Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Rose is a Rose

I find it interesting that movie studios found it necessary to change the names of their stars to mask their heritage. It was done mostly to Jews and Italians in an effort to make their stars more white bread Americans.

Some like John Wayne (Marion Michael Morrison) and Rock Hudson (Roy Scherer Jr.) got their names changed to add machismo value to their star power. Folks named Marion and Roy usually were associated with folks that sold insurance and lived in the suburbs.

More interesting to me are the people who changed their names in mid career like Cassius Clay who became Muhammad Ali after his conversion to Islam.

Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson) changed his name to “Artist Formerly known as Prince” which was written as an unpronounceable symbol made of the male and female symbols put together and some other stuff. It was also called the Love Symbol. This was done because of a contract dispute with Warner Brothers. He reclaimed his name Prince when the contract expired in 2000.

Remember Rosanne Barr who became Rosanne Arnold and then became Rosanne? Mid- Career name changes are great for garnering attention, but seem to cause confusion and resentment by those who enjoy their careers.

For your entertainment, here is a list of just a few folks who had their names changed for career advancement. I'm not even going to get into P. Ditty...

Alan Alda - Alphonso D'Abruzzo
Woody Allen - Allen Konigsberg
Jennifer Aniston - Jennifer Anastassakis
Laura Antonelli - Laura Antonaz
Eve Arden - Eunice Quedens
Beatrice Arthur - Bernice Frankel
Jean Arthur - Gladys Greene
Fred Astaire - Frederick Austerlitz
Tony Bennett - Anthony Dominick Benedetto
Joey Bishop - Joseph Gottlieb
Charles Bronson - Charles Buchinski
Mel Brooks - Mel Kaminsky
Tony Curtis - Bernard Schwartz
Rodney Dangerfield - Jacob Cohen
Bobby Darin - Walden Robert Cassotto
Eydie Gorme - Edith Gormezano
Burl Ives - Burle Icle Ivanhoe
Larry King - Larry Zeigler
Michael Landon - Eugene Orowitz
Steve Lawrence - Sidney Leibowitz
Jerry Lewis - Joseph Levitch
Dean Martin - Dino Crocetti
Walter Matthau - Walter Matuschanskayasky
Tony Randall - Leonard Rosenberg
Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman) - Paul Reubenfeld
Joan Rivers - Joan Sandra Molinsky
Edward G. Robinson - Emmanuel Goldenberg
Winona Ryder - Winona Horowitz
Gene Wilder - Jerome Silberman


Blogger Beth said...

To be honest, I had my stage name chosen years ago (in my teens). The change was for ease of pronunciation, not for heritage reasons.
Alas, I never had the opportunity to use it due to lack of talent.

6:34 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

I have many names. One for each of my split personalities...LOL

6:47 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

I traveled and/or lived abroad throughout all my working years. I don't have an alias, however, my employees over the years have taught me how to say 'boss' in many languages: 'idiota', 'dummkopf', 'imbecile', 'sciocco', 'dwaas', 'baka-san', and 'wanker' to give a few examples:)

2:22 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, Please do share!

Auntie,And email addresses for each one.

Mike, too funny. Thanks!

5:43 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Actually, very boring...nothing like "Betsy Blue" or some other catchy moniker. Was just going to use my middle name - so I'd be a distinguished actress known as Elisabeth Hughes.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Of all the ones you listed, I think Walter Matthau is easily the most justified. Good grief!

Beth, Elisabeth Hughes really does sound like a distinguished (cracker) name. Beautiful choice.

9:45 AM  

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