Movie Quiz: Stage Names

Nowadays it’s OK for movie stars to embrace the names their parents gave them. But back in Hollywood’s heyday actors were given a full makeover by the studio publicity departments, a process that often entailed replacing their unpronounceable or funny-sounding (or just boring) names with snazzy new movie-star monikers.

Match the famous actor to his/her true name...and for good measure, pick the year in which they were born.

1. John Wayne
2. Paul Muni
3. Kirk Douglas
4. William Holden
5. Carole Lombard
6. Judy Garland
7. Cary Grant
8. Alice Faye
9. Roy Rogers
10. Ernest Borgnine
A. William Franklin Beedle Jr.
B. Frances Ethel Gumm
C. Meshilem Meier Weisenfreund
D. Alice Jeanne Leppert
E. Archibald Alexander Leach
F. Leonard Franklin Slye
G. Issur Danielovitch
H. Jane Alice Peters
I. Marion Morrison
J. Ermes Effron Borgnino
a. 1908
b. 1916
c. 1915
d. 1904
e. 1911
f. 1917
g. 1907
h. 1922
i. 1918
j. 1895


About the Author

Robert W. Butler is a lifelong Kansas City area resident, a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School and the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. For several decades he was the movie editor of the Kansas City Star; he now writes a movie-themed blog at He's married to the former Ellen Vaughan; they are the proud parents of LA-based comedian, writer, director and TV personality Blair Butler. He used to be a dog person but now lives with two cats, thus demonstrating the flexibility of the human condition.

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