Butch says Marion Morrison was tops!

Did you enjoy watching Marion Morrison in western movies? He had a great screen presence and usually played the courageous “good guy.” You never heard of him? Well, when Marion began making movies, he changed his name to . . . John Wayne! In the 1950s, one of my favorite TV westerns was Wyatt Earp, played by Hugh O’Brian, whose real name was Hugh C. Krampe . . . seriously. My brother liked TV stars Roy Rogers and Dale Evans . . . their real names . . . Leonard Slye and Frances Smith. (I’m glad my brother received the Roy Rogers lunchbox for Christmas instead of the Leonard Slye lunchbox.) In the old musicals, I enjoyed watching Fred Austerlitz and Virginia McMath . . . better known as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

So this made me wonder which other actors, actresses, and celebrities had changed their names. Here is a list of a few:

Rock Hudson (Leroy Harold Scherer, Jr.), Doris Day (Doris Kappelhoff), Judy Garland (Frances Gumm), Mickey Rooney (Joe Yule, Jr.), Joan Crawford (Lucille LeSeur), Cary Grant (Archibald Leach), Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean Mortensen), Kirk Douglas (Issur Demsky), Michael Caine (Maurice Micklewhite), Jack Benny (Benjamin Kubinsky), George Burns (Nathan Birnbaum), Jerry Lewis (Joe Levitch), Dean Martin (Dino Crocetti), Barbara Stanwyck (Ruby Stevens), Natalie Wood (Natalia Zakharenko), Alan Alda (Alphonso d’Abruzzo), Tony Curtis (Bernard Schwartz), Lauren Bacall (Betty Joan Perske), John Denver (Henry Dentschendorf, Jr.), Donna Reed (Donna Belle Mullenger), Danny Thomas (Muzyad Yahhoob), Audrey Hepburn (Edda Ruston), Bea Arthur (Bernice Frankel), and Robert Fuller (Leonard Lee). And guess who the star of Little House on the Prairie was? . . . Eugene Orowitz . . . better known as Michael Landon!

And here are a few celebrities of today who changed their names:

Jackie Chan (Chan Kong-Sang), Winona Ryder (Winona Laura Horowitz), Jennifer Anniston (Jennifer Anastassakis), Natalie Portman (Neta-Lee Herschlag), Jamie Foxx (Eric Marlon Bishop), Elton John (Reginald Dwight), Tom Cruise (Thomas Mapother IV), Lady Gaga (Stephanie Angelina Germanotta), Stevie Wonder (Steveland Judkins), Meg Ryan (Margaret Hyra), Demi Moore (Demetria Guynes), Martin Sheen (Ramon Estevez), Hulk Hogan (Terry Jean Bollette), Chuck Norris (Carlos Ray), Vin Diesel (Mark Sinclair) and Shania Twain (Eileen Regina Edwards). And for some reason, Caryn Johnson changed her name to . . . Whoopie Goldberg!

I can understand why many of these celebrities changed their names. This made me wonder about some of our famous politicians . . . and guess what? Many of them changed their names . . . such as:

President Joe Biden’s real name is Jerry Attrick, V.P. Kamala Harris (Anita Newjob), Nancy Pelosi (Ima L. Coholic), Donald Trump (Burnham Goode), Dr. Anthony Fauci (Mick Stupp), Bill Clinton (Mike Rotch), Hillary Clinton (Lyda Lott), Bernie Sanders (Heywood U. Shuddupp), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Ima Nutcase), Barack Obama (Phil Mipockets), Elizabeth Warren (Lotta Bolloni), Maxine Waters (Emma Royds), Mitch McConnell (Rufus Leekin), Mike Pence (Izzy Toogood) and Kim Kardashian (Iona Beegbottum).

After thinking about these, I have decided to change my name so I can become more famous . . . you know . . . a catchy name. I can’t decide between Noah Lott or Max Power. My wife suggested I change my name to Stu Pidd, Lou Zarr, or Royal Payne. Now, was that nice of her?

John “Butch” Dale is a retired teacher and County Sheriff. He has also been the librarian at Darlington the past 32 years, and is a well-known artist and author of local history.