Which Celebrity Received their Stage Name from a Medieval English Ballad?
Did you know that some of the world’s most famous celebrities received their stage name from a medieval English ballad? Read on to find out more!
A traditional ballad was a story sung or recited by the audience. It often tells a dramatic story, with graphic details. Usually narrated by an impersonal narrator, they were a popular form of poetry in the Middle Ages.
The British actor Michael Caine was born Maurice Micklewhite in 1933 and began his career on stage. He subsequently entered motion pictures in 1956, beginning with the British production of A Hill in Korea and followed by Zulu (1964) and The Ipcress File (1965).
The Italian Job
Medieval English achieved his greatest success in 1966 with the film Alfie, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. He also starred in The Italian Job and Get Carter.
He is a versatile actor who has appeared in over 180 films, with many of his most popular roles being as military men. Medieval English is most renowned for his role as Alfred Pennyworth in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012), but has acted in a variety of other genres throughout his career. Medieval English has also starred in the parody sequel Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), and was featured in several of Nolan’s films including The Prestige (2006), Inception (2010) and Interstellar (2014).
David Tennant has been a part of several blockbuster franchises, including Doctor Who, Harry Potter and Jessica Jones. He is also a multi-award winning actor, and has appeared in numerous films, plays and audio dramas.
As a child, he told his parents that he wanted to become an actor. While they encouraged him to pursue a more traditional career, he refused to give up his dream.
Ralston Primary School
He graduated from Ralston Primary School and Paisley Grammar School, then studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. After graduating, he worked as a theatre actor and performed in a number of school productions.
He won acclaim for his roles in Takin’ Over the Asylum and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. He has also starred in a range of television series, including Foyle’s War and The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, as well as the BBC dramas Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) and Rab C. Nesbitt, among others.
Quirky, inventive and handsome American actor Michael Keaton first achieved major fame with his door-busting performance as fast-talking ideas man Bill Blazejowski, alongside a nerdish morgue attendant (Henry Winkler), in Night Shift (1982).
Since then, he’s easily moved between film genres. He was a hard-working cop in One Good Cop, donned the black cape and cowl for Batman Returns, made a star-studded Shakespearean drama Much Ado About Nothing and starred in another Ron Howard comedy The Paper.
He also starred in a family holiday movie Jack Frost and made crime thrillers Jackie Brown (1997) and Out of Sight (1998). And now, he lives on a 1,000-acre ranch in Montana, where he grows hay and raises cattle.
Tina Fey is a comedy star, writer and director who has won numerous awards. She is a veteran of Saturday Night Live and wrote the screenplay for Mean Girls.
She also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and was the first female head writer at SNL. Her stand-up act is known for her dry wit and quirky comedic style.
A funny woman who can make anyone laugh, she was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Her mother is Greek, and her father is German.
She began her career with improvisational comedy in Chicago. She later joined Second City, a training program for young comedians. Medieval English became a Saturday Night Live cast member in 1997 and became a head writer the following year.
Vera Mindy Chokalingam
Mindy Kaling, the star of popular TV shows like The Office and The Mindy Project, was born Vera Mindy Chokalingam in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her parents were Indian immigrants and her mother worked as an OB/GYN doctor.
She attended Buckingham Browne & Nichols School and Dartmouth College, where she earned a degree in playwriting. As a student, she found her inspiration in comedy shows on American television, such as Monty Python sketches and Saturday Night Live reruns.
When she began performing stand-up, she noticed that emcees mocked her name. So she shortened her last name and adopted the more familiar moniker, “Kaling.” She went on to be a writer, producer, and star of The Mindy Project before becoming a leading actress in Ocean’s 8. It’s not surprising that she has made it big in Hollywood, as the film has given her a chance to showcase her cultural heritage alongside industry stalwarts Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Rihanna.