The actress formerly known as Thandie Newton has announced she is reclaiming her original name. She will henceforth be credited in films as "Thandiwe", meaning "beloved" in the Shona language of her mother's native Zimbabwe.
"Thandiwe" became "Thandie", the Mission Impossible and Westworld star explained, through "carelessness" when the "w" was dropped during her first acting credit. "That's my name," she told Vogue. "That's always been my name. I'm taking back what's mine."
In Newton's case, this reversion is to be welcomed, a proper reclamation. But what about those who change their names because they feel it will look better on a movie poster or in the inlay to a pop single?
One of the most famous examples is actor Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr, that icon of British cinema and original of the geezer species. You may be more familiar with the stage name he took after his gaze alighted upon a cinema sign advertising a screening of The Caine Mutiny at Leicester Square Odeon in 1954.
"It was a good job it wasn't the next theatre," he later joked. "Because I would have been called Michael 101 Dalmatians."
In becoming Michael Caine, the former Maurice Micklewhite joined a tradition stretching to the birth of cinema.
Stan Laurel was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson, Greta Garbo went by Greta Gustafsson. And in the case of Fred Austerlitz it was none other than his Lutheran-German mother who suggested his show business aspirations would be boosted by a switch to "Astaire".
Often in the early days of cinema, names were changed to avoid prejudice. Foreign names on screen, in particular, proved problematic. Even as late as the 1970s, when Arnold Schwarzenegger arrived in Hollywood as an over-bulked young man with a head full of ambition, he was advised to take a stage name.
Obviously there's a difference between those who feel pressured into a switch because of cultural bigotry and those who do so because they hope the extra zing will advantage them in the tooth-and-claw world of show business.
Very much in the latter camp is Elton John, who forsook "Reg Dwight" and proceeded to conquer the world. That club also includes Joaquin Phoenix, whose parents changed the family's name from "Bottom" to represent a "new beginning". It's true: bottom sounds more like the end of something.
In some instances you can only applaud the imaginative leaps taken. "Vin Diesel" suggests a Simpsons parody of an action hero - but the actor who used to go as Mark Sinclair Vincent believed it sounded "more intimidating". And, as he gets ready to star in an umpteenth Fast and Furious movie, who could disagree?
The same logic holds in the case of the singer Elizabeth Wooldridge Grant, who felt her name did not flow as it might. "I wanted a name I could shape the music towards. Lana Del Rey reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue," she said.
It seems, then, that the idea that a change of name can bring a change of destiny is deeply woven into the fabric of the entertainment business. Would Cheryl Baker, one quarter of the Eurovision sensation Bucks Fizz, have proved such a success if she had chosen to keep her rather less fizzy birth name, Rita Crudgington?
Yet sometimes a change can have a seemingly negative impact. Joanne Whalley made a silly name even sillier when she married Val Kilmer and became known as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer. A brief marriage also led to the Spice Girl Mel B changing her very marketable name to Mel G - a blip that is now long forgotten.
Perhaps we have reached a point where we can debunk this idea that the "correct" name is a passport to the big time. After all, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Reynolds and, hell, even Lee Mead have got on perfectly well with everyday monikers.
What's more, we are more willing than ever to embrace the exotic. Although the actress Saoirse Ronan had to spend the first part of her career outlining the specifics of Irish pronunciation to American talk show hosts (imagine there being a language other than English!), it is unlikely she was ever told to go by Saoirse's English translation of "freedom".
Today, performers can take on the industry using whatever name they wish, even if it's reducing everything to a hard-to-imitate symbol a la Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson). In fact, that's probably the simplest solution of all.