There are quite a few celebrities who use fake names. In some cases, they adopt a stage name because SAG rules don’t allow for more than one person in the organization to have the exact same name. In other cases, celebrities don’t use their real name professionally because they don’t want to be associated with a famous relative or confused with a different person.
Regardless of the reason for it, the result is that there are a bunch of famous actors, actresses, and musicians whose real names you’d be shocked to learn. Here’s a look at some of the surprising celebrities that use stage names.
1. Michael Keaton
When he became an actor, Michael Keaton had no choice but to start using a stage name. After all, his real name is Michael Douglas, and the actor Michael Douglas was already established when Keaton was coming up in the industry. There was also a talk show host by the name of Mike Douglas.
In an interview with Grantland, Keaton said that everyone in his life still knows him as Michael Douglas, and that’s what’s printed on his passport. The only reason he goes by Keaton is because of the SAG rule preventing there from being two enrolled actors with the exact same working name.
Keaton told Stephen Colbert that sometimes when he gets picked up at the airport, people get really confused when he’s not Wall Street‘s Michael Douglas. Keaton also said there was no particular inspiration for that last name; he was just looking through K names and thought it sounded good enough.
Next: This celebrity changed his name because it was taken by a much more famous person.