Fun celebrity trivia article revealing their real names: Pierce Brosnan, Brad Pitt, Sting, Bono, The Edge, Susan Sarandon, Michael J. Fox and more.
This is the sequel to my previous factoidz named Real Names of 10 Celebrities Feat. Marilyn Manson, Mel Gibson, Michael Keaton and More. The first article featured the real names (and stories behind the stage names) of Marilyn Manson, P. Diddy, Jon Bon Jovi, Mel Gibson, Michael Keaton, Meg Ryan, Michelle Pfeiffer, Prince, David Bryan and Winona Ryder.
11. Pierce Brosnan
12. Marcia Anne Cross
Just like Michelle Pfeiffer dropped her middle name Marie, Irish actor, former James Bond Pierce Brosnan and Desperate Housewives’ redhead beauty Bree, a.k.a. Marcia Cross, dropped their middle names. Pierce Brosnan was born Pierce Brendan Brosnan and Marcia Cross was Marcia Anne Cross. It is not much of a change but two names are easier than three to remember.
English singer/songwriter/guitarist and former The Police leading singer Sting was born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner. Gordon became Sting as we know him when someone commented that he looked like a bee in a striped sweater he was wearing.
Irish rock singer, U2 leading man and politics enthusiast Bono was born Paul David Hewson. According to IMDB, the name Bono came from Bono Vox, a retailer of hearing aids. Bono Vox means good voice in Latin.
15. The Edge
Bono is not the only U2 member with a stage name. Guitarist The Edge’s actual name is David Howell Evans. Bono was the first to come up with the name Edge as he called the guitarist Dave Edge, referring to his being on the edge of things, as well as the shape of his head.
Former lead guitarist of glam/hard rock band Guns’ N Roses, lead guitarist of Velvet Revolver (the rock band he co-founded with fellow ex-Guns’N Roses members Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum), Slash was born as Saul Hudson in 1965. The nickname Slash was given to him by a family member as Saul always seemed to be in a hurry.
17. Cassandra Harris
Pierce Brosnan’s deceased first wife Cassandra Harris was born as Sandra Colleen Waites. She took her husband’s name when he married Dermot Harris, brother of actor Richard Harris.
18. Michael J. Fox
Canadian actor Michael J. Fox originally didn’t have a J. in his name. But similar to Michael Keaton’s story, because there was already an actor named with the same name, he adopted that extra J.
19. Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon’s birth name is Susan Abigail Tomalin. She married and got the name of husband Chris Sarandon, also an actor (albeit a much less famous one) and she kept the surname after the divorce.
20. Brad Pitt
Bradley William Pitt chose to be known as simply Brad Pitt, not exactly making a radical change.
Additional Real Names
There are even more interesting names that most people might not know about.
Paul McCartney’s real name is James Paul McCartney. The famous Beatles bass guitarist was James McCartney and you can hear this reference in certain songs. His father’s name was James McCartney and Paul McCartney began being called Paul, his middle name, because it became confusing when the mail arrived.
This is from Paul McCartney’s web site. “It’s a strange story! I was told that it was because if letters arrived at the house for James McCartney, you wouldn’t know whether it was my Dad - that was James McCartney - or me, James McCartney. So that worked until they called my brother - whose name was Peter Michael McCartney - Michael!? And there was no Peter in the house to confuse him with! So I’ve ended up thinking it was rather Irish! I’ve no idea! My mum was Irish – and I don’t know, maybe there’s just some old thing where they call you by your second name. Nobody ever called me James, it was always Paul!”
Another famous drummer of the Beatles was known as Ringo or Ringo Starr. His real name was Richard Starkey. On August 14, 1962, John Winston Lennon asked Richard Starkey to join The Beatles and he did, the rest is history.
Resources: imdb and wikipedia