As we know, many actors and actresses change their names when they go into show business. However, some make the change after they have been billed under one name. I noticed that in the current TCM Saturday serial, "Terry And The Pirates", Terry's friend, Pat Ryan, is played by an actor billed as Granville Owen. I was sure that the actor was Jeff York, early in his career. I looked up his bio and found that his real name was Granville Owen Scofield. The serial was made in 1940. After military service in World War II, he changed his name to Jeff York. Baby Boomers may remember him as Mike Fink, keelboat captain and rival and then friend of Davy Crockett in Disney's popular Davy Crockett series in the fifties. He did several movies for Disney, as well as a TV mini-series about frontiersman Andy Burnett. I saw him recently in a Perry Mason episode and just today in a Lone Ranger episode.
Last week, I was watching an old Hopalong Cassidy western called "Rustler's Valley". One of the actors who was in several of the "Hoppy" movies was billed as Stephen Morris. He usually played a villain, but in this instance he was a good guy. Shorty after these films, he changed his stage name to his real name of Morris Ankrum. He appeared in hundreds of movies and TV shows, often playing a military officer or an Indian chief. Late in his career, he often played a judge on "Perry Mason".
Playing the villain in "Rustler's Valley" was an actor billed as Lee Colt . I knew as soon as I heard his voice that it was Lee J. Cobb. He was billed as Lee Colt in two early westerns before changing his name to Lee J. Cobb.
Recently, on an old episode of "The Lone Ranger" I thought I recognized an actress who played the mother of a young boy who is kidnapped by outlaws. She was billed as Beverly Campbell. I looked up her bio and found that my suspicions were correct. It was Beverly Garland early in her career. Her first husband was named Campbell. Her second husband was actor Richard Garland. She, of course, would later star in a TV series called "Decoy", about a police woman, and much later she would join the cast of "My Three Sons".
Not long ago, I saw a very familiar face playing a boxer on an episode of "The Roy Rogers Show". He was billed as Charles Buchinski. As many of you know, he would later be known as Charles Bronson. He was billed under the Buchinski name for several years. That includes the "House Of Wax" movie with Vincent Price.
These were just a few examples of actors and actresses changing their names after they started their film careers. I saw these episodes over the course of just a couple of weeks. Can you think of others that fit this category?