Real names, stage names

Published in: News 03/04/2014

Freddy Mercury - Queen

Actors, singers, as well as writers and artists, often give up their unpronounceable names in favor of easier (or just more appealing) stage names or nom de plume. Here are the most famous pseudonyms in the world and the terrible names they conceal. 


Unpronounceable real names 

Woody AllenAllan Stewart Königsberg
Jennifer AnistonJennifer Anastassakis
Dan AykroydDaniel Edward Agraluscasacra
Freddie MercuryFarrokh Bulsara
Kirk DouglasIssur Danilovitch Demsky
Vivien LeighVivian Mary Hartleyù
George MichaelGeorgios Kyriacos Panayiotou
Stevie Wonder Steveland Hardaway Judkins
Charles AznavourChahnourh Varinag Aznavourian

Perfect stage names

Brigitte BardotCamille Javal
Bo DerekMary Cathleen Collins
Bob DylanRobert Allen Zimmerman
Elton JohnReginald Kenneth Dwight
Iggy PopJames Newell Osterberg

Nom de plume

Stephen KingRichard Bachman
Agatha ChristieAgatha Mary Clarissa Miller
George OrwellEric Arthur Blair
George SandAmantine Aurore Lucile Dupin
Marguerite YourcenarMarguerite de Crayencour
Sophie KinsellaMadeleine Sophie Wickham
Fred VargasFrédérique Audoin-Rouzeau


Less is more

EminemMarshall Bruce Mathers III
StingGordon Matthew Sumner 
MoebiusJean Giraud
HergéGeorges Remi
SkinDeborah Anne Dryer
NeeraAnna Zuccari Radius
VoltaireFrançois-Marie Arouet
MolièreJean-Baptiste Poquelin

The appeal of an Italian name

Elvis CostelloDeclan Patrick McManus
Tony CurtisBernard Schwartz
Curzio MalaparteKurt Erich suckert
Italo SvevoAron Hector Schmitz


English is better

Rita HayworthMargarita Carmen Cansino
Ashley JuddAshley Tyler Ciminella
Dean MartinDino Paul Crocetti
Anne BancroftAnna Maria Louise Italiano


Way better than the original 

Demi MooreDemetria Guynes
Yves MontandIvo Livi
Gae AulentiGaetana Aulenti
Lady GagaStefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
LinusPasquale di Molfetta

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