13 Popular Actresses Who Opted For A Name Change Mid-Career

13 Popular Actresses Who Opted For A Name Change Mid-Career View All Articles

Posted On: 31 Aug 2021 | Last Updated: 29 Nov 2021

It’s not uncommon for Bollywood celebrities to change their birth names to something that might help them to stand out. Some changed their name because of superstition, numerology, or simply for a tempting connotation. There have been many instances where Bollywood actors’ real names were changed by the directors to favor the secular inclination of Indian audiences. Dev Anand, Sanjeev Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Jeetendra, and Dharmendra are some of the top Bollywood celebrities who have changed their names just to connect better with their audience. Veteran actresses like Nargis, Madhubala, Nutan, and Nanda are few Bollywood actresses who shortened their real names and were only credited by their first names in the film industry. Changing the names before starting a career has been in trend for way too long, but changing the names in mid of a career is still uncommon. Let’s check out these 12 popular Bollywood actresses who changed their names in the middle of their career for a change of fortune or luck or just to follow the trend.

1. Priya Arora – Tisca Chopra

Tisca Chopra, born Priya Arora, started her career as a theatre artist and then became a well-known name in Bollywood. At the start of her career, she was credited with her birth name, Priya Arora. She started her Bollywood career in 1993 by appearing in the Ajay Devgn starrer Platform which was followed by 15th August. After her marriage to Capt. Sanjay Chopra, a pilot with Air India, she changed her name to Tisca Chopra and thereafter was credited with this name. She is known for her works in movies like Taare Zameen Par (2007), Firaaq (2008), Love Breakups Zindagi (2011), Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji (2011), and Rahasya (2015).

Priya Arora – Tisca Chopra

2. Reema Lamba – Mallika Sherawat

Reema Lamba, better known as Mallika Sherawat, is known for her bold on-screen roles. She started her career in Bollywood with a small role in Tusshar Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor-starrer Jeena Sirf Merre Liye (2002), in which she was credited as Reema Lamba. She changed her name to Mallika Sherawat in 2003 with Govind Menon’s Khwahish, which starred her in the lead role. She adopted this new name to forget her past and the unsuccessful marriage, as she wanted to mark the change of her name as the start of her new life. She has appeared in several movies like Murder (2004), Pyaar Ke Side Effects (2006), Darna Zaroori Hai (2006), Welcome (2007), Hisss (2010), Double Dhamaal (2010), and Dirty Politics (2015).

Reema Lamba – Mallika Sherawat

3. Priyanka Kothari – Nisha Kothari / Amogha

Priyanka Kothari, an Indian actress, and model appeared in many music videos before starting her acting career. She made her acting debut with a Tamil film Jay Jay (2003) and was credited as Amogha. In 2005, she made her Bollywood debut with Rohit Jugraj’s action film James and decided to change her name to Nisha Kothari. Since then, she is credited as Nisha Kothari. She has appeared in movies like Sarkar (2005), Shiva (2006), Darna Zaroori Hai (2006), Darling (2007), Aag (2007), Agyaat (2009), etc.

Priyanka Kothari – Nisha Kothari / Amogha

4. Vaishali Sahdev – Meher Vij

Vaishali Sahdev, popularly known as Meher Vij, started her career in the Indian film industry in 2003. In the initial years of her career, she used her birth name Vaishali Sahdev and was seen in small roles in movies like Saaya (2003) and Lucky: No Time for Love (2005). In 2009, she changed her name to Meher Vij after her marriage to Indian actor Manav Vij. She is known for her works in movies like Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015), Tum Bin 2 (2016), Secret Superstar (2017), and Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship (2020).

Vaishali Sahdev – Meher Vij

5. Mona Chopra – Sherlyn Chopra

Sherlyn Chopra, born Mona Chopra, is an Indian actress mainly known for her dance numbers in Bollywood movies. She started her career in Indian cinema in 2002 with a Telugu movie – Vendi Mabbu. In the initial years, she continued using her birth name, Mona Chopra. Later in 2005, she changed her name to Sherlyn Chopra and appeared in supporting roles in movies like Dosti: Friends Forever (2005), Jawani Diwani: A Youthful Joyride (2006), Red Swastik (2007), Dil Bole Hadippa (2009), etc.

Mona Chopra – Sherlyn Chopra

6. Urvashi Sharma – Raina Joshi

Urvashi Sharma, a Bollywood actress, started her career in Bollywood with the 2007 Abbas - Mustan film Naqaab alongside Bobby Deol and Akshaye Khanna and is known for her work in movies like Three (2008), Baabarr (2009), Khatta Meetha (2010), and Chakradhaar (2012). Initially, she was using her real name, Urvashi Sharma, until she married actor-producer Sachin Joshi in 2012 and decided to change her name to Raina Joshi. She didn’t appear in any movie after the marriage, but a TV show where she used her changed name.

Urvashi Sharma – Raina Joshi

7. Natasha Hassanandani – Anita Hassanandani

Natasha Hassanandani, professionally known as Anita Hassanandani, started her career as a television actress in 1998 and used her birth name in this project. Later in 1999, she started her career in the film industry and decided to change her name to Anita Hassanandani. She has appeared in movies like Taal (1999), Krishna Cottage (2004), Silsiilay (2005), Koi Aap Sa (2005), Dus Kahaniyaan (2007), Ek Se Bure Do (2010), Ragini MMS 2 (2014), etc.

Natasha Hassanandani – Anita Hassanandani

8. Twinkle Bajpai – Tia Bajpai

Tia Bajpai, born Twinkle Bajpai, started her career as a contestant in a singing show ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2005’, which was followed by her lead role in a TV show. She continued using her real name while she was still a TV artist but decided to change her name to Tia Bajpai when she made her debut in Bollywood. She made her screen debut in Bollywood with Vikram Bhatt’s horror drama Haunted 3D in 2011. Since then, she has used Tia Bajpai as her name.

Twinkle Bajpai – Tia Bajpai

9. Komal Mahuvakar – Rupini

Komal Mahuvakar, professionally known as Rupini, started her acting career as a child artist and appeared in movies like Mili (1975), Des Pardes (1978), Khubsoorat (1980), etc. She used her real name, Komal Mahuvakar, in all the movies featuring her as a child artist. From 1980, she started appearing in lead roles in movies like Payal Ki Jhankaar (1980), Ghungroo (1983), Meri Adaalat (1984), Awara Baap (1985), and Chameli Ki Shaadi (1986), etc. She changed her name to Rupini after taking up acting assignments in South Indian movies like Manithan, En Thangachi Padichava, Michael Madana Kama Rajan, Madurai Veeran Engasami, etc. Though she shuffled between Bollywood and Kollywood movies but preferred to use both names.

Komal Mahuvakar – Rupini

10. Kareena Grover - Eva Grover (Anjali)

Eva Grover, born Kareena Grover, is an Indian film and television actress, who started her acting career with a Tamil film Kattumarakaran (1995). She used her real name at the start of her career and appeared in lead as well as supporting roles in many Hindi films like Krishna (1996), Smuggler (1996), Dharma Karma (1997), Krishna Arjun (1997) and Shapath (1997). In 1998, she changed her name to Eva Grover and was seen in supporting roles in movies like Aunty No. 1 (1998), Nyaydaata (1999), Maseeha (2002), My Friend Ganesha 3 (2010), and Ready (2011). 

Kareena Grover - Eva Grover (Anjali)

11. Komal – Poonam Sinha

Wife of superstar Shatrughan Sinha, Poonam Sinha was known as Komal in all her earlier films, including Jigri Dost (1968), Aadmi Aur Insaan (1969), Sabak (1973), and Dil Diwana (1974). After her marriage to Shatrughan Sinha, she left her acting career to raise the family and changed her name to Poonam Sinha. After a long gap of around twenty-five years, she appeared in a small role in the Indian English movie Mitr, My Friend (2002), directed by Revathi. Later, she was also seen in Ashutosh Gowariker’s epic historical romance Jodhaa Akbar (2008). She played the role of Mallika Hamida Banu Begum – mother of Emperor Akbar (Hrithik Roshan).

Komal – Poonam Sinha

12. Amba – Lalita Pawar

Born as Amba Laxman Rao Sagun, yesteryear veteran actress Lalita Pawar started her career as a child artist at the age of nine in the film Raja Harishchandra (1928) and later went on to play the lead roles in the silent era and the 40s. She initially used her shortened real name of Amba until she married producer Ganpat Rao Pawar and changed her name to Lalita Pawar. A fatal accident during the shooting of the movie Jung-E-Azadi in 1942 relegated her to playing supporting roles thereafter. She is mostly remembered for playing maternal figures, especially the wicked mothers-in-law on-screen which included films like Junglee (1961), Professor (1962), Ankhen (1968), Sau Din Saas Ke (1980), etc.

Amba – Lalita Pawar

13. Sasha Agha – Zahrah S. Khan / Zara Khan

Yesteryear Pakistan-born Bollywood actress Salma Agha’s daughter Sasha Agha who made her acting debut opposite Arjun Kapoor in Aurangzeb in 2013 also changed her name to Zahrah Khan like some of the actresses. Sasha who also lent her vocals for films like Aurangzeb, Desi Kattey and Satyameva Jayate 2 is currently concentrating on a playback singing career. One may recall that her mother Salma Agha had debuted in B.R. Chopra’s Nikaah and followed it up with popular films like Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki, Salma, Oonche Log, Pati Patni Aur Tawaif, etc.

Sasha Agha – Zahrah S. Khan / Zara Khan