Celebrity Kids Who Dropped Their Famous Last Names

From Shiloh Jolie to Elle King, see the celebrity kids see who decided to forgo their famous parents' last names

<p>Dia Dipasupil/Getty; Karwai Tang/WireImage; Astrid Stawiarz/Getty</p>

Dia Dipasupil/Getty; Karwai Tang/WireImage; Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

Being the child of a celebrity has a lot of perks (the incredible closet archives) as well as some unexpected pitfalls (it can be hard to forge your own path when there are expectations attached).

Celebrity kids such as Shiloh Jolie and Malia Obama have made minor changes to their names as they reached adulthood, whereas others, like Elle King, went for a total name makeover so as to create her own identity in the industry.

Below, a compilation of some celebrity kids who have dropped their parents' last names.

Suri Cruise: Suri Noelle

<p>James Devaney/Getty</p> Suri Cruise and Katie Holmes

James Devaney/Getty

Suri Cruise and Katie Holmes

While it hardly seems possible, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise’s daughter Suri is now a high school graduate.

On the big day, Suri’s name appeared in her New York City high school’s graduation ceremony program as "Suri Noelle" instead of "Suri Cruise."

Shiloh Jolie-Pitt: Shiloh Jolie

<p>Karwai Tang/WireImage</p>

Karwai Tang/WireImage

On her 18th birthday, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt (far left) — one of the six kids of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pittfiled to legally drop "Pitt" from her surname.

Shiloh is not the only Jolie-Pitt sibling to appear to use "Jolie" exclusively. When 15-year-old Vivienne (third from right) appeared in the Playbill for the Outsiders Broadway show (for which she has a producer credit), she was listed in the booklet as Vivienne Jolie.

And last fall, Vivienne's older sister Zahara (second from left) introduced herself as "Zahara Marley Jolie" in a video shared by Essence of her initiation into the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Spelman College.

Angelina herself also dropped her famous father's surname, in 2002 filing to remove "Voight" from her legal name after a contentious relationship with dad Jon Voight.

Malia Obama: Malia Ann

<p>Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images</p> Malia Ann Obama

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Malia Ann Obama

To avoid any preconceived notions that come with being the daughter of the president (her parents are Barack Obama and Michelle Obama), when Malia Obama, 25, debuted her short film at the Sundance Film Festival back in January, she dropped her recognizable last name and went by Malia Ann — her middle name — instead.

She screened The Heart, which is about a grieving son whose mother left him an unusual request in her will when she died, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Tanner Elle Schneider: Elle King

Sara Kauss/FilmMagic Elle King
Sara Kauss/FilmMagic Elle King

Elle King, the daughter of comedian Rob Schneider and model London King, changed her name from Tanner Elle Schneider when she decided to pursue music because she wanted to forge a path for herself.

"I wanted to be my own person. I never wanted to borrow money from anybody, and I've worked hard for my family and for me,” she told PEOPLE in February 2023. “I want to have a life built for myself, and I want to know that I did it."

Mamie Gummer: Natalie Stern

Frazer Harrison/Getty
Frazer Harrison/Getty

Actress Mamie Gummer didn't exactly have a say in the matter when, while appearing alongside mom Meryl Streep in 1986's Heartburn at 20 months old, Streep decided to change her daughter's name to Natalie Stern so as to protect her identity. Once older, Gummer made the decision to go by her given name. (Streep's youngest daughter, actress Louisa Jacobson, also doesn't use her given surname, but that's due to Screen Actors Guild restrictions, not to distance herself from her famous family.)

Micheál Neeson: Micheál Richardson

<p>Jamie McCarthy/Getty</p>

Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Liam Neeson's son Micheál dropped his last name for a heartwarming reason: to honor his mother Natasha Richardson, who died from blunt force trauma following a skiing accident back in 2009.

"I think he did the right thing. It was a lovely homage ... Natasha's family, mother and sisters were very touched by it as indeed I was,” Liam Neeson told Andy Cohen on Radio Andy in 2020.

Emilio Estevez

Mathew Imaging/WireImage
Mathew Imaging/WireImage

Emilio Estevez uses his famous dad's real last name, choosing to forgo the stage name, Martin Sheen, that his dad used for his whole career.

Sheen, born Ramon Estevez, told Closer Weekly that he regrets being influenced to change his last name for Hollywood, and is glad that son Emilio retained it. (One of this other sons, Charlie, uses Sheen professionally.)

"The only influence I had on Emilio was to keep his name," Sheen said. "When he started out, his agent was advising him to change his name to Sheen and he wouldn’t do it. And I thank God he didn’t."

Nicolas Coppola: Nicolas Cage

<p>Jeff Vespa Archive/WireImage</p>

Jeff Vespa Archive/WireImage

You'd think having an Oscar-nominated director for an uncle would be a welcome leg up in the industry, but as a young actor in the '80s, Nicolas Cage (pictured with his uncle Francis Ford Coppola and cousin Sofia Coppola) was anxious to distance himself from his famous family.

"People would not stop saying things like 'I love the smell of Nicolas in the morning,' " he recalled to Wired of the reference to his uncle's film Apocalypse Now. "I decided, I don't need this, and I changed it to Cage. It's a combination of Luke Cage from Marvel Comics ... and John Cage, the avant-garde composer. Speaks volumes about what I've been up to ever since."

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