Many famous celebrities have taken their stage names from medieval English ballads. They might have heard the lyrics and felt a connection to them, or they may have liked the story and wanted to make it their own.
The word “ballad” comes from the late Latin ballare (to dance). They are anonymous works composed in simple language and handed down orally.
David Tennant is one of the best-known actors in the world and most people know him for his role as the Doctor on Doctor Who. While he may be most famous for that Medieval English, he has also played numerous other roles in movies and television shows.
He first started acting on stage in a play called The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, where he starred alongside Ashley Jensen. His has since starred in several other plays and made a Medieval English name for himself as an actor.
He is also known for playing a detective in the Medieval English drama series Blackpool. In the show, he stars as DI Carlisle, who is investigating a murder case in Blackpool.
Born Krishna Bhanji to a Kenyan-born medical doctor and Gujrati Indian mother, Kingsley began his acting career in stage plays. He later branched out into films and television.
After he got his first big break as the title character in the film Gandhi, Kingsley earned an Academy Award nomination and won several other awards. He then went on to play Meyer Lansky in the Las Vegas crime drama Bugsy, a child’s chess coach in Searching for Bobby Fischer, and a Jewish accountant in Schindler’s List.
Order of the British Empire
Medieval English was awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in 2002 for his services to drama. He has also been nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards. In 2001, he won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance in the television movie Anne Frank: The Whole Story. He then went on to make several successful films, including Oliver Twist (2005) and You Kill Me (2007). He also voiced the panther Bagheera in the live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.
Caine is a British actor who grew up in England and started out as an assistant stage manager. He adopted his stage name from a marquee that advertised The Caine Mutiny (1954) and quickly became a star.
Michael Caine is known for his ability to portray a range of different characters. He has starred in many films, including the 1969 action movie The Italian Job and Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1972 film Sleuth.
He is also a talented singer. The British ska band Madness wrote a song about him called “(My Name Is) Michael Caine” that spent about eight weeks on the U.K. charts in the ’80s.
Cynical Secret Agents
Throughout his career, Caine portrayed a range of characters including cynical secret agents, gregarious playboys, rugged adventurers, refined gentlemen, humble schoolteachers, and psychotic killers. He is a versatile actor and has received multiple awards for his performance. He has also worked with renowned directors such as Alfonso Cuaron and Christopher Nolan.
Keaton was born Michael John Douglas on September 9, 1951, in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. He is the youngest of seven children to Leona Douglas, a single mother who died in 2007.
Kent State University
Keaton studied speech for two years at Kent State University before dropping out and moving to Pittsburgh to pursue his acting career. He made his television debut on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and he was also a stand-up comedian.
After a few minor roles, Keaton became known for his comedy roles. His first major film was the 1983 domestic comedy Mr. Mom, for which he earned critical acclaim.
He went on to star in a variety of comedies, including Beetle Juice and the 1990 thriller Pacific Heights. He also starred in the television movies Live from Baghdad(2002) and Game 6(2005).
In 2014, Keaton received a lot of new acclaim for his role in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), a black comedy directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. He won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award.