Movie Quiz: Who Are These Stars, Really?

Photo of Graham Fuller
Film Editor3 October 2017

They don’t make movie-star names like they used to—by which we mean their original names, the ones that were discarded on the cutting room floor. Test your knowledge here of who was who, before fame beckoned.

Stars are seldom fussy about having fancy names these days. Anyone with a name like Renee Zellweger or Benedict Cumberbatch will likely stick with it, rather have their agent dream up something like “Rena Fontaine” or “Ben Cummings.”

Back in Hollywood ‘s golden era, studio publicists would comb through the phone book to find a “classier” or less ethnic-sounding name for the “Gumm” or “Schwartz” or “Grossel” on their books. They arranged “socially acceptable” and usually non-existent romances for their stars, too.

Here, we list the original names of 42 movie stars, and to help identify the owners, we’ve thrown in a few visual clues. A few modern stars who did opt for a name change are included.

Click each box to flip from the real name to reveal the marquee-friendly monicker. How many do you know?

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