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From many decades, Bollywood actors are opting to use stage names instead of their true names to sound more attractive to the audience. Some even had their last name completely changed in order to sound pleasant to the audience. Many famous people, though may be hard to believe, were given different names when they were born. Here are some such B-town celebrities who changed their names after entering Bollywood:

1. Akshay Kumar

Don’t be shocked! Akshay Kumar’s real name is Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia, which he changed after making his Bollywood debut, which was just 10-second cameo, in a Mahesh Bhatt film called “Aaj”. In the movie, he played a role of martial arts coach named Akshay.

Source: Instagram

2. Tiger Shroff

Tiger Shroff, whose birth date is March 2, 1990, is actually Jai Hemant Shroff. Since he was a toddler, Jackie Shroff, his father, has referred to him as a tiger as he used to bit like one when he was young. Later, when he made his Bollywood acting debut with Heropanti, he chose the name Tiger Shroff!

Image: IMDb

3. Preity Zinta

Preity Zinta, who was raised in Shimla, decided to shorten her given name while breaking into the Bollywood industry. As per TOI, her real name is Preetam Singh Zinta.

Image: Instagram

4. Ayushmann Khurrana

As per Wikipedia, the real name of Ayushmann Khurrana is Nishant Khurrana. But, when he was three years-old, his father – P. Khurrana, who is an astrologer himself,  changed his name from Nishant Khurrana to Ayushman Khurana.

Image: An Action Hero

5. Sridevi

The real name of late Sridevi, who was a legendary actress and producer, was Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan.  Do you know Sridevi was the first actress, for whom the industry used the term “superstar.”

Image: Yash Raj Films

6. Saif Ali Khan

Saif Ali Khan was born as Sajid Ali Khan on August 16, 1970. He is the son of actress Sharmila Tagore and the late cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. He made his Bollywood debut with the movie Parampara in 1993.

Image: Kal Ho Na Ho

7. Rekha

Rekha ji an ageless diva also changed her name when she entered Bollywood. The original name of Rekha is Bhanurekha Gemini Ganesan. Prior to beginning her career in Bollywood, she legally changed her name to Rekha.

Screengrab from the movie

8. Kiara Advani

Do you know Kiara Advani’s real name is actually Aaliya Advani? As per sources, she changed her name to Kiara, on Salman Khan’s recommendation. While sharing the story behind her changing her birth name, Kiara said, “My first name is Aliya. Salman advised me to change it in light of Alia Bhatt because there cannot be two Bollywood actresses with the same name”.

Image: Fugly

9. Sunny Leone

Karenjit Kaur Vohra is Sunny Leone’s real name. Sunny Leone was born into a Sikh household in Ontario. Before starting her career in the adult industry at the age of 19, she took her brother’s name, Sunny. She was advised to add “Leone” to her name by a famous magazine’s founder. Rest is all history!

Image: Instagram

10. Shilpa Shetty

We bet you didn’t know that Shilpa Shetty’s birth name was Ashwini! Later, her mother, Sunanda Shetty, an astrologer herself, changed her daughter’s name to Shilpa. She believed that new name would bring better professional opportunities to her daughter.


Image: Instagram

11. John Abraham

Farhan Abraham is the Iranian name of Bollywood’s poster boy John Abraham. He was later baptized as John Abraham.

12. Tabu

One of the finest actresses of all time, Tabu’s real name is Tabassum Hashmi. In order to enter Indian cinema, she changed her name to Tabu.

13. Sunny Deol

Another finest actor of Indian cinema, Sunny Deol changed his name when he made his Bollywood debut with the movie Betaab (1983). His real name is Ajay Singh Deol.

So, how many did you know? Tell us in the comments below.


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