Bollywood has seen a whole lot of stars going in for a change of name as their original names were either old-fashioned or unattractive. To avoid clashes with other star names and make it more trendy and catchy some actors and actresses went on to change their names completely. Some actors being Hindus transformed their names to Hindu names whereas some Muslims went on to adopt Hindu screen names for reasons best known to them. Take a look at some famous Muslim Bollywood actors and actresses who decided to rechristen themselves to Hindu screen names.
1. Meena Kumari (Mahjabeen Bano)
Meena Kumari was known as the tragedy queen. She was born as Mahjabeen Bano in a Sunni Muslim family in 1933. She started her career as a child artiste in 1939 and was rechristened as Baby Meena by director Vijay Bhatt. The name stuck as she later became Meena Kumari once she started doing lead roles.
2. Dilip Kumar (Muhammad Yusuf Khan)
The actor who is popularly known as ‘Tragedy King’. Dilip Kumar was born as Mohammad Yusuf Khan in a Pathan-family in Peshawar, Pakistan. Dilip Kumar is his screen name. He initially joined Bollywood by assisting the script department of Bombay Talkies where he met top actress Devika Rani who requested him to change his name to Dilip Kumar. This later led him to play the lead in ‘Jwar Bhata’ and the rest became history.
3. Madhubala (Mumtaz Jehan Dehlavi)
Madhubala was born as Mumtaz Jehan Dehlavi in a Pashtun family in Swabi district of North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan in 1933. She is considered to be one of the most beautiful actresses to have worked in the industry and is highly regarded as “The Venus of Indian Cinema” and “The Beauty with Tragedy”.
4. Sanjay (Shah Abbas Khan)
In the beginning of his career Sanjay Khan started off using the name Sanjay in films like ‘Dosti’, ‘Haqeeqat’ and ‘Dus Lakh’ though his real name was Shah Abbas Khan. Later as he became successful he suffixed ‘Khan’ to his name. Sanjay became an actor and director of repute in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
5. Arjun (Firoz Khan)
Arjun who was born as Firoz Khan is an Indian actor, best known for playing the hero character of Arjun in B. R. Chopra’s television serialisation of the ancient Indian epic work, the Mahabharata. His success in that production, which was called Mahabharat, caused him to change his name to that of the character whom he portrayed.
6. Jagdeep (Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jaffery)
Comedian actor Jagdeep too is a Muslim by birth whose real name is Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jaffery. He has appeared in more than 400 films. The actor started his career as a child artiste in director BR Chopra’s ‘Afsana’ in 1951 but on the behest of director Bimal Roy he changed his name to Jagdeep while he was doing ‘Do Bigha Zamin’.
7. Johnny Walker (Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi)
Johnny Walker was born as Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi. Till date is remembered as one of the most adorable comedians to grace the silver screen. It was Guru Dutt who gave him the name of Johnny Walker, a reference to the brand of Scotch whisky, when he was inspired by Kazi’s display in the role of a drunkard.
8. Ajit (Hamid Ali Khan)
Ajit was born as Hamid Ali Khan. He started his acting career with the film ‘Kurukshetra’ where he used his real name, Hamid Ali Khan. It was while acting in the film ‘Bekasoor’ that his director, K Amarnath bestowed him with a shorter name and zeroed in on ‘Ajit’.