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The Surprising Real Names Of 35 Celebrities

We did not expect Tom's real name to be Thomas Mapother IV!

It’s no news flash that celebrities often adopt new names when they get into the entertainment business.

In decades past, it was anti-Semitism and other prejudices that led some actors to change their names for Hollywood. But today, when celebrities take stage names, it’s usually to maintain some anonymity, make their name easier to pronounce or simply to make it sound cooler than the one they were born with.

Stage names don’t seem to be as common in today’s entertainment business as they were in the old days, but we’ve managed to gather 35 actors who go by a different name than the one they were born with. I bet a few of them will surprise you!

Winona Ryder

Birth name: Winona Horowitz

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Jackie Chan

Birth name: Chan Kong-sang

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Mindy Kaling

Birth name: Vera Chokalingham

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Tim Allen

Birth name: Timothy Dick

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Julianne Moore

Birth name: Julie Anne Smith

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Demi Moore

Birth name: Demi Guynes

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Tom Cruise

Birth name: Thomas Mapother IV

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Nicolas Cage

Birth name: Nicolas Coppola

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Vin Diesel

Birth name: Mark Sinclair

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Alison Brie

Birth name: Alison Schermerhorn

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Jamie Foxx

Birth name: Eric Bishop

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Natalie Portman

Birth name: Natalie Hershlag

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Blake Lively

Birth name: Blake Brown

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Ben Kingsley

Birth name: Krishna Bhanji

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Meg Ryan

Birth name: Margaret Hyra

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Michael Caine

Birth name: Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr.

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Kat Dennings

Birth name: Katherine Litwack

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Theo James

Birth name: Theo Taptiklis

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Whoopi Goldberg

Birth name: Caryn Johnson

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Michael Keaton

Birth name: Michael Douglas

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Portia de Rossi

Birth name: Amanda Rogers

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Alan Alda

Birth name: Alphonso D’Abruzzo

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Retta

Birth name: Marietta Sirleaf

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Ralph Fiennes

Birth name: Ralph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes

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Amy Ryan

Birth name: Amy Dziewiontkowski

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Jonah Hill

Birth name: Jonah Feldstein

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Queen Latifah

Birth name: Dana Owens

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Casey Affleck

Birth name: Caleb Affleck-Boldt

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Lea Michele

Birth name: Lea Sarfati

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Dennis Franz

Birth name: Dennis Schlacht

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Natasha Lyonne

Birth name: Natasha Braunstein

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Julie Bowen

Birth name: Julie Luetkemeyer

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Martin Sheen

Birth name: Ramon Estevez

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John Boyega

Birth name: John Adegboyega

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Brie Larson

Birth name: Brianne Desaulniers

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Did any of these name changes surprise you?

This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for other great tips and ideas to make the most out of life.