18 Famous People Who Go By Their Middle Names

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March 10th is Middle Name Pride Day. While most people tend to forget about their middle name, or at least not use it in their everyday lives, a small contingent have done away with normal tradition, instead opting to use their middle names in place of their given first names. These people celebrate Middle Name Pride Day every single day, even if they don’t feel the need to shout the offbeat nature of their naming choices to the world. Still stranger? Some of these people are genuine superstars, famous people who adopted their new names before they even had fans to scream them. 

1. Christopher Ashton Kutcher

The actor changed his name at age nineteen when he embarked on his acting and modeling career. 

2. William Bradley Pitt

The actor was named after his father, though the pair only shares a first name, not a middle one. 

3. Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon

The actress’ unusual middle name—and the one she’s used since she started acting at age 14—is actually her mother’s maiden name.

4. Hannah Dakota Fanning

The actress’ name was reportedly the result of her parents’ inability to settle on just one first name for their daughter. 

5. John William Ferrell

The funnyman has always gone by an abbrievated version of his middle name, even if plenty of fake Twitter accounts want fans to think differently.

6. James Paul McCartney

This Beatle was named after his father, with his family later opting to use his middle name to avoid confusion. 

7. Marvin Neil Simon

The playwright and screenwriter was also known as “Doc” when he was in high school. 

8. Walter Bruce Willis

When he was a kid, the future actor's friends called him Bruno.

9. Mary Elle Fanning

Just like her big sister, Elle Fanning also uses her middle name both personally and professionally.

10. Robyn Rihanna Fenty

The songstress doesn’t just use her middle name as her stage name, but as her only name, which she’s used since first starting her prolific career.

11. Henry Warren Beatty

The actor and director changed his name when he was first starting his career in Hollywood because it sounded more famous.

12. Troyal Garth Brooks

The country singer was named after his father, apparently a very popular way for famous men to get first names they never use. 

13. Thomas Sean Connery

The beloved James Bond actor opted to go with Sean when he began his career because it reminded him of the movie Shane; the title character was one of his favorite movie heroes, and the name Sean "seemed to go more with my image than Tom or Tommy," he said.

14. John Calvin Coolidge

The thirtieth President of the United States was, unsurprisingly, named after his father.

15. Joseph Rudyard Kipling

The author was named after the Rudyard Lake area in England that his parents loved. 

16. Keith Rupert Murdoch

The media magnate has gone by his middle name—the same as his maternal grandfather—since he was just a baby.

17. Henry Ross Perot

The politician was actually born Henry Ray Perot, but he changed it when he was just a teenager. 

18. George Orson Welles

The director’s entire family stopped using his first name when he was still just a kid.

All photos courtesy of Getty Images.