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23 Bollywood Actors Who Changed Their Names Before Making Debuts! Do You Know Their Real Names?

What’s in the name?!

Well, if you are a celebrity, there’s a lot to it. Twitter has recently been renamed to X. Do you even know Lady Gaga’s real name? A lot of celebrities often opt for a different stage name – some do it for astrological reason whereas others do it simply because they want catchy names that their audience can easily remember. 

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Here’s a list of Bollywood actors whose real names, we are sure, you don’t know. 

23 Bollywood Actors Who Changed Their Names Before Making Debuts! Do You Know Their Real Names?
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These Bollywood actors were born with a different name.

1. Amitabh Bachchan

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Amitabh Bachchan changed his name
AFP

Do you know Amitabh Bachchan’s parents had almost named him Inquilaab Srivastava? His parents wanted to name their son Inquilaab inspired by the phrase Inquilab Zindabad (Long live the revolution) used during the Indian independence struggle. However, they named him Amitabh, the name was suggested to his by poet Sumitranandan Pant. 

His father was a poet who was against the caste system so he changed his last name to Bachchan. It was Harivansh Rai’s pen name. It eventually became his identity, so for his son’s school admission, he chose the surname Bachchan. 

2. Salman Khan

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Salman Khan changed his name
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Salman Khan’s full name is Abdul Rashid Salim Salman Khan. Salim is their father’s name and Abdul Rashid is his grandfather’s name. He is popularly known as Salman Khan. 

3. Kiara Advani

Bollywood Actress and their real names: why Kiara Advani changed his name
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Kiara Advani’s real name is Alia Advani. When she made her debut, Alia Bhatt was already an established actress. So, she changed her name to Kiara so that people don’t confuse her with Bhatt.

4. Saif Ali Khan

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Saif Ali Khan changed his name
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Saif’s birth name is Sajid Ali Khan, which he changed to Saif Ali Khan. 

5. Kartik Aaryan

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Kartik Aaryan changed his name
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Kartik Aaryan’s real name is Kartik Tiwari. Why did he change his name? “Kartik Aaryan sounded better than Kartik Tiwari (laughs). Actually Aaryan was always my middle name. It is not something that happened suddenly. Before the release of my first film, I had asked the team to credit me as Kartik Aaryan but they missed out on doing so,” he said in an interview.

6. Ayushmann Khurrana

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Ayushmann Khurrana changed his name
AFP

Ayushmann Khurrana’s original name is Nishant Khurrana. His parents changed his name to Ayushmann Khurrana when he was 3 years old. His father who was an astrologer later added extra alphabets to his name. 

7. Rajkummar Rao

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Rajkummar Rao changed his name
AFP

Rajkummar Rao’s original name is Raj Kumar Yadav. He changed his surname and added another m to his first name. “Rao or Yadav, I can use either of the surnames as both are family names. As far as the double ‘m’ in the first name is concerned, it’s for my mother,” he said.

8. Rajinikanth

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Rajinikanth changed his name
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Rajinikanth was born as Shivaji Rao Gaikwad. Tamil film director K Balachander gave him the stage name Rajinikanth to avoid confusion with fellow actor Sivaji Ganesan. The name Rajinikanth was taken from his film Major Chandrakanth.

9. Akshay Kumar

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Akshay Kumar changed his name
AFP

Born as Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia, Akshay Kumar made his debut in the film industry with a 10-second role in Mahesh Bhatt movie titled Aaj. In the film, he played the role of Martial Arts instructor Akshay. He loved the name so much that he then decided to change it. 

10. Shilpa Shetty

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Shilpa Shetty changed his name
AFP

Shilpa Shetty’s original name is Ashwini Shetty. She changed her name before she became a model on an astrologer’s suggestion. 

11. John Abraham

Bollywood actors and their real names: why John Abraham changed his name
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John’s real name is Farhan Abraham. Abraham’s Zoroastrian name was Farhan. However, he was baptised with the name John.

12. Katrina Kaif

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Katrina Kaif changed his name
AFP

Katrina Kaif’s original name is 

Katrina Turqotte, which is her mother’s surname. She adopted her father Mohammed Kaif’s surname before her debut because she felt it would be easier for the Indian audience to pronounce. 

13. Ranveer Singh 

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Ranveer Singh changed his name
AFP

Ranveer Singh’s full name is Ranveer Singh Bhavnani. When he made his debut, he removed his surname. 

14. Hrithik Roshan

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Hrithik Roshan changed his name
AFP

Not many people know, Hrithik Roshan’s real name is Hrithik Rakesh Nagrath. His grandfather Roshan Lal Nagrath was quite a popular actor and director. Hrithik’s father Rakesh adopted his father’s name as his last name, and so did Hrithik. 

15. Ajay Devgn

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Ajay Devgn changed his name
AFP

Ajay Devgn was born as Vishal. However, since there were many actors named Vishal, he changed his name to Ajay before his debut. 

16. Shahid Kapoor

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Shahid Kapoor changed his name
AFP

Shahid Kapoor’s original name is Shahid Khattar. His parents Pankaj Kapur and Neelima Azeem, divorced when he was only 3 years old. Neelima Azeem then married actor Rajesh Khattar. Shahid lived with them until they got divorced. His name on the passport continues to be Shahid Khattar. 

17. Rekha

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Rekha changed his name
AFP

Rekha’s real name is Bhanurekha Ganesan. She shortened her name to Rekha and adopted it as her stage name. She was born to Tamil and Telugu actors Gemini Ganesan and Pushpavalli. His father had married four times and had a lot of children. She said her father never noticed her. “All the children, we are a dozen of them, were in the same school. A couple of times he came to drop other kids, so that was my first impression of him, I was like, ‘oh this is appa..’ But I never had a chance to meet him. I don’t think even he noticed me there. He never saw me,” she told Simi Garewal in an interview.

18. Annu Kapoor

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Annu Kapoor changed his name
AFP

Annu Kapoor’s original name is Anil Kapoor. To avoid getting confused with actor Anil Kapoor, he changed his name to Annu. 

19. Jackie Shroff

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Jackie Shroff changed his name
AFP

Jackie Shroff’s real name is Jaikishen Kaku Bhai. He had once explained, “I had a classmate in school, who came from Hong Kong or Dubai. He felt that Jaikishan was a long name, so he told me that we should have some fun with it. He started calling me Jai-ki, and from there, it evolved to Jackie.”

20. Tiger Shroff

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Tiger Shroff changed his name
AFP

Tiger Shroff’s original name is Jai Hemant Shroff. Following his father’s footsteps, he also changed his name to Tiger. Why? Because of his biting habit. He used to bite anything and everything in school and hence people started calling him Tiger. “I bit my teacher in school and even got punished for that,”  he had told Hindustan Times.

21. Dharmendra

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Dharmendra changed his name
AFP

Born as Dharam Singh Deol, Dharmendra not only changed his name but he also dropped his surname before entering the industry. 

22. Mallika Sherawat

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Mallika Sherawat changed his name
AFP

Mallika Sherawat’s real name is Reema Lamba. She changed her name before entering the industry. She dropped her father’s surname and adopted her mother’s surname as her father thought she would tarnish his family’s reputation by acting in films. Hence, she decided to disown her real name. 

23. Sunny Deol

Bollywood actors and their real names: why Sunny Deol changed his name
AFP

Sunny Deol’s real name is Ajay Singh Deol. However, he adopted his nickname Sunny before he made his debut and now he is known as Sunny Deol.

For more news and updates from the world of celebrities from Bollywood and Hollywood, keep reading universo virtual Entertainment.

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