John Wayne was actually born Marion Robert Morrison. When Marion roamed the neighborhood, h never went anywhere without his Airedale terrier, Duke, at his side. The two were such constant companions that local firefighters began calling the boy ‘Little Duke” The nickname stuck for life.
When the man began working in film, studio bigwigs were no more impressed with his name than he was. He appeared as “Duke Morrison” in 1929’s Words and Music, and in 1930f Fox Studio executive Winfield Sheehan started bi ling him as “John Wayne” The young actor had no say in the matter, and he was largely ambivalent about the name. He preferred to go by ‘Duke” with those in his inner circle.
Why do the vast majority of movie stars and pop stars change their names? Because some names just don’t conjure up images of success, high status, rebellion or whatever word they want to own.
Does Your Name Fit Your Mission?