8 Stars You Didn't Know They Use Stage Names

You might be surprised to learn how many Hollywood celebrities have gone through the process of changing their stage names. They convert it to a stage handle in order to make it click better among their admirers and to genuinely improve their careers. This is analogous to the practice of authors using pen names. Some actors decide to alter their surnames because it is difficult to pronounce or because it is too closely associated with their national heritage.
Other actors change their surnames because it is difficult to speak or because it is too closely associated with their national heritage. There are several that look like they may be stage names, like Vin Diesel and Jamie Foxx, but here is more that you would not have recognized were real names.

1. Nicholas Cage

Stage Names, Nicholas CageSource: Getty Images

Nicholas did not want to be referred to as the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola, the famed producer responsible for making The Godfather. Instead of trying to ride his success, he decided to adopt his mentor's surname and became known as Cage.

2. Natalie Portman

Stage Names, Natalie PortmanSource: Getty Images

Her Hebrew name was Neta-Lee Hershlag. Natalie is the translation of the first name. However, she was known professionally as Hershlag until she started her acting career. She decided to adopt the surname Portman because that had been her grandmother's original surname.

3. Winona Ryder

Stage Names, Winona RyderSource: Getty Images

Winona Horowitz is her birth name; she became recognized as an actor in the 1990s. However, in order to have a stage name that sounded more appealing, she decided to change her surname, much as Natalie Portman did.

4. Katy Perry

Stage Names, Katy PerrySource: Getty Images

The famous singer was given the name Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson at birth, but she later changed it because she didn't want people to confuse her with the actress Kate Hudson. The family name Perry was passed down to her by her mother.

5. Michael J. Fox

Stage Names, Michael J. FoxSource: Getty Images

Michael Fox, star of "Back to the Future," could not join SAG under that name because it was already in use. Andrew originally had his middle name, but he decided that the middle initial was too Canadian, so he changed it to Michael J. Pollard after reading about him in a book.

6. Olivia Wilde

Stage Names, Olivia WildeSource: Getty Images

Olivia comes from a family of writers, but she decided not to use her last name, Cockburn because she didn't think it would work well on stage. She altered it to honor her family and draw inspiration from Oscar Wilde, who had been an important figure in her life.

7. Tim Allen

Stage Names, Tim AllenSource: Getty Images

His full name at birth is Timothy Allen Dick, but I'm guessing he is known as "The Tool Man" on Home Improvement, and his last name didn't work out very well. Instead of using his surname, he adopted his middle name.

8. Miley Cyrus

Stage Names, Miley CyrusSource: Getty Images

In light of the fact that her father is Billy Ray Cyrus, the fact that her real name is Destiny Hope Cyrus is likely not going to come as a surprise to you. She changed her name legally when she was a child since the nickname "Smiley Miley" became too embarrassing for her.
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