christopher Catesby Harrington. Kit is traditionally a nickname for Christopher, but it’s all-but forgotten in the US. Could handsome Mr. Harington spark a revival?

Nicki Manaj

Nicki sounds like the girl next door. But Trinidad and Tobago-born, Queens-raised rapper-singer Nicki Minaj was actually born with the elegant name Onika Tanya Maraj. Nicki comes from Onika, and one of her early producers changed Maraj to Minaj.

Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel was born plain Mark Sinclair. The Vin comes from his stepfather’s surname, Vincent. Diesel turned out to be a fitting surname for the future star of the Fast and the Furious franchise. As his career has taken off, Diesel has caught on as cool name for boys.


When he played wheelchair-bound Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian TV show "Degrassi," the actor went by the name Aubrey Graham. But when the Toronto native switched his career focus to rapping in 2009 after signing a recording contract with Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment, he started using one name only: Drake.

Bruno Mars

Peter Gene Hernandez has been called Bruno since he was a kid because his dad thought he looked like wrestler Bruno Sammartino. The name stuck, and when he launched his musical career, teenaged Bruno chose Mars as his stage surname because, he’s “out of this world.”

Reese Witherspoon

Another celebrity whose middle name was promoted to the first spot? Reese Witherspoon, of course. Born Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon, the mega-star adopted her bonus middle – and her mother’s maiden name - as her stage name, and put Reese on the list of possibilities for girls.

Natalie Portman

Oscar-winning actress Natalie Herschlag is better known by her stage name, Natalie Portman.

After being born in Jerusalem, Israel, in 1981 to an Israeli gynecologist father named Avner Hershlag and American mother named Shelley Stevens (her mother's family changed their last name from "Edelstein" to "Stevens" when arriving in the U.S. from Russia and Austria), Portman now holds dual American and Israeli citizenship

Christopher Walken

According to a Salon article from 2000, Walken was originally named after actor Ronald Colman. 

The change in name came about after singer Monique Van Vooren, who Walken worked for at the time, renamed him Christopher for no real apparent reason. The name stuck, though his friends still call him Ronnie.

Louis C.K.

The comedian's Hungarian surname is pronounced SEK-kay; however, after people had a tough time pronouncing his name, he decided to change it to an easier English translation: SEE-Kay.

Jamie Foxx

Rumor has it Foxx picked an androgynous name because he noticed female comedians were often picked over men to perform at comedy clubs.

Tina Fey

That's right. Fey shares the name of her "30 Rock" Liz Lemon character. Her stage name is just a shortened version of her middle name. 


The rapper has said the stage name explains his split personality. 

"The nickname is something I made up," said Ludacris. "Part of me is calm, cool, and collective (sic), while the other side is just beyond crazy."

Ben Kingsley

Ben went all out and changed his entire name from Krishna Pandit Bhanji to Ben Kingsley.
Like Barack Obama, Kingsley was born to a white mother and Kenyan father — of Indian Muslim descent.

Kirk Douglas

His real name was Issur Danielovitch Demsky.

I really like his actual name. There's something appropriately commanding about a man named “Issur Demsky.”  What do you think?

Courtney Love

Her real name was Love Michelle Harrison. Apparently can change the name, but you can’t change the cray!

Shania Twain

Shania was originally named Eileen Regina Edwards. Twain is her stepfather’s last name.

Stevie Wonder

His real name was Steveland Judkins. Steveland?  Given Wonder's epic status, having a theme park in his name doesn't sound so far fetched?  Maybe he didn't have that much faith in himself when he started his career?  Love me some Stevie though!

Posted in Entertainment and filed under celebrity.
Source: businessinsider,