I'm going to say something here that might disappoint and possibly surprise some of you. "Diesel" is not a real last name. Vin Diesel does not come from a long lineage of "Diesels". I know I know, I wish it was his real name too. However, in actuality he abandoned his real name, Mark Vincent, for something a little... snazzier. He's not the only one. There are a lot of celebrities who adopted new names in order to make it in Hollywood.
Here are 19 celebrities that you've come to know for their stage names that actually have much, much crazier (and at times much more boring) real names.
1. Lady Gaga is actually Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
Let's just say 'Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta' doesn't particularly roll off the tongue. Gaga is an artist in every sense of the word though, so it made sense that she made this change.
2. Snoop Dogg is actually Calvin Broadus
No, Snoop Dogg was not the name his parents gave him. This name is actually not even that crazy, but the fact that Snoop Dogg has a real name makes it worthy of this list. His persona has evolved over the years and it's difficult to think Calvin could've been a regular person if he wasn't a rapper. I feel like things just wouldn't feel right without Snoop around.
3. P!nk is really Alecia Moore
First of all, P!nk's hair is not naturally pink and sadly, she was not named P!nk at birth. Imagine her as Alecia Moore... would Alecia Moore be able to rock stages over the span of two decades, be a spark for social change and feminism, or be able to wear pink hair casually and flawlessly? I doubt it. But P!nk can... and she does.
4. Tom Cruise is really Thomas Cruise Mapother IV
There's pretty much absolutely no way that Tom Cruise would have a normal name. Not to say there's much wrong with his name, and he didn't really deviate too far from his real one. But the fact that he's a "the fourth" just seems crazy to me for some reason.
5. John Wayne is actually Marion Mitchell Morrison
John Wayne had a legendary career and totes an iconic name. So iconic, in fact, that he has an airport named after him. Nobody is flying into Marion Mitchell Morrison airport (or 'Triple M' as they would probably call it). But you will occasionally need to fly to Orange County, in which case you'll be landing at John Wayne airport. It's a really cool name though, to be fair.
6. Natalie Portman is actually Natalie Hershlag
Natalie Hershlag just simply is harder to remember than Natalie Portman. Not that you would ever really forget her face, anyway. But, I like how this name doesn't seem ridiculous - it could very easily be real, and I previously thought it was - but it rolls off the tongue more and probably just looks better on paper. Also, I'm glad to see Natalie kept her first name because it's one of my favorites.
7. Charlie Sheen is actually Carlos Irwin Estevez
He is Emilio Estevez's brother and Martin Sheen's son. Obviously, coming from a Hollywood family, he probably knew to change his name in order to perhaps carve his own identity. He was quoted saying, "I don't wake up feeling Latino. I'm a white guy in America, I was born in New York and grew up in Malibu" in an interview in 2012. Winning?
8. Michael Caine is actually Maurice Joseph Michlewhite
This name, simply put, never would've worked in Hollywood. Michlewhite is far too hard to spell correctly. Also, maybe it's because I've known him forever as Michael Caine, but to me he doesn't look like a Maurice at all. Sorry Mr. and Mrs. Michlewhite, but your son's name-change was crucial.
9. Tina Fey is actually Elizabeth Stamatina Fey
I guess this is close enough... Tina Fey, Stomatina Fey. I get it. I don't know though, I think her regular name would've been cool anyway. Maybe a 'Liz Fey' kind of thing? It's a little bit disappointing to know that someone who seems so little like a stereotypical Industry actress had to alter her name, too. Maybe that's just me...
10. Olivia Wilde is actually Olivia Jane Cockburn
Last name or painful injury? In this case, the name change was somewhat mandatory. She's obviously a gorgeous actress but "Cockburn" would never fly on the silver screen.
11. Whoopi Goldberg is actually Caryn Elaine Johnson
Her mom told her that with the last name Johnson she wouldn't make it in the Jewish dominated Industry of Hollywood. Therefore, she changed it to Goldberg, which is like, super Jewish. Weird, though, as a lot of Jewish actors change their names to not seem so Jewish. The name Whoopi came from whoopee cushion. Awesome.
12. Woody Allen is actually Allan Stewart Konigsberg
This is a prime example from what I said before about Jewish actors changing their names to appear less Jewish. Allen legally changed his name at the age of 17 and has had a super successful and long career as a writer, director, and actor. Was that name-change part of it?
13. Portia De Rossi is actually Amanda Lee Rogers
Portia De Rossi is objectively a sexier name than Amanda Rogers. I can see why she decided to go for the name-change here. She got the name Portia from "A Merchant In Venice", by William Shakespeare.
14. Katy Perry is actually Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson
There is already a Kate Hudson, which makes this name change highly excusable. I don't know, it always just bums me out a little bit when I find out names that don't seem super obviously fake are, in fact, fake. I could've seen Katy Perry being a real name easily.
15. Joaquin Phoenix is actually Joaquin Rafael Bottom
Bottom is a rough last name. Nobody makes it to the Top when their last name's Bottom. Except, expanding a bit here, if your name is Neville Longbottom, but that name really isn't the same. Glad to see Joaquin stuck with his first name. It's a really good one.
16. Vin Diesel is actually Mark Vincent
Just from a personal standpoint, this one probably hurts the most of all for me. I think it would be incredible and awesome if the star of the Fast and Furious franchise, clearly a movie about cars, had "Diesel" as a real God given last name. It would be ridiculous and perfect, but alas - you can't have it all.
17. Carmen Electra is really Tara Leigh Patrick
Carmen Electra is one of those names that sort of just sounds fake, so this one didn't surprise me as much as some of the others. But as a fan of the name Tara, I'm a little bummed she didn't keep it in the mix in some capacity. Although, Tara Electra doesn't sound as good, I guess.
18. Freddie Mercury is actually Farrokh Bulsara
I fully support this name change, not because I think Mercury needed to abandon his East African roots, but because Freddie Mercury is absolutely the coolest name ever.
19. Jon Bon Jovi is actually John Francis Bongiovi
I get it. The name is solid and I've been to a Bon Jovi concert in Las Vegas before that absolutely blew my mind - I can't lie. I fully support this name change. The only question I have for this rock legend is why did he get rid of the 'H' from John? These are questions we may never get the answers to and it's bumming me out.