Stars changed names: Amitabh, Shah Rukh, Salman, Hrithik...

Sometimes actors changed their names because their original names were either old-fashioned or unattractive. (Agencies)

What's in a name? For those in Bollywood it's all that matters.

There are many Bollywood actors who have adopted more attractive screen names - mostly at the behest of producers and directors.

Sometimes actors changed their names because their original names were either old-fashioned or unattractive.

Here, is a list of few Bollywood actors who changed their real name for showbiz.

Dilip Kumar with his wife Saira Banu (Sanskriti Media and Entertainemnt)

Dilip Kumar:

Dilip Kumar's original name is Muhammad Yusuf Khan. It was Devika Rani who advised him to choose a different screen name. So this Pathan from Peshawar was given a choice between Jahangir, Vasudev and Dilip Kumar. Mohammad Yusuf Khan Sarwar Khan opted for Dilip Kumar.

Manoj Kumar:

As a youth Manoj Kumar was a great fan of Dilip Kumar, and decided to name himself Manoj Kumar after Dilip's character in Shabnam (1949).


Madhubala's real name is  Mumtaz Begum Jehan Dehlavi As a child, her name in the credits would appear as 'Baby Mumtaz'. Till 'Neel Kamal’ (1947) with Raj Kapoor her name appeared as Mumtaz. After Neel Kamal Mumtaz became Madhubala.

Sanjeev Kumar:

Director Saawan Kumar Tak offered Sanjeev Kumar ‘Naunihal' and changed his name from Haribhai Jariwala to Sanjeev Kumar. 

Dev Anand:

Dev Anand, born Dharam Dev Anand, also dropped the first part of his name when he made his debut in 'Hum Ek Hain' (1946).


Jeetendra's real name is Ravi Kapoor. When he made his debut as a hero in V Shantaram's Geet Gaya Patharon Ne (1965), it was suggested to him that he change his name. Ravinder Kapoor was suggested finally, Ravi Kapoor adopted Jeetendra as his screen name.

Amitabh Bachchan:

From Inquilab Srivastava, named by his father Harivanshrai Bachchan, Bollywood mega star changed his name to Amitabh Bachchan after renowned poet Sumitranandan Pant's suggestion.


Bollywood's original He-man Dharam Singh Deol changed his name to a more charming one before entering into films.

Rajesh Khanna:

Rajesh Khanna changed his real name Jatin to Rajesh after he decided to join films as a career due to the insistence of his Uncle.


Rajinikanth was also a bus conductor in Bangalore before entering movies. His real name is Shivaji Rao Gaikwad. Director K Balachander gave him his stage name of Rajinikanth.


This beautiful actress was credited as Bhanurekha in many of her earlier films in which she appeared as a child artiste and later on reinvented herself to have an established long Bollywood career.

Mithun Chakraborty:

Mithun Chakraborty's real name is Gourango Chakraborty. He soon rose to become one of the film industry's best known 'dancing' heroes, and later, came to be recognized as a philanthropist and businessman in his native Bengal.

Shah Rukh Khan:

Shah Rukh Khan has been ruling the industry since the last 23 years. The superstar was actually named Abdul Rashid Khan by his grandmother. He was adopted by her and stayed with her till the age of 5. However, when SRK returned to his parents they changed his name to Shah Rukh Khan.

Salman Khan:

Not many are aware that 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' actor Salman Khan's real name is Abdul Rashid Salim Salman Khan. He shortened his name.

Aamir Khan:

Bollywood Perfectionist's real name is Mohammed Aamir Hussain Khan, which he shortened as Aamir Khan.

Hrithik Roshan:

Hrithik’s grandfather was Roshan Lal Nagrath, who was a very famous music director/composer. After his death Rakesh Roshan chose his father’s first name as his surname to honor him and the legacy continues.

Ranveer Singh:

Ranveer Singh belongs to a family of Bhavnanis and was named Ranveer Singh Bhavnani but he dropped his surname.

The reason he dropped the surname was that his name was too long with Bhavnani and Bollywood hates long names.

Katrina Kaif:

Katrina changed her name from Kate Turquotte as this sounds more Indian and can be pronounced easily.

Preity Zinta:

Did you know that Preity Zinta's original name is Preetam Zinta Singh?

Preetam Singh Zinta was the name that her parents chose. Priety had a boyish personality at young age and she was a tough girl but soon she realized she can’t enter the Bollywood with such name and changed it to Preity Zinta.

Saif Ali Khan:

Saif was named Sajid Ali Khan. In fact that's the name registered in his marriage certificate with Kareena Kapoor.

Akshay Kumar:

Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia is the real name of Bollywood's action hero Akshay Kumar. Bur for obvious length issue he opted for a different screen name.

Ajay Devgn:

Ajay was born in Delhi and originally called Vishal Devgan. He then changed it to Ajay before his debut film 'Phool Aur Kaante'.

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