Think only Akshay Kumar changed his name? Rajinikanth and Sunny Leone did too

Akshay Kumar is not the only actor to have changed his name before entering films. Here are 6 actors who took the same step

Rajiv Bhatia is known all over the world with his screen name Akshay Kumar. A successful actor, he has played varied roles in his two-decade-long film career.

Recently at an event, the Jolly LLB2 actor was asked why did he change his name. Spilling the beans, Akshay said he had a minuscule role in Kumar Gaurav starrer Aaj. After his shot, all he did was to stand out and watch Gaurav, whose character’s name was Akshay in the Mahesh Bhatt directorial.  Adding further, Akshay said he had no clue why he took such a decision. Although he did not work, yet he got visiting cards printed for him. And the rest is history. It should be mentioned that Akshay played Rajeev in 2001 film Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon.

Akshay is not the only B-town actor who got his name changed for films. Here are five stars who adopted a different identity for the fans. And the reasons will amaze you.

Ajay Devgn: Born Vishal Devgan, he changed his name to Ajay before entering the film industry. Son of yesteryear stunt director Veeru Devgn, he might have taken the decision due to numerological reasons. In 2009, he dropped an ‘A’ in his surname and now he is known as Ajay Devgn. We are unsure whether he would have been equally famous as Vishal Devgan.

Sunny Leone: She has millions of fans swooning over her. Bollywood’s Laila is now counted among A-listers with her phenomenal performances. But do you know Sunny is not her original name. Born Karenjit Kaur Vohra, she changed her name before entering the porn film industry. Sunny said she had never thought about the reason behind her new name. She revealed that in an interview to a magazine, she was asked what her new name could be. Karenjit immediately retorted saying,” How about Sunny?” Well, do you think the Ek Paheli Leela actor would have been equally famous as Karenjit?

Rajinikanth: His fandom is not limited to 3.74 million on Twitter alone. Tamil megastar Rajinikanth is one of the most iconic film actors in Indian cinema. But in reality, it is not his real name. He was born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad to a Marathi family in Bangalore on December 12, 1950. An aspiring actor, he was given the name of Rajinikanth by director K Balachander in 1972. It was Balachander who gave him his break in films with directorial venture Apoorva Raagangal. It is believed that the name Rajinikanth was inspired from a character named Major Chandrakanth from one of Balachander’s earlier movies. It was on Holi that day when Shivaji became Rajinikanth, and then began his journey to superstardom.

Rekha: Rekha is considered to be one of the finest actors in Indian cinema. Having acted in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada movies in a career spanning more than four decades, she still enthralls everyone with her beauty and charm. But Rekha is not her real name. She was born Bhanurekha Ganesan to Tamil icon Sivaji Ganesan and Telugu actor Pushpavalli on October 10, 1954. As a child actor, she was credited as Baby Bhanurekha in films. Later, she changed it to Rekha and the rest they is history.

Dilip Kumar: Also known as Bollywood’s tragedy king, Dilip Kumar acted in several films in a career spanning more than five decades. Born as Mohammad Yusuf Khan in Peshawar (now Pakistan), he did odd jobs before making his mark in the film industry. While selling fruits in a local market, Khan met actress Devika Rani who was shopping in the same area. She gave him her visiting card and asked him to meet her at the studio. Yusuf Khan became Dilip Kumar and made his debut in Jwar Bhatta in 1944. With performances in films like Mughal-e-Azam, Naya Daur and Ganga Jamuna, he established himself as one of the leading actors in Indian cinema.

Rajesh Khanna:  No other actor has enjoyed widespread fame as Rajesh Khanna. Also known as India’s first superstar, he had a huge fan following with girls of his generation sending him letters in blood and getting married to his photograph. But Rajesh was his screen name which he adopted after being advised by his uncle. Jatin was actually his original name. He is known for his roles in films like Aradhana, Kati Patang, Anand and others.

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Also read: Clash of superstars: Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan to battle it out at Box Office this August

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