HOLLYWOOD—The glamour of being a famous celebrity. We all see the rich and famous everyday portraying various characters in film, television, and radio. Being an actor, is the ultimate dream of anyone pursuing a career in acting. The majority of actors usually perform in smaller productions, clearly starting out in commercials or as extras on television shows or films.
As we all know, the actor’s role is to fully represent the character they are playing and to convince their audience that character is real by engaging them and drawing them into the story. Physical appearance can be important in creating a character as well, and actors will often lose or gain weight, or change their hair color to physically create the character they are playing. Some actors even, leave their birth name behind. Celebrities throughout the past century have often adopted new names for their career.
Let’s look at some celebrities who changed their names for their careers. Some have been simple, others have taken a total new identity. Actor Brad Pitt, the Oscar-winning star of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” was born William Bradley Pitt. It’s much sexier Brad Pitt. Spike Lee the legendary filmmaker goes by Spike, but his birth name is Shelton, which is also his mother’s maiden name. He was given that name by his mother, since he was a tough kid.
Mosel Demi Gene Guynes changed her name when she married musician Freddy Moore at the age of 18 and held onto the name after their divorce a few years later, having used it for her role on “General Hospital.” Actor Michael Keaton is an example of an actor who needed to change his name because there was already an actor in the Screen Actors Guild with his birth name. His real name is Michael John Douglas, we all know he changed his name for the obvious reasons. The late actor Kirk Douglas, Michael’s dad was born Issur Danielovitch. Sometimes you just need to move on and leave the past behind. Kirk Douglas grew up extremely poor however made it to the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts on a scholarship where one of his fellow classmates was none other than Betty Joan Perske aka Lauren Bacall.
Actress Diane Keaton, was actually born as Diane Hall; she chose her mother’s maiden name as her stage name. Well, yes, the fact that she shares a surname with one of her most famous characters was very much intentional. Actor Chevy Chase, was given his stage name by his grandmother, who took it from the medieval English ballad, “The Ballad of Chevy Chase.” However, Cornelius Crane Chase is named for his grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane. It turns out that Chase’s Community character’s father being named Cornelius was a nice inside job.
Now, this is amusing. She started her life as Caryn Elaine Johnson, and her stage name became Whoopi Goldberg. She had once admitted her name came from a Whoopee cushion. As funny as that is, she became Whoopi. Another funny lady, the late Bea Arthur, of “Golden Girls” fame. One, she was in the Marine Corps. Two, she was born Bernice Frankel. She married another Marine, Robert Aurthur, after she was honorably discharged, and modified her new last name to act as her stage name.
Last but not least, our Lady Gaga. It’s been a mystery how Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta came by her stage name. It began with her then-boyfriend and producer Bob Fusari comparing Germanotta’s sound to Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga.” Fusari takes credit for her full name, saying the phone auto-corrected “Radio,” to “Lady,” when he texted her one day. He relayed this version of the story when he sued his ex back in 2010. Gaga disputes that recollection, however, she says she liked how the stately elegance connoted by “Lady” offset and played with the craziness evoked by “Gaga.”
Rose’s Scoop: Microsoft’s TikTok deal could cost between $10 billion to $30 billion, let’s see what happens in the uncertain future of TikTok.