Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Real Names of 26 Vintage Film Stars


Would Boris Karloff have been as frightening to audiences as Bill Pratt?
Would Boris Karloff have been as frightening to audiences as Bill Pratt?

Some celebrities changed their names before entering show business because they were worried they might sound too ethnic or be too hard to pronounce. Below, you can find our list of 26 vintage film stars and their real names.

1. Frederic Austerlitz: Fred Astaire

2. Benjamin Kubelsky: Jack Benny

3. Edward Israel Iskowitz: Eddie Cantor

4. Lucille Fay LeSueur: Joan Crawford

5. Harry Lillis Crosby: Bing Crosby

6. Frank James Cooper: Gary Cooper

7. Ruth Elizabeth Davis: Bette Davis

8. Milton Berlinger: Milton Berle

9. Nathan Birnbaum: George Burns

10. Doris Kappelhoff: Doris Day

11. Frances Smith: Dale Evans

12. Leonard Slye: Roy Rogers

13. Norma Jean Baker: Marilyn Monroe

14. Frances Gumm: Judy Garland

15. Archibald Leach: Cary Grant

16. Margarita Cansino: Rita Hayworth

17. Joseph Levitch: Jerry Lewis

18. Dino Crocetti: Dean Martin

19. Ruby Stevens: Barbara Stanwyck

20. Julia Jean Turner: Lana Turner

21. Marion Morrison: John Wayne

22. Bernard Schwartz: Tony Curtis

23. William Beedle: William Holden

24. William Henry Pratt: Boris Karloff

25. Béla Blaskó: Bela Lugosi

26. Asa Yoelson: Al Jolson

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS:

Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen