Demetria Guines, Norma Jean Mortensen, Lydia Petrovna Mironova Illian, Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner? Ring a bell? No? Well, they are Hollywood celebrities you know and love but who go by a stage name, because their birth name was not Hollywood enough. Here are ten celebrities who use a stage name.
1. Chuck Norris
Born as Carlos Ray, Norris joined the Army right after high school and during a mission in Korea he began studying martial arts (Tang Soo Do). Upon returning home, he worked for Northrop Aviation and as a karate instructor. Two years later, he was a full-time instructor and ran several schools of martial arts.
2. Whoopi Goldberg
Caryn Elaine Johnson (born in New York on November 13, 1955) is known as Whoopi Goldberg. Even though her father was a Protestant pastor, Goldberg says that her family has a mixture of religions, from Catholic to Buddhist or Jewish. When she was 8, she starred in a small theater company.
3. Demi Moore
Demetria Guines or Demi Moore was born on November 11, 1962 in Roswell, New Mexico, with a pretty tumultuous childhood. After at 16 she quit school for a modeling career, then at the age of 18 she married singer Freddy Moore.
4. Marilyn Monroe
Her real name was Norma Jean Mortensen, but was known as Marilyn Monroe and also as Norma Jean Baker. Her father’s identity is unknown. She had a tragic childhood because her mother, a former editor at several film studios, was mentally unstable and was admitted to a nursing home when Norma Jean was only five. After her mother’s admission to the sanitarium, she lived in a series of foster homes and then in an orphanage.
5. Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren (Lydia Petrovna Mironova Illian) was born in London on July 26, 1945. Grandfather Piotr Vasilievich Mironoff, Russian aristocrat who came to England and was making weapon deals during the Russian Revolution 1917 and together with his wife and son settled in London. Her parents Kathleen Rogers and Vasily Mironoff meet here and have three children together: Helen, Peter Basil Mironoff and Katherine Mironoff.
Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner (soooo long) was born on October 2, 1951 and is known under the stage name Sting. Before having a remarkable career as a solo artist, he was lead singer, composer and bassist of the rock band The Police in 1970 and 1980.
7. Jodie Foster
Alicia Christian Foster began her career at the age of three in television commercials and regularly played various roles in television series. The role of Alice Does not Live Here Anymore (1975) brought her into public attention and that of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976).
8. George Michael
Although of Greek in origin (real name Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou), George Michael was born in London on June 25, 1963. In middle school he was to know Andrew Ridgeley, the one with whom he would later form the band The Executive in 1981. Soon, the couple realized that their success could stand rather in a duo formula. As a result, a year later Wham released the first single, Wham Rap.
9. Alan Alda
Alphonso Joseph D’ Abruzzo or Alan Alda has received 31 Emmy nominations and two Tony Awards and won seven People’s Choice Awards, six Golden Globes awards, three Directors Guild of America. Alda also wrote several stories and poems that have appeared in Marlo Thomas’s television show Free to Be … You and Me. He also wrote two books: Never Have Your Dog Stuffed (2006) and Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself (2007).
10. Woody Allen
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1st, 1935, in Bronx, son of Martin and Nettie Konigsberg Cherry. With a very high IQ, Woody was placed in a class with a special program, but his reaction was to reject it: not doing his homework, talking back to teachers. He was very attracted to sports and even practiced boxing for a short period until he dropped out at the request of his parents.