Studios re naming ethnic actors

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paul.austin
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Studios re naming ethnic actors

Post by paul.austin »

Mayim Bialik wouldn't have been able to have been "Mayim Bialik" had she started as a child actress in Hollywood during its Golden Age rather than the 1980s. Whatever studio she worked for (Paramount, Fox, RKO or whatever) would have forcibly changed her name to something more "American" and acceptable. Margaret Wilson, perhaps.

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Richard Charles Skryngestone
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Re: Studios re naming ethnic actors

Post by Richard Charles Skryngestone »

And Marlene Dietrich would of had to change her name too...
Great News Inside, Chums!

brigham
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Re: Studios re naming ethnic actors

Post by brigham »

...And the Bronte sisters, too.

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paul.austin
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Re: Studios re naming ethnic actors

Post by paul.austin »

Sometimes the performers renamed themselves. One instance is the sleek Lizabeth Scott (nee Emma Matzo!!!) While Emma Matzo might be the title of a Woody Allen movie from 2002, it just wouldn't fly on 40s marquees. Emma renamed herself after reading a play about Mary Queen of Scots. This removed the possibility of some noir expert describing the key murder scene in Too Late for Tears in these terms: "Husband is gunned down at the lake by a devious Matzo."

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Re: Studios re naming ethnic actors

Post by fatcat »

With his ethnic English name Archibold Leech he probably needed to change it to Cary Grant to get the glamorous roles he was associated with, so too with his ethnic name of William Pratt he might not have been known for horror films unless he had changed it to Boris Karloff.

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Juswuh
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Re: Studios re naming ethnic actors

Post by Juswuh »

Richard Charles Skryngestone wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 6:47 am
And Marlene Dietrich would of had to change her name too...
She was born Maria Magdelene Dietrich, but anyway she arrived in Hollywood as an exotic foreigner.

Apart from not Anglicising ethnic names, people nowadays don't seem to change other names that would have been non-starters back in the day. Surely somebody's hinted at the idea to Imogen Poots?

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