40+ of the Biggest Public Celebrity Meltdowns Ever

40+ of the Biggest Public Celebrity Meltdowns Ever

Russell Crowe

Some celebrities develop a reputation around certain aspects of their characters. For Russell Crowe, it’s very well known that he has a pretty explosive temper. Though it’s been shown on several occasions, his biggest meltdown happened while he was filming Cinderella Man.

After trying to call home to talk to his wife and being unable to get the line to connect, he got very angry and stormed up to the front desk. At this time, he became physically violent with the clerk – which he was charged for.

Amanda Bynes

Amanda Bynes is another one of those young stars that have had so much pressure put on her, that it seems like she just snapped at one point. Over the past several years, she’s had quite a few meltdowns.

But the one where she threw a “vase” out of her Manhattan apartment is probably the one that is the most insane. She wound up getting taken in by the police for throwing the “vase” and was eventually released, only to have another meltdown almost immediately after traveling to a new coast. There, she thought starting a little fire might get her point across.

Christian Bale

Sometimes, when you’re an artist, you’re passionate about certain things. Most of the time, these passionate artists are able to maintain their cool, but some fly off the handle like Christian Bale did when he cursed out the cinematographer on the set of Terminator Salvation.

It seemed that he didn’t like the guy walking onto the set to adjust the light, and because of this, he took several minutes to tell the individual exactly why he didn’t like it and what needed to be done.

David O’Russell

Celebrities are humans, too, and sometimes they have a bad day. It could be at this moment when even the friendliest person can set them off.

That had to be the case with David O’Russell and Lily Tomlin when something happened on the set of I Heart Huckabees, and he began cursing at her when she had problems getting her lines right. It’s okay because, according to Tomlin, they finally got past it.

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin is another one of those celebrities that’s well known for maybe stepping a little outside the box and letting his anger get the best of him. There are so many times that he’s had meltdowns, but maybe one of the worst was when he actually got physical with a photographer.

Though we can understand his frustration because his wife had just given birth and these paparazzi were trying to get pictures of the baby, it’s still not cool for someone to attack another person like this.

Christina Aguilera

Everybody goes through trials and tribulations in life but when you’re in the public eye, all those moments are in front of everybody. Though it was quite the meltdown, we may feel a little sympathy for Christina Aguilera. In March of 2011, she was accused of having one too many adult beverages and hanging out in public.

She seemed to be unable to walk straight and became very belligerent with the police officer that had stopped her and her then-boyfriend. Both her and her then-boyfriend got escorted to the station but he was arrested for driving under the influence. Eventually, she was taken into custody and released. Now she seems to have control over everything, which is a good thing.

Nicolas Cage

Like anybody, bad things sometimes happen when you take a celebrity and mix adult beverages. This happened in New Orleans when Nicolas Cage and his wife got into a heated argument.

The argument was so heated that the police were called, and eventually, Nicholas wound up taking a little trip down to the station. It seems not even his famous name or ties to his famous family could save him from cooling down in the clink.

Mel Gibson

For a good chunk of the 90s and early 2000s, Mel Gibson was one of the hottest celebrities around. However, it seems that he had also developed a little bit of a problem with certain substances.

Getting pulled over by the cops in that state, he became verbally inappropriate and spouted derogatory things about certain people. This landed him in quite a bit of trouble, and he’s still working his way back into Hollywood’s good graces.

Shia LeBeouf

When you become a celebrity at a young age, you’re exposed to a lot of stuff that other kids don’t deal with. Most notable is that of the power and the intense focus on your lives being played out in front of everybody.

That can be pretty stressful, so maybe that’s why Shia LeBeouf decided to do some strange performance art with a bag on his head at one point. But the real meltdown came in July of 2017 when he had a little too many adult beverages and eventually got arrested for being intoxicated in public. On top of this, he said some pretty unfriendly things to the officers that were arresting him.

Michael Richards

When you’re a standup comedian, you have to expect that there will be times when people in the audience heckle you. This is just part of the world you live in. Apparently, not all standup comics feel that way…

Michael Richard began berating a person that was heckling him. In fact, the tirade got so offensive that he used a word that no one should use, and we hope he eventually apologized to the guy.

Sean Young

Sean Young was extremely popular in the late 80s, and into the 90s, so it garnered her chances to get some pretty amazing roles. But when you’ve been cast in a project, and something happens that means you’re not going to be able to do it, you have to expect to be recast.

Apparently, she was not okay with being recast as Catwoman. She wound up with a broken arm, and they had to recast her, but instead of getting irate and throwing a fit, she did a little bit of stalking, which is definitely a form of a meltdown. She was seen dressed as Catwoman around the studio, which was a little strange to see.

Christian Slater

Christian Slater was one of the big-name actors of the 90s. Still, during that time, he was also having severe struggles with substance abuse problems, including getting violent with people close to him. Like his girlfriend, whom he got a little physical with at a party.

Luckily, it didn’t go too far before someone stopped him. That’s when he had a severe meltdown and the actor wound up arrested. He worked through his problems, though, and has begun making kind of a comeback in Hollywood – which is great!

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan is one of many young stars that started their careers with Disney and wound up spiraling downwards as they aged into their early adulthood.

Lindsay Lohan continued her downward spiral on a film set and got fired the very first day after not showing up for her casting call. Not wanting to lose her job, she stood outside the director’s trailer and cried, emotionally manipulating him until she got rehired. This is just one of the many meltdowns, but it may be the one that many remember.

Gene Hackman

When you’re a young director in Hollywood, you have a list of actors and actresses that are your dream to work with. We can understand why Wes Anderson really worked hard to get Gene Hackman onto his cast of The Royal Tenenbaums.

However, though he was successful, Gene Hackman still had quite a few meltdowns on set and even called the young director several inappropriate names. He was always putting on a tough guy attitude and saying inappropriate things to the director. It just seemed like he liked to keep up a pretty tough guy image and he did that by being a bit of a jerk.

George Lazenby

Only a handful of actors can claim to be part of the illustrious James Bond franchise. Usually, when people think of James Bond, they think of Sean Connery or Roger Moore. However, there was one actor that only got the chance once.

George Lazenby had several meltdowns on set while filming On Her Majesty Secret Service. He had a little bit of a substance abuse problem, and this is what caused him not to come back for a second time as James Bond. He would throw empty bottles at the crew so it’s probably good he didn’t come back for another installment.

Jason London

Most wouldn’t think of Jason London as someone who would have a meltdown. However, just like every other celebrity, he’s got pressure put on him too. Apparently, one time when he was out in Scottsdale, Arizona, he’d had one too many adult beverages.

This led to quite the meltdown where he ended up getting violent with somebody and then said some pretty off-the-cuff things to the officers that showed up. This meltdown also included a moment where he lost control of his bowels which makes the meltdown even more wrong.

Michael Cera

Michael Cera has become a pretty popular actor, which means that anytime he has the smallest meltdown, it becomes front-page news. Apparently, on one of his movie sets, he acted much like Christian Bale and flew off the handle at one of the film crew when it came to the lighting and direction.

Though there are some who say this was all staged and was meant for fun, we highly doubt it. Either way, getting into the news for a temper tantrum had to have been frustrating for him.

Britney Spears

Though it can’t be said that Britney Spears has ever been boring, there’s one particular meltdown that everyone remembers. In February 2007, she shaved her head; that was just the start of this epic meltdown.

We’re not sure what caused it, but it was surely about the pressure she was under. However, the meltdown didn’t stop there… Days later, she was caught on camera beating a paparazzi car with an umbrella. Of course, it only spiraled from there, and we’re just glad that she’s not in that bad of a place anymore.

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen has seen many ups and downs in his career. Through some pretty rough times, when he had issues with certain substances and mental health issues, it’s clear that many people are going to remember his meltdowns more than his career.

Maybe one of the strangest meltdowns of his career was in February 2011 when he took to bashing Chuck Lorre in some pretty unique ways, including calling him a “clown” and a “turd”. This was done during an interview and, as we all remember, this is when “winning” became a thing.

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi

The cast of Jersey Shore has made quite the name for themselves. They were known for being wild and crazy and a little on edge at all times. But just because they ride the edge doesn’t mean they’re not going to have meltdowns.

In July of 2010, Snooki was taken into custody due to some inappropriate conduct while in public. She was bothering others while they were hanging out at the beach. It seems like she may have had a little too much to drink and got pretty feisty in public. Eventually, she was released and has since been able to pull herself together and build quite an empire.

Teresa Giudice

The Real Housewives franchise is intended to show the sensational lives of the upper-class people of certain cities. Maybe one of the most popular is The Real Housewives of New Jersey. And one of the most interesting people is Teresa Giudice.

Like with anybody else on this show, she’s bound to have a meltdown or two. Maybe the biggest is the one that was recorded for the season one finale of the series. She picked a fight and took some pretty interesting jabs at her fellow co-star Danielle Staub. This all happened because Danielle told her “to pay attention” at her own party, and it ended with a table being flipped!

Chris Brown

One of the most important skills for any celebrity to have is to be able to keep their cool under pressure. This is because they’re going to be interviewed and asked questions that maybe they’re uncomfortable answering.

For Chris Brown, that happened in March of 2011. During an interview with Robin Roberts, he was asked about some issues he had had with his ex-girlfriend Rihanna. He got so mad that he left the stage and ripped off his shirt.

Kristen Stewart

Sometimes, a person’s anger is an actual emotional meltdown. For Kristen Stewart, when news broke of her extracurricular activities with other people during her relationship with Robert Pattinson, she broke down.

Issuing a statement asking for forgiveness was her form of a meltdown. Though it doesn’t seem that memorable, it certainly was, and it had to be pretty awkward for her.

Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey

Sometimes, it takes more than one person to have a meltdown. There are celebrities that just don’t get along. Apparently, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey really can’t stand each other.

During the filming of American Idol, the two got into some pretty heated words on camera about Mariah’s criticism of contestants. It wound up being quite the meltdown for Nicki, though, as there were curse words thrown in.

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey is well known for being a bit of a diva, but that doesn’t stop her from being one of the biggest attractions in the world. So it’s not surprising that she’s invited to perform at holiday celebrations like the 2017 New Years’ Eve celebration in Times Square.

At that event, Mariah began yelling at the tech guys to get the monitor working because of a lip-synching glitch. When all was said and done, though, she took it in stride.

Kanye West

Kanye West is a very controversial rapper with some pretty strong opinions about his fellow artists. One, in particular, Taylor Swift, has been the target of many of his meltdowns, including the one backstage at Saturday Night Live in February 2016.

After getting upset about his stage setup on Saturday Night Live, he started spouting stuff about Taylor Swift being fake. Though she wasn’t present, he had stated previously how he felt about her. The remarks seemed to be out of nowhere and so uncalled for. This may well have been the start of that infamous rivalry between these two artists.  Not sure what caused the meltdown, but clearly, he was very unhappy!

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian, whether you love her or hate her, is usually pretty good about not clapping back when someone says negative things about her. But everybody has their limits, and apparently, when someone makes some criticisms about her body, she has to sound off.

She went off so hard on the two other stars, Chloe Grace Moretz and Bette Midler, who had made comments about a risque post Kim made on social media. The two actors made jabs about Kim not being a good role model for posting something that seems to make young girls think it’s all about the way you look.


Madonna, just in general, is kind of a controversial character. So it’s not surprising that she would have more than a few meltdowns. It probably has to do with the mounting pressures from outside her career.

In 2016, Madonna was going through a bit of a custody battle with her ex when it came to their son, and she couldn’t control herself any longer. She literally broke down on stage after dedicating a song to her son, having a pure mental meltdown in front of thousands of her fans.

Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom may be famous for his time on the basketball court, but for many people, he’s known simply as Khloé Kardashian’s ex-husband. During their estrangement, there were some pretty trying times and he had a little bit of a meltdown.

In October 2015, he was rushed to the hospital for using too many controlled substances. This led to him having some pretty long-term effects and cost him quite a bit.

Iggy Azalea

Sometimes, people forget that celebrities are humans too. We put them on a pedestal and under a lot of pressure. Our words matter to them, and in 2016 Iggy Azalea shared with people just how much the negative words that had come from other creatives over her new album affected her.

In a momentary meltdown on the radio, she told the world that she sometimes felt like she didn’t want to be there anymore.

Justin Bieber

It has to be hard on the mental and emotional health for these celebrities to consistently go and face new people every day. Always on the go, always exhausted, it has to wear on you eventually, and that’s what happened with Justin Bieber in 2016.

With a bit of a meltdown, he announced that he was canceling all his meet and greets because it was just too much for him. He felt that having to be ‘on’ all the time was bad for his mental health and he just needed a little time. We can understand that!

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett may not be as big a celebrity as she was back in her day, but she was still famous at one time. In fact, she gave us some interesting memories of her. In June of 1997, she had one of her biggest meltdowns while being interviewed by David Letterman.

It was televised and showed her inability to complete stories and she was acting a little crazy. >She was laughing inappropriately and starting stories she never finished, which seemed a little off. However, she claims that there was no illegal substance involved. Most of us assume that there was definitely something going on.

Robert Downey Jr.

Sometimes, meltdowns take a long time to be carried out. Robert Downey Jr.’s meltdown happened through most of the late 90s and into the 2000s. Of course, this was fueled by some extracurricular activities with questionable substances.

Not only would he show up late to set, but sometimes he wouldn’t show up at all to certain jobs he had. Eventually, this led to him losing roles and becoming hard to employ.

Vanilla Ice

Flying can be stressful, and anyone who has flown knows that. One of the most stressful things that can happen is to miss your flight. So we can understand why Vanilla Ice would be a little on edge when he missed his flight.

But the meltdown that happened when another passenger stepped into the conversation between an airline employee and the rapper, was a bit much.

Anne Heche

Sometimes, the meltdown comes from the loss of a relationship. In August of 2000, Heche had quite the meltdown and found herself roaming around disoriented, knocking on strange people’s doors.

She spent hours in front of that home and when the authorities showed up, she started ranting about aliens coming to get us.  After her breakup with Ellen DeGeneres, it seems that stuff got to her. Thankfully, most people were kind about this meltdown.

Tom Cruise

Ah, the famous Oprah’s couch incident of 2005. Despite how you feel about his personal choices, Tom Cruise is one of the biggest names in Hollywood today. Having tons of hit films, he was a sure-fire hit guest on every talk show you can think of.

But when he was asked about his relationship with his then-girlfriend, Katie Holmes, he went crazy. Jumping up and down on the couch, this was an apparent meltdown and one that didn’t seem quite in character, which eventually had a big impact on his career and reputation.

Heather Locklear

In the 80s and the 90s, Heather Locklear was a pretty popular television actress and one of the most beautiful women in the world. She also had a great relationship with her rocker husband. But in September 2018, she started getting into some emotional stress.

Then, she had a meltdown where she ended up driving her car into a ditch and hurting herself pretty severely. Once she was at the hospital, the meltdown continued as she got physical with one of the nurses. It’s one thing to have an emotional outburst, but it’s quite another to have a physical reminder of your very public meltdown.

Solange Knowles

There are several families that are just front-page news and can get away with bad behavior. One of those is the Knowles family, thanks to Beyoncé and her high profile. That’s why things went viral when Solange was caught on camera getting violent with her brother-in-law.

No one knows what spurred her to get physical with the famous rapper, but it definitely was bad behavior at its best. She must feel quite embarrassed now.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was nothing if not eccentric. Therefore, there were many times people felt that he was having a meltdown but he wasn’t. That was until 2002 when he had quite the meltdown.

After being followed by tons of paparazzi, he decided he wanted to show the world his baby son and dangled the child over a balcony. This was definitely a moment of mental anguish and we’re not sure what he was thinking.

Orson Welles

When we think of celebrity meltdowns being caught on tape, we think of the 90s and 2000 celebrities. But there was still tape way back when. Even some of the more classic actors like Orson Welles had moments when they were caught having a meltdown.

In fact, in 1970, while doing a food commercial, Orson Welles was captured having quite the meltdown.It seemed he didn’t like taking directions from more than one person and he wasn’t shy about saying something. This probably wasn’t the greatest thing for his then-dwindling career.

Amy Winehouse

The tragic loss of Amy Winehouse hit many people very hard. She struggled with substance usage, regularly, and eventually passed away in 2011. But before she did, she had quite a few meltdowns.

One of the most memorable was when she was booed off stage at one of her last concerts. It was clear that she was not altogether there, and it was very hard for her actually to perform. She stumbled and had trouble with the lyrics before exiting the stage.

Will Smith

Awards ceremonies are always exciting. There are elaborate numbers and funny banter between people you don’t always see together. One of the most exciting things is the hosts and their funny monologues.

But at the 2022 Oscars, there was more excitement than we bargained for. After a monologue by Chris Rock in which he made fun of Jada’s appearance, Will Smith took a swing at the host. This sparked a lot of controversies. And though we understand him wanting to protect his wife, violence is not the answer.

David Hasselhoff

When you hear the name David Hasselhoff you think of people running slowly on a beach. His time on television has made him an iconic celebrity and given him access to many dangerous things.

In 2007, while in Las Vegas, he had a pretty hectic meltdown. He was found eating hamburgers in a bathroom in just his jeans by his daughter, who filmed it. This was not good for his image. It’s an event he probably wishes never made its way into the public eye. The meltdown seemed to indicate that he had fallen off the wagon and led to David cleaning up his act once again.

Michael Bay

Michael Bay is a big-time director that often gets asked to do talks and keynote speeches. At one event for Samsung, this honor became a very frustrating moment in his public speaking career.

Having worked in a field that utilizes so much technology, you think that he’d develop a level of patience regarding technical problems. Clearly, that’s not the case. As the big-time director’s teleprompter failed, he got very frustrated and stormed off the stage.

Randy Quaid

Sometimes, being in the limelight continually can be quite a bit of pressure. So it’s not surprising that some celebrities wind up having meltdowns where they tend to go outside the box with their actions and thoughts.

Randy Quaid certainly took the cake regarding this aspect, as he wound up moving to Canada and talking about secret cults that are after celebrities. This all came about because he felt Rupert Murdoch and a secret group of evil people at News Corps were out to get him. On top of that, he ran out on a hotel bill which doesn’t seem quite right considering we’re sure he could pay it.

The names of these celebs that we’ve all come to know and love are not the same names their parents gave these celebrities when they were born. Rather, they’ve adopted their own stage names, and some of their real names will undoubtedly surprise you!

Courtney Love AKA Courtney Michelle Harrison

America singer, songwriter, and actress, Courtney Love, was born Courtney Michelle Harrison. Since making a presence in the punk and grunge scenes since the 1990s, Love has made headlines for her confrontational lyrics and questionable live performances. If that was not enough, Love was also married to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, which led to a highly publicized private life. While she kept her first name for her stage name, Love is certainly a more unique name for the famous star than Harrison.


Demi Moore AKA Demetria Guynes

While Demi seems like the appropriate nickname for Demetria, Moore has probably never come across anyone in her career calling her by her full real name. Moore was the last name of her first husband, Freddy Moore, who she married in 1980. Moreover, both of Demi’s actor exes after Freddy were born with different names to what we know them as. Bruce Willis was born as Walter Willis, and Ashton Kutcher was born Christopher Kutcher! It seems that being actors was not the only thing all three had in common!


Martin Sheen AKA Ramon Antonio Gerard Estevez

The Sheen family have made their mark on Hollywood, but Martin Sheen’s famous son, Charlie Sheen, is the only one to have followed suit with his stage name. Rather, Martin’s real name is Ramon Antonio Gerard Estevez, and Charlie’s real name is Carlos Estevez. Meanwhile, Martin’s other famous actor son, Emilio Estevez, kept his birth name for his professional career. If you didn’t know Martin and Charlie’s real names, you would only know they are related to Carlos because of their lookalike appearance!


Judy Garland AKA Frances Ethel Gumm

Judy Garland had a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years; she is best-known for her role as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz, and her appearance in Meet Me in St. Louis. Meanwhile, Garland was credited for her musical talents and became the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for her live recording of Judy at Carnegie Hall in 1961. Having made such a name for herself before her death in 1969, Garland has remained an icon in the entertainment industry.


Audrey Hepburn AKA Edda Kathleen van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston

While Audrey Hepburn became a recognizable face with an iconic dress, many would not recognize her real name if they heard it. In fact, the Belgian native’s real name was Edda Kathleen van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston.


Faith Hill AKA Audrey Faith Perry

Country music’s golden girl was married before she met her now husband Tim Mcgraw. Her first husband was Daniel Hill, and Faith’s career took off when the two were newlyweds. It is very common for a female country singer to keep her married name even if they divorce. But What is uncertain is why she chose to use Faith as her first name. It seems that she does favor her birth name because in 2001 she named her youngest daughter Audrey.

Shania Twain AKA Eileen Regina Edwards

Country music star, Shania Twain, was born with the name Eileen Regina Edwards. When her mother remarried, her new husband adopted Eileen and her sister, changing their last name to Twain. It was only in 1993, when Twain was 28, that she changed her name to Shania. It was during the time in which she began catching the attention of a few record labels and claimed Shania was an Ojibwa word meaning “on my way.” Under this name, she has sold over 100 million records.


Helen Mirren AKA Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironov

When it was announced that Helen Mirren would be taking on the lead role in The Queen, journalists probably rejoiced at the fact they didn’t have to refer to the actress as Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironov. Not for any reason other than it being more complicated than her chosen stage name of Helen Mirren. While the famous actress has made a name for herself in Hollywood thanks to her fantastic acting abilities, her birth name certainly would have made her stand out from her peers.


Albert Brooks AKA Albert Einstein

The reason for Albert Brooks’s name change is quite apparent, but it is wondered why his parents named him Albert in the first place. After all, their original last name is Einstein, making this comedian-turned-actor’s birth name, Albert Einstein. Since there was already a very famous man named Albert Einstein, who certainly left his mark, it seems this Albert had no choice other than to change his name if he wanted to be taken seriously in the world, let alone become famous!


Kirk Douglas AKA Issur Danielovitch Demsky

There may not be any other actors by the name of Issur Danielovitch Demsky, but Kirk Douglas has always gone by his stage name. In fact, he initially chose to change his name before entering the United States Navy during World War II. The 101-year-old then started his career in Hollywood and is one of the last surviving actors of the film industry’s Golden Age. Perhaps Douglas is a more straightforward name for fans to remember, and many will recognize the name from his son and actor, Michael Douglas.


Woody Allen AKA Allen Konigsberg

For over six decades, Woody Allen has had a career in the entertainment industry, starting off as a comedy writer. However, when he was in school, he was more interested in baseball than school and would impress his classmates with his talented magic tricks. Meanwhile, he wrote jokes and sent them to Broadway hoping someone would buy them. During this time, at the age of 17, he legally changed his name to Haywood Allen, and later referred to himself as Woody Allen.


Truman Capote AKA Truman Streckfus Persons

Capote’s literary career peaked after the release of his true crime novel, In Cold Blood, and he maintained his celebrity status during the ’70s by appearing on many talk shows. Meanwhile, Capote is the name behind the hit Breakfast at Tiffany’s which became a phenomenon when it was adapted into a film. In fact, around 20 movies and television dramas have been adaptations of Capote’s novels, stories, and plays. The literary genius had changed his name when his mother’s second husband, Joseph Capote, adopted him and renamed him Truman Capote.


Portia De Rossi AKA Amanda Lee Rogers

If Portia de Rossi was looking to spice up her birth name of Amanda Lee Rogers, then she certainly went the right way in doing so. In fact, she adopted her new stage name at the age of 15 and has kept it ever since. At that time, she had hoped to reinvent herself and took the name Portia from William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. The only change since changing her name is that she has also legally taken on the name DeGeneres since marrying talk show host, Ellen.


Tina Fey AKA Elizabeth Samatina Fey

Tina Fey may have changed her name, but it seems her birth name can’t escape her. While she was called Elizabeth by her parents when she was born, her 30 Rock character is called Liz! It seems she went with her middle name for her stage name and shortened Samatina to Tina. Alongside 30 Rock, Tina Fey has become famous for her work on Saturday Night Live and her appearances in films such as Baby Mama, Date Night, Muppets Most Wanted, and Sisters.


Dusty Springfield AKA Mary Isobel Catherine O’Brien

Dusty Springfield was a famous English pop singer who had a career that spanned for over three decades. While the world came to know the singer by her stage name, Springfield’s birth name was Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien. However, both Mary and her brother, Dionysius P. A. O’Brien, adopted the last name Springfield. Dionysius was later known as Tom Springfield and his sister was given the nickname “Dusty” because she was quite the tomboy and enjoyed playing soccer with the boys in the streets.


Marilyn Monroe AKA Norma Jean Mortensen

She was a woman of exquisite beauty, and while Marilyn Monroe certainly made a name for herself, few people may know that this golden goddess’ real name is Norma Jean Mortensen.


Whoopi Goldberg AKA Caryn Johnson

Whoopi Goldberg has certainly made a name for herself in Hollywood, being among the few actresses to have won a Tony, an Emmy, an Oscar, and a Grammy Award. However, while the world has come to know the actress, comedian, and singer as Whoopi Goldberg since her career began, her real name is Caryn Johnson. ‘Whoopi’ was created because of her ability to fart a lot, and her mother thought it would be better for her career for people to think she was Jewish, hence Goldberg.


Cary Grant AKA Archibald Alexander Leach

Cary Grant began his career as an entertainer in the early 1930s, and later became known as one of classic Hollywood’s leading men. He was popular for his transatlantic accent, having been born in Bristol, England and becoming an American citizen in 1942. His comic timing, light-hearted approach to acting, and his elegant demeanor were all traits which made Grant stand out from the crowd, and so would have his birth name. While Cory Grant certainly rolls off the tongue more easily, Archibald Alec Leach was Grant’s real name.


Harry Houdini AKA Ehrich Weiss

Born Erik Weisz, the famous magician later became Ehrich Weiss when the family moved to the United States. It was only when Weiss became a professional magician that he would refer to himself as Harry Houdini. The Hungarian star named himself after the French magician, Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin after reading his autobiography in 1890. Meanwhile, he claimed Harry was an homage to Harry Kellar, who he also looked up to. However, to his family, he was referred to as “Ehri,” of which he could have adapted Harry from.


Spike Lee AKA Shelton Lee

He is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor, and the world has best come to know this Emmy Award winner as Spike Lee. However, when he was born in 1957 in Atlanta, Georgia, his mother named him after her maiden name, Shelton. Since Shelton is fairly old-fashioned and formal, Lee opted to reinvent himself under the name Spike, which would allow him to stand out in Hollywood. He has since produced over 35 films and starred in ten of his own films.


Desi Arnaz AKA Desiderio Albert Arnaz y De Acha III

He was best known for playing the fictionalized version of himself, Ricky Ricardo, on the American television series I Love Lucy. But while the world came to know the star as Desi Arnaz, his birth name was Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III. The Cuban born actor starred alongside Lucille Ball who played Lucy on the show and to whom he was married to at the time. Together, the couple co-founded and ran the television production company Desilu Productions, and marketed I Love Lucy to television networks.


Carmen Electra AKA Tara Patrick

Carmen Electra was the blue-eyed bombshell on the television series Baywatch where she starred as Lani McKenzie, and later the dancer-turned-actress starred in multiple parody films such as American Vampire, Scary Movie, Date Movie, and Disaster Movie. However, to think anyone could have the last name “Electra” is too good to be true. In fact, Carmen was born Tara Patrick, and it seems she wanted to spice up her name when she made it in the entertainment industry.


Abigail Van Buren AKA Pauline Ester Friedman

Abigail Van Buren hosted the daily,= Dear Abby program from 1963 to 1975, and Diana Sawyer referred to the host as the “pioneering queen of salty advice.” Moreover, her Dear Abby column became the most widely syndicated newspaper column in the world, with 110 million readers. Her pen name, Abigail Van Buren, was taken from the Book of Samuel in the Old Testament prophetess: ‘Then David said to Abigail…’ “Van Buren” was her choice for her last name after the president, Martin Van Buren.


Anna Rice AKA Howard Allen O’Brien

The American author of gothic fiction, Christian literature, and erotica, is famously known as Anne Rice. However, she was born with the unusual name of Howard Allen. Speaking of her parents’ decision to give her a boys name, Rice said, “apparently my mother thought it was a good idea to name me Howard. My father’s name was Howard, and she thought it was a very interesting thing to do… She had the idea that naming a woman Howard was going to give that woman an unusual advantage in the world.”


Stevie Wonder AKA Steveland Morris

Stevie Wonder has become one of the most successful musical performers of the late 20th century since starting his career at the age of 11. The “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” singer was signed to Motown’s Tamla label after he sang his own composition of “Lonely Boy” to Ronnie White of the Miracles. Before he signed to his new label, producer Clarence Paul gave the young talent the name Little Stevie Wonder. It seems that Paul’s nickname stuck and, as Stevie grew older, he could drop the “Little.”


Katy Perry AKA Katy Hudson

With top hits & multiple awards, Katy Hudson will always be known for her stage persona as Katy Perry. The singer’s stage name has since become a household name as she let actress Kate Hudson be the only one.


Michael Caine AKA Maurice Micklewhite

Queen Elizabeth II knighted Caine in recognition of his contribution to cinema. However, the Academy Award nominee was born as Maurice Micklewhite Jr. but named himself after Humphrey Bogart’s character in The Caine Mutiny for his stage persona.


Dido AKA Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong

If Dido kept her real name for her stage name then the song “Stan” would have been by Eminem featuring Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong. That would have been a tough one for radio broadcasters to have announced over and over again when the song was constantly played. Meanwhile, can you imagine her album covers or concert posters? Essentially, Dido did herself a massive favor for her career with this one, and Dido quickly became a household name with songs such as “White Flag.”


Gene Simmons AKA Chaim Witz

Gene Simmons is famous for his trademark pose of sticking his tongue out while performing as the bassist and co-lead singer for Kiss. However, the Israeli-born rock star was born with the name Chaim Witz. The 63-year-old has used his stage name of Gene Simmons since the start of his career but has another stage persona called The Demon. Based on his make-up and look while performing in Kiss, we’re not surprised with the latter, and it was only in 1983 that the members took off their trademark makeup.


Bruno Mars AKA Peter Gene Hernandez

He may have a voice that can win the hearts of girls around the world, but Bruno Mars is full of mystery. While his real name is not even Bruno Mars but Peter Gene Hernandez, the “Just The Way You Are” singer also falls under a wide range of ethnicities. In fact, he is a little bit of everything – he was born in Hawaii, but he is also a mix of Filipino, Puerto Rican, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Spanish, and Jewish.


Larry King AKA Lawrence Harvey Zeiger

American television and radio host, Larry King, has been given his own platform over the years to invite some of Hollywood’s most famous names to interview. The Larry King Now host, was born to Orthodox Jewish Parents and was named Lawrence Harvey Ziegler. Lawrence Harvey Ziegler Live does not have quite the same ring as Larry King Live, the name of his previous talk show, so we can see why he chose to change his name early in his career.


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