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Kelly’s Korner -Hollywood Names

I was thinking this morning about how stars names used to be so easy to say.

Marilyn Monroe, Rick Springfield, Bette Davis, Jackie Gleason…Robert Redford.


Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe- Originally Norma Jeane Mortenson, there are lots of stories on how she ended up with her stage name. But it seems the most reliable story is that Marilyn was chosen by Fox Talent Scout Ben Lyon, who got Marilyn her first screen test. Monroe was her mother’s maiden name.


Mike Lawrie, Getty Images

Rick Springfield- Richard Lewis Springthorpe, obviously changed his name before he began his music career fairly early on, but I haven’t been able to find out the exact date he changed it.

Bette Davis- Originally Ruth Elizabeth Davis, changed it to be Bette since she was known as Betty throughout her childhood.

Jackie Gleason-  Originally name Herbert Walton Gleason Jr.,  was later baptized as John Herbert Gleason.  He had quite a rocky beginning, with his father abandoning his family, his only brother dying when he was just a toddler, and his mother dying when he was only 19.  This is another story in and of itself.

Robert Redford- was orginally Charles Robert Redford Jr.  A pretty simple switch.


Mark Davis, Getty Images

Where it seemed to be fashionable to change your name so people could remember how to say it, has gone to the wayside.  Real names are in.

Pharrell Williams, Ed Sheeran, Cameron Diaz, Alyssa Milano, Julianne Hough….Say what?  Or how? Why are they never released with a pronounciation guide book?  I’ve tried to go online and figure out how to pronounce their names, but even the pronounciation guides can’t always be trusted.

The best way to know if you’re saying a stars name correctly, in my opinion  is to say it wrong one time in front of a big group of people that start laughing at you for your ignorance.  From that point forward you will somehow go with the group consensus of how to pronounce the name, but….sometimes your friends are wrong.


Kevin Djansezian, Getty Images

Remember Gloria Estefan?  Half the radio stations in America pronounced her name incorrectly for the first four years of her career.  It really is amazing what word of mouth can do.  By the way, Gloria Estefan, was originally Gloria Maria Milagrosa Fajardo de Estefan….Thank you Gloria, for the shorter name.




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