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Stage names v real names

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  • Stage names v real names

    I was surprised that Wales' answer to Elvis Presley who was born Thomas Woodward decided to change his last name to the more prominent Jones - that was unusual for Tom. The same with actress Maggie Smith who changed her surname to the most listed one in the phone book. Also, Lennie Bennett of Punchlines fame sounds like a real name, but he was actually born Michael Berry - too similar to Food and Drink cook Michael Barry, perhaps? A mistake meant that Cilla turned from White to Black, but I think that the latter sounded a lot more glamourous to be honest.

    There are others who change their name to avoid confusion with someone else who already exists with that name - I assume that Shakin' Stevens might have wanted to distinguish himself from the BBC News presenter Michael Barratt for it was Shaky's real name too - when he was arrested for drink-driving during the early hours New Year's Day in 2002, according to news reports, his real name of Barratt was used in court, and not Stevens. Cliff Richard was still legally Harry Webb until he officially gave in and finally changed it by deed poll in 1980.

    Michael le Vell (Corrie's Kevin Webster) had to change his name from Michael Turner because another actor had that name who had appeared in the soap at the same time. Ironically enough, the other Michael Turner appeared in the Street in early 1981 in the same episode when le Vell was making a cameo as one of Rita Fairclough's paperboys for the Kabin and appeared in the same episode as Turner senior - the real irony was that Turner senior also played a character who worked with Eddie Yeats on the bins and had the surname Webster as well, although there was no evidence that he was any relation to Kevin who first appeared on the cobbles in 1983.

    On the other hand, there are some famous people who have stage name-sounding names but they were their real names all along. The name "Beadle" fits in quite well with being mischievous and crafty which was what Jeremy Beadle was famous for, and I thought that because of that coincidence that his real name was Jeremy Smith or something, and that "Beadle" was a stage name. It wasn't until I got his autobiography "Watch Out!" and saw a published school report in the book that he was birth name was indeed Beadle.

    Jim Bowen was plain Peter Williams - I assume another "to avoid confusion" reason there as well. I had never come across anyone called Vorderman, and so I assume that Carol's surname was one as well. Meanwhile, Monkhouse was such a rare name (as well as a word in general) that Bob must have adopted it as well, but it was his real surname he was born with. On the other hand, Michael Jackson, being his real name, did have a lot of everyday namesakes, many of them calling themselves Mick Jackson or Michael J Jackson to avoid confusion.

    And Reginald Dwight probably wanted John to be his surname so that he would be more distinguishable with his new first name, because John could be anyone. Of course, female celebrities don't usually take their spouses' married name a la Elizabeth Taylor unless it sounds better than the old one, probably to avoid confusion - Posh Spice sounds more distinctive even as a Beckham rather than an Adams - I think that she would have fewer namesakes as a result which helps in the long run.

    Have you ever been surprised that a celebrity's name wasn't their real name but a stage name, and on the other hand, it has been surprising that their official name was actually their birth name?

    I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
    There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
    I'm having so much fun
    My lucky number's one
    Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

  • #2
    Maurice Joseph Micklewight what handful no wonder he changed to Michael Caine.
    Richard Walter Jenkins became Richard Burton

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    • #3
      Shirley Crabtree didn’t exactly invoke an image of a wrestler, so big daddy it was
      heard Tom Jones took his name from the movie

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      • #4
        Reminds me of those Crosse and Blackwell adverts from the mid 1990s which shows celebrities' real names on screen as well the alternative names of various things such as a flute for a wine glass, ending with a voiceover going "Crosse and Blackwell - well-well-well".
        I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
        There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
        I'm having so much fun
        My lucky number's one
        Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thomas Woodward alias Tom Jones.Richard Starsky alias Ringo

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          • #6
            Budding singer David Jones didn't want to be mistaken for Davy Jones from the Monkees, so he chose the stage name David Bowie.
            The Trickster On The Roof

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            • #7
              Roger Barrett became Syd Barrett because there was already a Roger (Waters) in their music group the Ab Dabs, later the Pink Floyd Sound.
              My virtual jigsaws: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/beccabear67/Original-photo-puzzles

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              • #8
                I know a few of the actors real names so just ask...
                JB

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post
                  Budding singer David Jones didn't want to be mistaken for Davy Jones from the Monkees, so he chose the stage name David Bowie.
                  David Jones is probably the most common name (especially in Wales) after John Smith, so it's not surprising that Bowie wanted to change it!

                  I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                  There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                  I'm having so much fun
                  My lucky number's one
                  Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                  Comment

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