Showbiz makes you do things that are just ludicrous in other fields of occupation. One of the very common yet shocking practices of actors would be changing their real names and opting for some pseudo names. This practice may be deemed very strange on average Joe’s life but celebs in showbiz are found doing it way too often.
Likewise, we all know that actors in Bollywood like Akshay Kumar and Mallika Sherawat have altered their names before entering Bollywood. But there are more than a handful of other stars who have adapted new names before entering the land of glitz and glamour. Here are 27 Bollywood celebrities and their real birth names:
1. Inquilab Srivatsava
Amitabh Bachchan was originally named Inquilab, inspired by the popular slogan ‘Inquilab Zindabad’. At the suggestion of a fellow poet, his father changed the name to Amitabh. Although his surname was Shrivastava, Big B’s father had assumed the pen name, Bachchan.
2. Abdul Rashid Salim Salman Khan
Glad he’s just called Salman Khan. Trying to keep the dialogue short and simple like his movies!
3. Farhan Abraham
John was born to a Christian father and a Parsi mother. He got his name John from his dad and his mother’s side decided to call him Farhan. It would have been cool to have a Farhan Akthar and Farhan Abraham chill together!
4. Preetam Singh Zinta
Pritam the music composer and Preetam the actress, what a blast! Thank you Preity, the cuteness would have been completely lost in that name!
5. Bhanurekha Ganesan
Yup! Bhanurekha the daughter of legendary Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan uses the stage name, Rekha.
6. Katrina Kaif
Often referred to as Kat, Katrina Kaif is a successful model and actress. She started her career in South Movies before making her debut in Bollywood and today she is one of the leading actresses of Bollywood. Her real name is Kate Turquotte which she changed specifically for her career in the showbiz.
7. Mohammed Aamir Hussain Khan
The perfectionist that he is, Aamir Khan has to compete with Salman Khan even with the length of the name!
8. Ashwini Shetty
Shilpa’s mother who is also an astrologer decided to rename her in the 90s because it carried better prospects for her daughter according to numerology. Wonder why her mother didn’t think of this when Shilpa was born?
9. Jai Shroff
His parents Jackie and Ayesha Shroff didn’t name him Tiger. He used to bite and scratch people as a kid hence the name Tiger came into the picture. And now that’s what it is. Live with it!
10. Jaikishan Kakubhai Shroff
Director Subhash Ghai gave him the screen name Jackie when he launched him in ‘Hero’. Jaikishan definitely doesn’t sound like a hero’s name.
11. Karenjit Kaur Vohra
You cannot do porn with a name like that. Hence came Sunny Leone, no affiliation or credit given to Sunny Deol.
12. Sajid Ali Khan
Yup, we bet you didn’t know this one! Apparently, in Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor’s marriage registration papers have Saif’s name as Sajid Ali Khan. Wonder why he decided to change it from Sajid to Saif.
13. Shahid Khattar
Khattar’s the surname of his ‘ex’ step-father Rajesh Khattar. Apparently, this is the name on his Passport.
14. Reema Lamba
The former sex-icon decided to change her name to Mallika to avoid confusion with another actress named Reema. Sherawat is her mother’s maiden name.
15. John Prakasa Rao Janumala
The king of comedy used to work with Hindustan Lever before he joined the movie industry. In one of the company functions, he mimicked some of the senior officers. This performance earned him the nickname ‘Johnny Lever’ and it stuck.
16. Tabassum Fatima Hashmi
Tabu apparently has over 100 pet names in the industry from Tabs, Tubs to Tobler and Toblerone. Her real name is Tabassum, which sounds like one of her pet names right?
17. Hrithik Rakesh Nagrath
We know his pet name’s Duggu but definitely didn’t know that his name’s what it is. Rakesh is his father’s name and Nagrath the actual family name. Roshan is Hritik’s grandfather’s name which like his father Rakesh Roshan he too uses.
18. Ranveer Singh Bhavnani
Kicked off Bhavnani as it was too long and Singh is King!
The perfectionist of Tamil cinema was named Parthasarthy by his parents. Kamal Hassan once said that his mother referred him as Parthasarathy till her last breath and never called him Kamal Haasan.
20. Shivaji Rao Gaekwad
The great Rajinikanth was named Shivaji Rao Gaekwad after Chhatrapati Shivaji. Why did the superstar change his name from Shivaji Rao to Rajinikanth? His mentor Mr. Balachander explains “Already we had popular actor Sivaji Ganesan and it would be difficult if there’s another actor by the same name”.
21. Vishal Devgn
Ajay’s real name is Vishal. Devgan is now Devgn. Vishal Devgan to Ajay Devgan to Ajay Devgn.
22. Govind Arun Ahuja
Cut the surname, add an ‘A’ and Govinda aala re!
23. Ajay Singh Deol
Sunny wouldn’t have been able to lift his ‘dhai kilo ka haath’ with a name like Ajay. Would he? Err… no clue!
24. Vijay Singh Deol
Following the brother’s footsteps, Vijay Singh too decided to have a different name, Bobby!
25. Vishwanath Patekar
The powerhouse actor’s real name is actually Vishwanath. Nana nana na re…
26. Gouranga Chakraborty
Mithun-da or Gouranga-da? Mithun-da of course.
27. Mahima Chaudhry
A model and actress of Nepali origin, Mahima entered Bollywood with Pardes in 1997. She received a Filmfare Award in the category of ‘Best Female Debut’ for the same movie. Her real name is Ritu Chaudhary. Director Subhash Ghai gave her the name ‘Mahima.’