It’s always interesting to find out celebrity real names, especially when you discover that a well loved star you’ve watched in movies for years actually had a completely different name growing up!
For example, when we found out that the Duchess of Sussex’s real name wasn’t Meghan and she had a different name early in life before she met Prince Harry, our minds were blown. And, having dug a little deeper, it turns out that Meghan Markle isn’t the only celebrity with a very different real name.
The likes of Katie Price, Gino D’Acampo and even Helen Mirren weren’t born with the name we now know them by. So what is causing all these celebrities to change their names?
Sometimes, a celebrity’s real name is already being used by another person in the industry – like Tess Daly, who changed her name twenty years ago.
Or, on occasion, these stars want a moniker that sounds snappier, or simply a little more extraordinary, and so decide to switch it up for extra star-power.
Whatever the reason for the change, it’s always a surprise when you find out these celebrity’s real names and what their baby names were that their parents actually chose for them…
How many of these celebrity real names do you know?
Celebrity real names: Gino D’Acampo
We can’t believe our ears – Gino isn’t Gino D’Acampo’s actual name! When he was born in 1976, his parents Alba and Ciro named him Gennaro D’Acampo, for which Gino is a shortened nickname.
What’s even funnier is that back in 2015, Gino legally changed his official middle name to “Sheffield” after taking part in a challenge on Keith Lemon’s Celebrity Juice – the show he went on to co-host after Holly Willoughby announced her departure.
Gino, or Gennaro – as his parents named him – is now legally known as, “Gennaro Sheffield D’Acampo.” Hilarious!
Celebrity real names: Meghan Markle
The Duchess of Sussex’s real name isn’t actually Meghan – she’s Rachel Meghan Markle by birth. Although the name Rachel eventually got a second lease of life, as it’s the name of the former actress’ character in the TV show Suits.
Meghan’s real name emerged back in March 2018 when Her Majesty the Queen offered her blessing for her grandson, Prince Harry, to marry “Rachel Meghan Markle.”
While it’s unclear why Meghan chose to use her middle name for her career, one suggestion is that the alliteration of Meghan Markle is more exciting for an actress looking to crack America.
Celebrity real names: Katie Price
Former Loose Women star and mum-of-five Katie Price was actually born Katrina Amy Alexandra Alexis Infield.
In 1988, her mother Amy married builder Paul Price, where she got her famous surname.
But, with her real five-word name a bit of a mouthful, the star started going by Katie Price at the age of 17 when she started her career in the public eye.
She confessed, “I hated mine [name], I was born Katrina Amy Alexandria Alexis Infield. I don’t know what my mum was thinking!”
Years later and at the height of her glamour modelling career, Katie started going by her alter ego, Jordan and her mum has the primary reason by her second name change: “My mum was working in the city,” she previously revealed. “She didn’t want people to know I was her daughter.”
Having been through more names than hot dinners, Katie revealed plans to ditch the pseudonym during her stint on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2004 – when she enjoyed a jungle romance with Peter Andre.
She finally succeeded in scrapping Jordan in 2017 saying: “I plan to get rid of Jordan, get rid of Katie Price and start as a new person. I’ll keep the name but I’ll be a brand new person. I’d like to have no dramas in 2018.”
Celebrity real names: Pink!
Well, you didn’t think she was actually named after the colour, did you? The Raise Your Glass singer’s real name is Alecia Beth Moore. There are several rumours about why she might have chosen the hue as her stage name, including her tendency to blush, and an affinity with Reservoir Dogs character Mr Pink.
On whether she’s received complaints over the link to Quentin Tarantino – who recently became a dad aged 56 – and his violent film, Reservoir Dogs, Pink revealed, “I’ve been receiving complaints for a very long time.”
Alluding to the other hilarious reason she’s called Pink, the singer revealed an anatomy lesson was to blame. “That’s [The other reason my name is Pink] is inappropriate too.
“My best friend had never seen a white girl’s vagina before so he asked me if I could see it, so I showed it to him and he said ‘It’s pink!’ Then my friends started calling me Mr. Pink.”
Celebrity real names: Anton Du Beke
Beke is Anton’s real last name, but he jazzed it up slightly by swapping his given first names, Anthony Paul Beke, for the now famous Anton Du Beke. The Mirror reports that close friends of the Strictly Come Dancing star – who is father to twins – actually call him Tony!
Celebrity real names: Helen Mirren
You’ll have seen the name Helen Mirren on billboards for years, but what you may not know is that Helen was actually born Ilynea Lydia Mironoff, to an English mother and a Russian father.
Although it’s not clear when Helen started using the name we all know and love, we do know that the actress’ father changed the family surname to Mirren in the 1950s.
Celebrity real names: Tess Daly
She’s been a firm favourite on our telly screens since joining Strictly Come Dancing back in 2004, but did you know that Tess Daly is another celebrity whose real name isn’t what you think it is?
The TV presenter was actually born Helen and only changed her name to Tess when she started modelling twenty years ago, at the age of just 17.
Tess, 51 – who is married to Vernon Kay – was forced to think of a new moniker to prevent confusion with another model on the books with a similar name, Helen Davies.
Having now lived with the new name for years, the Strictly star confessed she didn’t even choose the name Tess – that was decided by her agent.
“My agent was obsessed with [the actress] Nastassja Kinski at the time, who was in the film Tess, and thought I looked like her,” she explained. So Tess it was. I was gullible and impressionable.”
Despite forging a hugely successful TV career as Tess – the mum-of-two never officially changed her name, out of respect to her parents.
She told Weekend, “I’ve never changed it by deed poll or anything because I think it would be disrespectful to my parents.
“My mum’s really the only person who still calls me Helen, and that’s not often. She tends to call me ‘love’, so when she does say ‘Helen’ it can take me a while to respond.”
Celebrity real names: Meryl Streep
Meryl switched from the more common name Mary Louise Streep in the early days of her career.
The Mamma Mia actress confessed during an appearance on the Graham Norton show that she “haaaated” her original name, explaining, “I had to be named Mary because my mother’s name was Mary and so on, and Louise was my mother’s best friend. But I was always called Meryl. My father made that name up and he liked that name.”
Celebrity real names: Elton John
Some celebrities go for variations on their original names, but Elton picked a real wild card when he changed his name from Reginald Kenneth Dwight. It’s thought that his stage name is a combination of blues musicians Elton Dean and Long John Baldry (and apparently, his self-selected middle name is Hercules!).
Celebrity real names: Reese Witherspoon
Legally Blonde star Reese was born Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon. Reese – who recently opened up about her struggle with anxiety – is actually her mother’s maiden name, which she chose to take as her first name at the beginning of her career in showbiz.
Celebrity real names: Shania Twain
Eilleen Regina Edwards is the real name of the singer behind hits like “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” and “You’re Still the One”. Twain came from her stepfather, and she reportedly chose Shania because it’s a native Ojibwa word which means “on my way”.
Celebrity real names: Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore may sound like a plausible birth name, but Julianne’s actual name is even more ordinary: Julie Anne Smith.
She registered her longer stage name because “there was already a Julie Smith, a Julie Anne Smith, there was everything”, but added, “It’s horrible to change your name. I’d been Julie Smith my whole life, and I didn’t want to change it.”
Celebrity real names: Lady Gaga
At the other end of the spectrum, Lady Gaga is obviously not the pop singer’s real name, but the name that is still might surprise you: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Her alter ego was coined by music producer Rob Fusari, who would sing “Radio Ga Ga” to her in the studio.
Celebrity real names: Dido
Remember noughties songstress Dido? She may have gone by just one name as an artist, but that might be because she’s Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong by birth, and that’s tough to fit on an album cover!
Celebrity real names: Vin Diesel
Mark Sinclair Vincent is the name that Vin was born with. He explained during an appearance on The Late Late Show that he’d shortened his surname and turned it into his first name, and added his nickname, Diesel, because he was always full of so much energy. Original!
Celebrity real names: Whoopi Goldberg
We all know Whoopi as Whoopi from her Sister Act days, but before she hit the big screen, she went by Caryn Elaine Johnson. “People used to say to me, ‘You’re like a whoopee cushion.’ And that’s where the name came from!” she replied when asked how she’d come up with the unusual option.
Celebrity real names: Michael Caine
It’s been reported that Michael went from Maurice Joseph Micklewhite to his current name on the advice of an agent. He told New York magazine that he selected his surname as a tribute to Humphrey Bogart’s character in “The Caine Mutiny”.
Celebrity real names: Bruno Mars
We’re so used to the Just The Way You Are singer being Bruno, it’s hard to imagine calling him Peter Gene Hernandez!
Bruno adopted his alternate moniker after his father nicknamed him after a wrestler of the same name. On his surname, Bruno revealed, “I felt like I didn’t have no pizzazz, and a lot of girls say I’m out of this world, so I was like I guess I’m from Mars”.
Celebrity real names: Miley Cyrus
Billy Ray welcomed daughter Destiny Hope Cyrus in 1992, which is the name Miley used way before she was Hannah Montana.
She legally changed her name to Miley in 2015, after getting it from a childhood nickname because she was always “smiley”.