Real names of famous Bollywood actors

It is said that if Yasmeen Joseph would not have adopted the screen name Mandakini, she might not have earned so huge success for her acted super hit film ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’. She played the leading lady in the Raj Kapoor directed film opposite Rajiv Kapoor.

In the twentieth century, many actors earned profound success after adopting a screen name. However, these days most actors have been presented on the big screen with their original names. Sharman Joshi, Shreyas Talpade, Hrithik Roshan: though these names seem difficult to utter, still these actors have earned great success using these names as the screen names.

With the screen name, Bollywood actors and actresses have inspired generations of parents to name their children ‘Rajesh’, ‘Jeetendra’ or ‘Dilip’.

Actors adopt a screen name because their original names were either old-fashioned or unattractive or they feel that a catchy screen name will earn them more fans.

Dilip Kumar’s original name is Muhammad Yusuf Khan. It is said Devika Rani, the owner of Bombay Talkies advised him to take up the new name. She provided the option of three names such as Jahangir, Vasudev and Dilip Kumar. Mohammad Yusuf Khan Sarwar Khan opted for Dilip Kumar.

Madhubala’s real name is Mumtaz Begum Jehan Dehlavi and she joined films as a child artiste. As a child, her name in the credits of the films she worked in appeared as ‘Baby Mumtaz’. And even when, at the age of 14, she appeared as a heroine opposite Raj Kapoor in Neel Kamal (1947), her name in the credits was Mumtaz. However, after Neel Kamal, she was known as Madhubala.

It is said director Saawan Kumar Tak was the person who changed veteran actor Sanjeev Kumar’s name from Haribhai Jariwala to Sanjeev Kumar.

Dev Anand, born Dharam Dev Anand, also dropped the first part of his name and became Dev Anand.

Jeetendra’s real name is Ravi Kapoor. During V Shantaram’s ‘Geet Gaya Patharon Ne’ (1965), where he debuted, it was suggested to him that he change his name. Initially, he was suggested ‘Ravinder Kapoor’.Yet, back then there was a known hero of Punjabi films named Ravinder Kapoor. Hence, it was felt that having two Ravinder Kapoors as heroes were likely to confuse audiences. And so Ravi Kapoor adopted Jeetendra as his screen name which later earned him huge success.

Here are some other original names of Bollywood actors:

Screen Name/ Popularly known as — Real name

  • Comedian Johnny Walker — Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi
  • South superstar Rajinikanth — Shivaji Rao Gaikwad
  • Comedian Johny Lever — John Rao
  • Actress Preity Zinta — Preetam Zinta Singh
  • Hot Bollywood actress Sunny Leone — Karenjit Kaur Vohra
  • Sexy actress Mallika Sherawat — Reema Lamba
  • Actor Mithun Chakraborty — Gourango Chakraborty
  • Actress Rekha — Bhanurekha Ganeshan
  • Veteran actor Raaj Kumar (famous for ‘Jaani’)– Kulbhushan Pandit
  • Comedian/ Actress Tun Tun — Uma Devi Khatri
  • Famous singer Kishore Kumar — Abhas Ganguly
  • Veteran actor Ashok Kumar—Kumudlal
  • Actor Akshay Kumar — Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia
  • Actor Ajay Devgan — Vishal Devgan
  • Superstar Rajesh Khanna — Jatin Khanna

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