Actors With False Identities (or who keep their real lives secret)

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I thought his name was Larry 'Bud' Melman up until I just read your post! I use to watch Letterman all the time and just figured that was his name.
Sometimes I wonder why some of these people didn't just use their real names (or their stage names that they legally changed to their real names - since, for a lot of actors, the name they are famous for is not the one they were given at birth).

Why wasn't Larry "Bud" Melman just introduced as Calvert Deforest? (That's actually a rather catchy and unusual name - so it would have worked for a quirky and unusual character). And why give him the nickname of "Bud" when Larry Melman wasn't even a real name to begin with? (I guess giving a fake character a fake nickname just helps complete the illusion that he's real.)

Like I said with Super Dave Osborne - why did he need an alternate identity when he already had a cool-sounding name: "Super Bob Einstein"?



Sometimes I wonder why some of these people didn't just use their real names (or their stage names that they legally changed to their real names - since, for a lot of actors, the name they are famous for is not the one they were given at birth).
Good point, but Archibald Leach was never gonna work in Hollywood. Or anywhere else for that matter.
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Good point, but Archibald Leach was never gonna work in Hollywood. Or anywhere else for that matter.

It worked in A Fish Called Wanda (1988).
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Let me know if you think this fits:

The Marx Brothers.



(We wont be discussing Gummo or Zeppo - Milton & Hebert Manfred Marx - as they were lesser known and did not seem to have really established alter-egos like their brothers.)

I'm suggesting them because, although they made many movies, they always played the same characters in all the movies! And although the characters would have different names in each movie they were consistent alter-egos for the brothers throughout their careers.

Groucho (Julius Henry Marx 1890 - 1977) was an eccentric wise-cracker. He had the most extensive career and in his later years he broke character (which didn't seem too far off from his true personality) and let the world get to know him through movie & TV appearances & interviews. He hosted the popular radio and TV show You Bet Your Life.

Chico (Leonard Joseph Marx 1887 - 1961) created a character that was an Italian immigrant and much of his humor came from puns or mispronunciations of English words. Chico's main musical instrument was the piano which he also worked into many skits.

Harpo (Adolph Marx 1888 - 1964) probably fits this category best - it's said he never spoke in film or on TV except for the night he announced his retirement! For all intents and purposes, this pantomime harpist's true life (and voice) was a mystery to audiences.



Kiss



"The identities of Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, and Paul Stanley are now out, but in the 1970ís, they were The Demon, Space Ace, Catman, and Starchild, respectively. With elaborate black and white face paint, they constructed on-stage personas that allowed them to walk amongst their fans in broad daylight without getting swarmed, according to Allmusic.com."



I don't know if there were any other bands before KISS that tried the full face makeup gimmick, but if there were, they weren't nearly as successful.

We have to wonder if there was not some genius of forethought that went into KISS's on stage persona beyond just the obvious effect of spectacle... one which said, "If we do ever become successful, famous or super popular, the fact that we're hiding our true identities behind makeup will allow us to live totally normal social & private lives (unlike easily recognized celebrities) no matter how big we become! We'll be able to go anywhere and do anything as our normal selves without any disruption or attention while remaining completely anonymous."

And now a little mixing of genres as KISS meets J-POP in...
KISS vs. Momoiro Clover Z (Live action starts at 1:36)




TISM probably fits the bill then. From Wikipedia:

TISM (an acronym of This Is Serious Mum) were a seven-piece anonymous alternative rock band from Melbourne, Australia. The group was formed on 30 December 1982 by vocalist/drummer Humphrey B. Flaubert, bassist/vocalist Jock Cheese and keyboardist/vocalist Eugene de la Hot Croix Bun, and enjoyed a large underground/independent following. Their third album, Machiavelli and the Four Seasons, reached the Australian national top 10 in 1995. TISM have never officially revealed their names, instead choosing to use pseudonyms on their records and in interviews, all the while concealing their faces. When asked why they wear masks, Flaubert replied:

"The answer that makes me sound good is that we desired to circumvent the cult of personality that is inherent in rock music by choosing to remain anonymous. The answer that makes me sound good would probably also incorporate some lengthy discussion about Brechtian alienation techniques, about our post modernist grasp of ever cooling universe, and a dehumanising society encapsulated in the somewhat paramilitary aspect of our clothing. All of those things would make me sound good, but actually weíre really boring guys."