You may think you know Olivia Wilde but do you really? Did you know that she used to be Olivia Jane Cockburn? Like most aspiring actors and actresses, the now “Wilde” decided to change her name in light of heading to Hollywood. She made the change in high school and chose “Wilde” for her surname in homage to famous author Oscar Wilde.
She also chose the name to not only set herself apart from her family but also to honor the heritage of writers in her family line.
It seems that changing your name can be one of the sacrifices of being in Hollywood. Julianne Moore, the academy award-winning actress known for her emotionally charged performances, also underwent a name change. Her real name is Julie Ann Smith so, how did she become Julianne Moore?
Although she didn’t want to change her name, she reluctantly combined her first and middle names to create “Julianne” when it was discovered that there was another Julie Anne Smith in the Actor’s Guild. She then took her father’s middle name of “Moore” for her last name.
Winona Laura Horowitz took on the decision to change her name to Winona Ryder in homage to singer Mitch Ryder. Her first name came from the town in which she was born (Winona, Minnesota) and her middle name, “Laura” came from a family friend.
She didn’t think to change her name until she was already acting and was asked how she wanted her name to appear in the credits for her first film, “Lucas”. It was then she decided upon the surname “Ryder”.
Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, or Lorde as she’s known by fans, was born in New Zealand and had an interest in royal history and aristocracy - which is how she chose her stage name. When she finally settled on “Lord”, she decided to add an “e” at the end to make the name more feminine.
She has stated that, although she was just sixteen when she chose the name that she would be known by in the spotlight, she was glad that she chose a stage name that wasn’t just trendy at the time but had a noble sound.
The Little Wonder
A name as enchanting as Stevie Wonder has to be made upright? The legendary singer and songwriter was born Stevland Hardaway Judkins and received his first alternate moniker, “Little Stevie Wonder”, Motown founder and executive, Berry Gordy.
As his fame increased, the “Little” soon fell off of his nickname leaving “Stevie Wonder” behind. Although “Stevland Hardaway” sounds like an R & B singer’s name, the name “Stevie Wonder” has a few more ounces of flair and charm to it.