Top 10 Latinos Who Changed Their Names For Hollywood

Not every Latino keeps true to their roots. Here’s a list of the top 10 Latinos who had to change their name for Hollywood! 10.…

Not every Latino keeps true to their roots. Here’s a list of the top 10 Latinos who had to change their name for Hollywood!

10. Ritchie Valens

He was one of the first Latinos to break into mainstream music, paving the way for everyone else who came in his wake. He’s even in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. But the singer — whose life was tragically cut short in a plane wreck at just 17 years old — was born Ricardo Valenzuela. He had to change his name upon getting signed to his record label because his manager, at the time, was concerned that mainstream America in the 1950′s wouldn’t be receptive to a “Latino rock star.”

9. Anthony Quinn

A member of the “Old Hollywood” vanguard and revered as one of the greatest actors of all time, Quinn was actually born as Antonio Oaxaca in Chihuahua, Mexico. He started his career with his “original” name and ended up getting cast in a series of “ethnic” roles. When he changed his name to Anthony Quinn, however, he was cast opposite Marlon Brando in “Viva Zapata!”…and earned himself an Oscar.

8. Vanessa Marcil

The Maxim hottie, soap opera actress, and all-American babe may not be considered “All American” if she went into her career with her given name: Sally Ortiz. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to note that she’s never been cast in a “Latina” role.

7. Joanna Kearns

Perhaps best known for her role as Maggie Seaver on the hit 1980′s sitcom “Growing Pains,” Kearns was actually born Joanna DeVarona in San Francisco, California, to a Mexican father.

6. Ricky Martin

Though he has never denied his Latino roots, the international superstar and pop culture phenomenon was actually born Enrique Morales in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

5. Raquel Welch

One of the most beautiful women in the world, and one of the current spokeswomen for Foster-Grant sunglasses, Welch was born JoRaquel Tejada, and she is the daughter of a Bolivian aeronautics engineer.

4. Vanna White

America’s most famous letter-turner on “Wheel of Fortune” was born Vanna Rosich, and she is the scion of a Puerto Rican political family!

3. Rita Hayworth

Listed as one of the greatest film actresses of all time by the American Film Institute, Rita Hayworth’s career almost died out before it even started: when she was known as Margarita Cansino, she was cast in bit roles and “ethnic” parts. It was only when she lightened her hair — and her skin — got extensive plastic surgery, and changed her name to the more Anglo-sounding “Rita Hayworth” that she made her mark on the Hollywood zeitgeist.

2. Bruno Mars

He’s all the rage in pop and R&B, but he fears he wouldn’t have been as such if he were known by his given name, Peter Gene Hernandez. Mars himself has said that he changed his name to avoid being “typecast” into an “Enrique Iglesias-type” musical genre.

1. Charlie Sheen

To be fair to Mr. Tiger Blood, he was only continuing a tradition started by his father, Ramon Estevez (a/k/a Martin Sheen). According to his brother Emilio Estevez (yes, THAT Emilio Estevez), however, “he was never Carlos…he was always Charlie.” Recently, in the film “Machete Kills,” Charlie went back to his roots, billing himself as “Carlos Estevez.” No word on whether this was a one-off thing, or if this reversion is permanent.

Top 10 Latinos Who Changed Their Names For Hollywood  was originally published on


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