We often question celebrities. It’s quite common to hear rumors about whether some of them did or didn’t have plastic surgery, do they actually look like that or are they just good lighting and spanks and a great team of makeup artists and stylists. We’re pretty used to taking the whole Hollywood look with a grain of salt. But you know what most people rarely question? Celebrity names. We just sort of take them for granted unless they’re completely ridiculous. However, as long as they sound real we’re happy to believe that’s actually the name they’ve always had. But that’s rarely the case. Let’s take a look at some celebrities that changed their names.
1. Meghan Markle
We’re so used to Meghan Markle that we all found it pretty weird when he suddenly became the Duchess of Sussex. However, Meghan is probably used to changing names at this point. What’s actually interesting is that Meghan isn’t her actual first name, it’s her middle name. Meghan’s first name is actually Rachel, yup, just like the name of her famous character on Suits. Was that role destiny or what?
2. Diane Keaton
You probably know her best for playing Annie Hall. But did you know that Diane Keaton, as cool as that name sounds, isn’t actually her name? Diane’s real last name is Hall. Is that another coincidence or did Woody Allen call his character that after Diane?
3. Ralph Lauren
We all know this name and the man behind it. It’s a staple of the fashion industry. It’s a brand, it’s a symbol of good taste, it just sounds freaking cool, doesn’t it? Well, we’re pretty sure Ralph picked it for that reason, cause his actual last name isn’t’ Lauren, he was born Lifshitz, but that makes a pretty “shitz” brand name, am I right?
4. Gigi Hadid
Yeah, Gigi doesn’t sound like the most common name, and a lot of us kind of assumed that it’s either a nickname, a shortened version of a full name or perhaps that’s actually her name, after all, her mom is Dutch and her dad is Jordanian, maybe that’s a common name in one of those countries. But no, Gigi’s actual name is Jelena Noura Hadid, but her mom started calling her Gigi when she was a kid and it just stuck.
5. Meg Ryan
Speaking of shortening one’s name, Meg Ryan wasn’t born Meg. And her real name isn’t even Megan. This actress was born Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra but that’s way too long to remember and as an actress, you want something people can recall. So she went with a short and sweet Meg Ryan.
6. John Legend
Listen, a person born with a name like that is meant to be a star, success is imminent, right? But the truth is that’s not his real name. He was born John Roger Stephens. But who says you can’t pave your own path to stardom and project the life you want to live. Clearly, John Legend was just manifesting his dreams when he picked such a legendary last name.
7. Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj wasn’t always called that. But in order to make it in the music industry, you need a memorable name. A lot of artists changed their names completely, but Nicki just changed a couple of letters and spelled it differently. She was actually born Onika Tanya Maraj.
8. Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage is actually related to a very famous director Francis Ford Coppola, and yeah, Sophia Coppola is his cousin. But Nicolas decided to distance himself from that famous last name so that he could find success based on his talent and not just family ties to Hollywood.
9. Olivia Wilde
That’s a pretty cool name and she’s a gorgeous and talented actress. Was she born with that last name? Is it a reference to Oscar Wilde? While we don’t know for sure if Olivia just wanted to seem more wild or if she’s a huge fan of the Irish poet and playwright, we do know that her real last name, Cockburn, just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
10. Nina Dobrev
While it’s still quite an unusual name, the full name of the Bolgarian born actress probably wouldn’t be as memorable. She was born Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva, but for the sake of Hollywood and an acting career she shortened it to Nina Dobrev.