‘Names don’t matter and accomplishments do’, many eminent names from India, especially those belonging to the world of glamour have proven it time and again. Indian cinema has seen the rise of many names over the years. Even years after their departure from the world of Cinema, their names continue to remain in the hearts of their admirers. The die-hard fans of these celebrities worship their favorite film stars like demigods and even go to the extent of naming their children after them. However, there are innumerable Bollywood celebrities who have shunned their original names to pursue a career in the glamour world. Many of these actors and actresses whom you have known for years have a different original name, which you may be completely unaware of. Enlisted below are 47 Bollywood celebrities whose real names will take you by surprise.
1. Salman Khan
This fact about the bad boy of Bollywood, the man who stole millions of hearts all over the world, is sure to leave you surprised. The movie star’s actual name is Abdul Rashid Salim Salman Khan, which was trimmed for the sake of a celluloid career.
2. Jackie Shroff
The macho man of Indian cinema was originally christened Jaikishen Kaku Bhai. Aren’t you glad that you knew him as Jackie Shroff all this while?
3. Preity Zinta
The dimple-cheeked beauty, who makes guys go weak on their knees, was named Preetham Singh Zinta, by her parents. Hmmm…the pretty woman so deserved to be called ‘preity’, didn’t she?
4. Hrithik Roshan
Touted as India’s answer to the Greek gods, the handsome hunk’s real name is Hrithik Nagrath. Roshan is the name of his grandfather, which was adopted later by members of the family.
Not many know that the humorous Govinda’s actual name is Govind Arun Ahuja. His surname was the price this renowned actor had to pay to be in the movies.
6. Katrina Kaif
Hailing from the land of the Queen, England, this diva, who is ruling the roost in Bollywood, was earlier known as Kate Turquotte. Now, if Katrina looks back, she might think that the change in identity was totally worth it.
7. Mallika Sherawat
The sultry siren was Reema Lamba before she made a sensational entry into the tinsel town. Well, maybe Shakespeare was right, what’s in a name, all that matters to Indian audiences are this woman’s bold onscreen moves.
8. Akshay Kumar
Wondering what the ‘Khiladi’ Kumar’s identity was, before he hogged the limelight with his box office successes? It was Rajiv Hariom Bhatia, didn’t expect that, did you?
His sunglass flips are a big hit all across the country and he’s definitely a phenomenon. During his days in Bangalore, where actor Rajni spent the early days of his life, he was Sivaji Rao Gaekwad. Although he predominantly rules South Indian cinema, Rajnikant hails from a Marathi speaking family.
10. Amitabh Bachchan
According to sources, the great living legend of Indian cinema was named Inquilab Srivastava, which later changed to pave way for the famous Amitabh.
11. Dilip Kumar
Known for his memorable roles in flicks like ‘Devdas’ and ‘Mughal-E-Azam’, Dilip Kumar was Muhammed Yousuf Khan, prior to becoming a phenomenal Bollywood actor.
12. Ranveer Singh
The hottest hunk on the block currently, the jovial Ranveer Singh was known as Ranveer Bhavnani. He adopted a different surname to suit contemporary Bollywood.
13. Shahid Kapur
The chocolate boy, who has been basking in the success of the critically acclaimed flick ‘Haider’, is actually Shahid Khattar. Perhaps, Bollywood’s long relationship with the Kapur surname could be one of the reasons why Shahid could have adopted the name.
14. Sunny Deol
Sunny, who usually portrays the hot-tempered patriot, was named Ajay Singh Deol by his parents.
15. Saif Ali Khan
The Nawab’s original name is Sajid Ali Khan. Had he retained the name, don’t you think it wouldn’t have been much different from that of the famous maker of movies like ‘Housefull’? That was a smart move by the dashing Saif.
16. Bobby Deol
When brother Sunny was Ajay Singh, how could the younger sibling not have a similar identity? Bobby was named Vijay Singh Deol by his family.
17. Mithun Chakraborty
The man who taught the world how to be a disco dancer is actually Gouranga Chakraborty. God alone knows if Mithun would have become such a legend had he retained his complicated first name.
Born to the acclaimed south Indian actor Gemini Ganesan, the evergreen beauty was given the title ‘Bhanurekha Ganesan’ by her father.
19. Ajay Devgn
The tall, dark and handsome man, famous for playing intense characters onscreen is Vishal Devgn in real life.
20. Sanjeev Kumar
Remember Thakur from ‘Sholay’, his name off-screen is Haribhai Jarivala.
21. Kamal Haasan
An institution of acting in himself, the versatile Kamal Haasan belongs to an orthodox South Indian family, which gifted him the name Alwarpettai Aandavar.
22. Sunny Leone
The adult movie star, who is now a rage across the nation and a favorite amongst Bollywood filmmakers, is of Punjabi descent. Her original name is Karanjit Kaur Vohra, a fact which took many Indians by surprise.
The official ‘jumping jack’ of Bollywood is Ravi Kapoor to his folks and Jeetendra to the rest of the world.
This one might leave your eyebrows raised. Actress Sridevi, who is of South Indian origin, was named Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan from her beloved parents.
25. Rajesh Khanna
The king of romance and heartthrob of the 1970’s, Rajesh Khanna’s real name is Jatin. Not many of his fans are aware of this fact.
26. John Abraham
Easily one of the most successful model turned actors of Bollywood, John was named Farhan.
27. Danny Denzongpa
One of the most unforgettable Bollywood villains of all time, Danny Denzongpa’s name is no less than a tongue-twister. The celluloid bad man, who hails from the North East is known as Tshering Phintso Denzongpa.
28. Johnny Lever
The funny man who leaves the audience in splits with his incredible sense of humor is actually John Prakasa Rao Janumala. During a gig for the employees of the firm Hindustan Lever Ltd, he adopted the surname ‘Lever’, which remained with him throughout his career.
One of the most seasoned actors the country has ever produced, the name Tabu is an abbreviation of Tabassum Hashim Khan.
30. Jaya Prada
Jaya Prada, who has appeared in numerous films with actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Jeetendra has an off-screen name called Lalita Rani.
31. Shilpa Shetty
The famous Bollywood actor and co-owner of the IPL franchise ‘Rajasthan Royals’ is officially Ashwini Shetty, who adopted the name Shilpa for a career in the field of glamor.
The beautiful Madhubala, one of the most iconic actresses of Indian Cinema is apparently Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehelvi.
33. Dev Anand
The handsome Dev Anand, who enjoyed a long and successful career in Bollywood, was originally called Devdutt Pishorimal Anand.
34. Chunky Pandey
Chunky shot to fame through his supporting roles in some fine Hindi movies such as ‘Tezaab’ and ‘Aankhein’. However, not many are aware of his original identity, which is Suyash Sharad Pandey.
35. Nana Patekar
The man who garnered acclaim for his roles in movies like ‘Yashwant’ and ‘Prahaar’ is Vishwanath Patekar off-screen.
36. Meena Kumari
The ‘queen of tragedy’ and usually associated with melodramatic Indian movies, Meena Kumari was named Mahjabeen Bano at the time of her birth and belongs to the Ali Bux family.
37. Sunil Dutt
Father of renowned Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who had also starred in iconic films like ‘Mother India’, was originally Balraj Dutt.
38. Mahima Chaudhary
This woman, who struck a chord with millions of Indians with her debut movie ‘Pardes’, was suggested the name Mahima by the popular filmmaker Subhash Ghai. Otherwise, she is known as Ritu.
39. Shammi Kapoor
The charming hero of the Kapoor clan, who is often compared with the rock star Elvis Presley for his style quotient, was originally named Shamsher Raj Kapoor. He later turned Shammi to enter celluloid and boy, what a difference the name made to his life.
40. Guru Dutt
The great filmmaker and actor who inspired a million other Indians to pursue a career Cinema hails from South India and his real name is Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone. Actress Deepika Padukone must be so honored to share her surname with such a precious gem of the movie world.
41. Lucky Ali
The acclaimed singer and son of yesteryear Bollywood comedian Mehmood is officially Maqsood Mehmood Ali. The change of identity indeed proved to be ‘lucky’ for this powerhouse of talent.
42. Sanjay Khan
Yesteryear actor and the ex-Father-in-law of actor Hrithik Roshan also opted for a change in name. The well-known actor was Abbas Khan, before he ventured into films.
The macho Punjabi man who ruled the silver screen during the 1960’s and 70’s was Dharam Singh Deol, who decided to opt for his movie career.
44. Manoj Kumar
This classic actor, who is known for being one of the best actors of his times, was christened Harikrishna Giri Goswami by his family.
45. Kishore Kumar
The charismatic Kishore Kumar, who had sung innumerable melodious songs and appeared in several films, was Abhas Kumar Ganguly.
46. Tun Tun
The actress’s actual identity is Uma Devi Khatri, but doesn’t the screen name suit her funny demeanor?
47. Jiah Khan
The actress whose life ended tragically with a mysterious death was named Nafisa Rizvi Khan by her parents, but later came to be known as Jiah.