Movies – Top 10 movie star name changes | Movies
What’s in a name? My movie pal Sheldon Davidson tells us.
Remember when a radio program, television show or movie informed us that “This story is true — the names have been changed to protect the innocent?” Well, not always. Sometimes the names were changed to ensure that we did not learn the actors’ real names, their ethnicity, or their religious backgrounds. We all knew the real names of Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Edward G, Robinson, Lee J. Cobb, etc. — but that’s perhaps a future top 10 list.
Because we were all going to fall in love with the female actors, their real surnames were especially secret. First names and sometimes middle names were kept but the family name was never the same!
10) Natalie Hershlag — This Israeli-born actress danced her way into our hearts in “Black Swan” (2010) — an Academy Award-winning actress. That’s Natalie Portman.
9) Caryn Elaine Johnson — She starred in “The Color Purple” and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in “Ghost” (1990). Plenty of TV talk shows and an outspoken liberal advocate. That’s Whoopi Goldberg.
8) Harlean Carpenter — She was known as both the original platinum blond and the blond bombshell with 36 movies in the 1930s. At the time of her untimely death, she was engaged to actor William Powell who was the “Thin Man” in six movies. That’s Jean Harlow.
7) Sarah Jane Mayfield — She was the ex-wife of the first divorced president of the United States. She struck us dumb with her acting, and won an Oscar with her incredible performance in “Johnny Belinda.” That’s Jane Wyman.
6) Judith Tuvim — In one of her movies, she played a mean game of gin rummy with William Holden, and was one of the greatest screen comedians of her time — plenty smart, she was not “Born Yesterday.” That’s Judy Holiday.
5) Virginia Katherine McMath — She started her career by looking beautiful in movies, but her singing and dancing demonstrated her fabulous talents. She could do everything her leading man could do and she did it backwards and in high heels. That’s Ginger Rogers.
4) Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff — She sang “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” with Gordon MacRae; she was “Young at Heart” with Frank Sinatra; and she was great with Rock Hudson, Jimmy Stewart, and even James Cagney. That’s Doris Day.
3) Margarita Carmen Casino — A fabulous dancer and one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the silver screen. She danced with Fred Astaire, married Orson Welles, and was “Gilda” in one of Glenn Ford’s greatest movies. That’s Rita Hayworth.
2) Audrey Kathleen Rustin — Mention her movies and you immediately know this superstar — “Charade,” “My Fair Lady,” etc. her talent was boundless. That’s Audrey Hepburn.
1) Betty Joan Perske — Who doesn’t know this nonpareil actress, the 19-year-old former model who told her leading man that all he had to do was whistle — “You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? Just put your lips together and blow.” That’s Lauren Bacall.
There are many others: Frances Ethel Gumm; Emma Matzo; and Shirley Schrift; and they were great but Sheldon couldn’t fit them in this Top 10. [Answers: Judy Garland; Lizbeth Scott; and Shelley Winters].
Do you have others to add?