You have probably guessed that my real name isn’t “Paco.” That’s a nickname that was given to be soon after I began my radio career, in Tampa, circa 1985. It’s a name I’ve used just about my entire career in the business, and most people who know me personally call me Paco. In fact, when my wife calls me and I DON’T respond, she’ll say, “PACO!”…and I’ll turn to her.
However, I’m not a “celebrity” like some of the folks you watch on TV, and in the movies, or listen to sing on the radio. Here is a list of some celebs and their real names that may surprise you.
Alan Alda – Alphonso d’Abruzzo. He came up with the name by putting together the first two letters of his real first and last name.
Cary Grant – Archibald Alexander Leach. Cary Grant just seems a little sexier, right ladies?!
Chevy Chase – Cornelius Crane Chase. He got his name from the traditional English song “The Ballad of Chevy Chase.” That’s better than nicknaming him “Corny.”
Elvira (the Queen of Halloween) – Cassandra Peterson. By the way, did you know she was in a Bond movie and posed for a Tom Waits album?
George Michael – Georgios Panayiotou. Hard to believe a guy that “smooth” had a name that was that hard to pronounce.
Gene Simmons – Chaim Witz. Half of the original members of KISS were Jewish. I believe this works better for “Kiss” than Chaim.
Jamie Foxx – Eric Marlon Bishop. Jaime said he changed his name to a “unisex” name because female comics were getting a lot of attention. The “Foxx” is an ode
to Red Foxx, one of his idols.
Judy Garland – Frances Gumm. But, Liza’s name is all hers. Her dad was Vincente Minnelli, a classic musical director.
Kirk Douglas – Issur Danielovitch Demsky. His REAL name is STILL pretty cool…“Issur Demsky.” That would have worked for “Ben Hur” starring Issur Demsky.
Martin Sheen – Ramon Antonio Gerard Estevez. So Charlie Sheen’s real name is “Carlos Estevez,” a name he never used. Only his brother Emilio Estevez used the
Michael Caine – Maurice Micklewhite. Caine took the name after seeing Humphrey Bogart’s character in “The Caine Mutiny.”
Michael Keaton – Michael Douglas. Yeah, in Hollywood, only ONE person can have a name, the second (even if it’s their real name) has to change it.
Rock Hudson – Leroy Harold Scherer, Jr. He could have been Rock Boulder! Standing at 6’5, he was one BIG Rock!
Shania Twain – Eileen Regina Edwards. She took Twain from her stepfather. It’s his last name.
Stevie Wonder – Steveland Judkins. “Steveland” is quite unique, but, impractical in show business.
Whoopi Goldberg – Caryn Johnson. Yeah, Whoopi gets more attention than Caryn. Her mom was the one who suggested to take a Jewish last name. She said it would help her career if people thought she was Jewish.