13 Famous Women Whose Real Names Few People Know

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To further their careers, many actors adopt stage names. They can do so because their given names aren’t memorable enough, they don’t want to sound like other celebrities, or they want to separate their professional and personal lives.

We found 13 famous women with stage names that aren’t the same as the ones on their passports.

Milla Jovovich — Milica Bogdanovna Jovovich

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Milica Bogdanovna shortened her given name to Milla Bogdanovna. However, she chose to hold her father’s surname, which was of Montenegrin descent.

Michèle Mercier — Jocelyne Yvonne Renée Mercier

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Jocelyne Yvonne Renée Mercier, who plays the magnificent Angelique, is her real name. Producers didn’t like it because they thought it was too long and old-fashioned. That’s why Michèle took Jocelyne’s spot. This was the name of her younger sister, who died of typhoid fever at the age of five.

Catherine Deneuve — Catherine Fabienne Dorléac

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Catherine Fabienne Dorléac is Catherine Deneuve’s real name. Deneuve was her mother’s maiden name, which she adopted as her stage name to set herself apart from her older sister, Françoise Dorléac, who was a well-known actress at the time.

Greta Garbo — Greta Lovisa Gustafsson

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Lovisa Gustafsson was Greta Garbo’s real last name. Her mother’s surname was Lovisa, and her father’s surname was Gustafsson. However, the actress was better known by her stage name, Greta Garbo.

Heidi Klum — Heidi Kaulitz

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Heidi legally changed her surname from Klum to the surname of her husband. She has been married to Tokio Hotel guitarist Tom Kaulitz since 2019, despite the fact that he is 16 years her junior.

Jessica Biel — Jessica Claire Timberlake

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Jessica Biel married Justin Timberlake, a well-known musician, in 2012. She legally changed her last name to Timberlake and has used Jessica Timberlake in all of her documents since then.

Maisie Williams — Margaret Constance Williams

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The actress who portrayed Arya Stark in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones goes by the stage name Maisie rather than her given name Margaret. Her family refers to her as Maisie because of her similarity to the cartoon character from the UK newspaper comic strip The Perishers.

Lauren Bacall — Betty Joan Perske

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Betty Joan Perske was the name given to Lauren Bacall’s daughter by her parents. Her father abandoned them when she was five years old. One of the reasons she took her grandmother’s name, Bacal, and later added the second “L” to make it easier to pronounce was because of this. Betty was later renamed Lauren, a more high-toned version.

Jessica Simpson — Jessica Ann Johnson

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Jessica Simpson, an actress and musician, is married to Eric Johnson, a football player. She adopted her husband’s surname after their 2014 wedding.

Lily James — Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson

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James Thomson, Lily James’ father, died in 2008 from a serious illness. When she heard there was already an actress named Lily Thomson, she chose her father’s first name as her stage name.

Sophie Turner — Sophie Belinda Jonas

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Sophie Turner, the leading actress from Game of Thrones, married Joe Jonas, an American musician, and became Sophie Jonas. Sophie gave birth to their daughter in 2020.

Audrey Hepburn — Audrey Kathleen Ruston

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Audrey Kathleen Ruston, the popular actress from Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is her real name. Despite the fact that her father was born with the surname Ruston, he later double-barrelled his name to the more “aristocratic” Hepburn-Ruston because he mistook himself for a descendant of James Hepburn, Mary, Queen of Scots’ third husband.Audrey went a step further and dropped Ruston from her surname.

Billie Eilish — Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell

© Sienna Conwell/Broadimage/Broad Image/East News

Baird O’Connell is a double surname, with Baird being her mother’s last name and O’Connell being her father’s last name. Billie, on the other hand, preferred to go by her middle name, Eilish, as her stage name.

What other celebrities do you think should be included on this list of stage names? Let us know in the comments section below.

Preview photo credit Sienna Conwell/Broadimage/Broad Image/East NewsLumeimages, PacificCoastNews/EAST NEWS