Famous faces with false names
s in a name?&
s question in &
Romeo and Juliet.&
Hollywood had an answer: Big bucks! Names have power. They had a handsome young football player under contract, but who would pay to see a man with a wimpy name like Marion Morrison? They gave him a new, masculine, all-American name, John Wayne, and made millions.
Would anyone pay to see Fredrick Austerlitz dance with Virginia McMath? Probably not. But Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were a legendary dance team, filling movie theaters around the globe.
Tula Finklea was a leggy dancer from Texas with a real name that would look terrible on the theater marquee. As Cyd Charisse she starred on Broadway, on TV and in dozens of movies.
A talented Philadelphia teenager named Ernest Evans was a fan of singer/pianist Fats Domino. To honor his hero, he changed his stage name to Chubby Checkers.
Some entertainers went overboard in selecting a stage name. Vincent Furnier changed his name and gender. On stage he is Alice Cooper.
Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. was the son of an Air Force officer. He won national fame as singer-songwriter John Denver. Denver never lost his love of flying and was killed when the plane he was flying crashed.
Two leading men launched successful movie careers after their name change. Archibald Leach became Cary Grant. John Charlton Carter became Charlton Heston. What happened to Thomas Mapother IV? He&
s doing fine as Tom Cruise.
Yvonne De Carlo was cast as a sultry Latin American singer and dancer. Could the beautiful actress have pulled this off if the American public knew her real name was so typically American, Peggy Middleton?
When Lucille Le Suer arrived to sign her contract, she gave her real name. The studio was sure she had made it up. It was too artificial! They changed it to Joan Crawford. Joan/Lucille won the Best Actress Oscar for &
Issur Danielovich was born poor but loaded with talent. After service in World War II, he became a movie star as Kirk Douglas. His son, Michael Douglas, has had an equally successful career as an actor. This fame led to a minor crisis. The true name of another actor was Michael Douglas. To avoid confusion, the second actor adopted the name of Michael Keaton. This solution is not new. Winston Churchill was a well-known novelist in 1890. The (then) less famous British writer and future prime minister began signing his name as Winston S. Churchill.
Joan and Olivia were sisters. Both became movie actresses. Joan De Haviland became Joan Fontaine, winner of the 1941 Best Actress Academy Award for &
Olivia did not abandon the family name. Olivia De Haviland won two Oscars, for &
To Each His Own&
in 1946 and &
in 1949. (I was a college freshman movie critic for our college paper in 1946. If you don&
t cry at the final scene of &
To Each His Own,&
then somebody call an ambulance. You are dead!)
Some foods also use fake names. Devonshire Cream is also called clotted cream. Mock Strawberries Devonshire substitutes cream cheese for the clotted cream.
— 3 oz. package cream cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
— cup whipping cream
Combine cream cheese, sugar and two tablespoons cream in mixing bowl. Beat until fluffy. Whip remaining cream, add to mix. Chill, then serve as dip for fresh strawberries.