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Quiz about True Celebrity Names Born in the 1890s
Quiz about True Celebrity Names Born in the 1890s

True Celebrity Names (Born in the 1890s) Quiz

Many celebrities use stage names for their public personas. Can you match these 1890s-born celebs with the names on their birth certificates?

A matching quiz by reedy. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
9 / 10
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 23 (7/10), PurpleComet (10/10), Guest 99 (10/10).
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. Jelly Roll Morton (1890)  
  Fania Borach
2. Fanny Brice (1891)  
  Kathleen Morrison
3. Mary Pickford (1892)  
  Benjamin Kubelsky
4. Richard Dix (1893)  
  Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe
5. Jack Benny (1894)  
  Apolonia Chalupec
6. Shemp Howard (1895)  
  Ernst Carlton Brimmer
7. George Burns (1896)  
  Thelma Marjorie Ford
8. Pola Negri (1897)  
  Samuel Horowitz
9. Shirley Booth (1898)  
  Nathan Birnbaum
10. Colleen Moore (1899)  
  Gladys Marie Smith

Select each answer

1. Jelly Roll Morton (1890)
2. Fanny Brice (1891)
3. Mary Pickford (1892)
4. Richard Dix (1893)
5. Jack Benny (1894)
6. Shemp Howard (1895)
7. George Burns (1896)
8. Pola Negri (1897)
9. Shirley Booth (1898)
10. Colleen Moore (1899)

Most Recent Scores
May 14 2024 : Guest 23: 7/10
May 14 2024 : PurpleComet: 10/10
May 08 2024 : Guest 99: 10/10
Apr 24 2024 : DeepHistory: 10/10
Apr 23 2024 : slay01: 10/10
Apr 23 2024 : patrickk: 8/10
Apr 22 2024 : dellastreet: 10/10
Apr 19 2024 : pughmv: 10/10
Apr 11 2024 : Jane57: 10/10

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Jelly Roll Morton (1890)

Answer: Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe

Born October 20th, 1890 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (AKA Jelly Roll Morton) was a jazz musician, known for being the first arranger of jazz music. In later interviews, he also claimed to have invented jazz music, but despite his many early accomplishments in the field, that claim is largely viewed as hyperbole.

Morton began his music career in New Orleans, playing the piano in a brothel at age 14, and soon began to tour the area with minstrel shows. Opportunities took him to Chicago and later to New York City, where he eventually signed a recording contract with the Victor Talking Machine Company.

In 1938, Morton was stabbed, suffering wounds to the head and chest, and was not able to be treated in the nearest (whites only) hospital. The delay in his treatment resulted in a deteriorating health condition that eventually claimed his life in 1941.

Morton's name developed into what it became through a couple of things. He earned the nickname 'Jelly Roll' due to his penchant for singing songs with dirty lyrics (the term had related connotations in that time), and he chose to alter his last name from LaMothe in order to protect his family from disgrace (his grandmother disowned him for playing in brothels).
2. Fanny Brice (1891)

Answer: Fania Borach

Born October 29th, 1891 in New York, New York, Fania Borach (AKA Fanny Brice) was a model, singer and actress. She was famously depicted by a young Barbra Streisand in the 1964 Broadway show "Funny Girl", a role which she reprised in the 1968 film adaptation and again in 1975's "Funny Lady".

Brice started her showbiz career in 1908 when she dropped out of school and joined a burlesque revue. Success would come early on through involvement with the "Ziegfeld Follies" productions beginning in 1910. Her time on Broadway lasted into the 1930s, while also recording many songs for the Victor Talking Machine Company.

In the 1930s, Brice also began her career in radio, within which she created an enduring bratty character by the name of Baby Snooks. She only appeared on television once in 1950, trying to bring the Baby Snooks character to the screen, but the change of medium did not do the character justice.

In a 1946 interview, Brice explained her name choice, stating that she was tired of being called 'Borax' and 'Boreache' and chose Brice, the surname of a family friend, to prevent further teasing.
3. Mary Pickford (1892)

Answer: Gladys Marie Smith

Born April 8th, 1892 in Toronto, Ontario, Gladys Marie Smith (AKA Mary Pickford) was a child actress who got her start in Toronto when her family took in a lodger who happened to be a theatrical stage manager. The whole family (with her mother and two younger siblings) pursued a life in the entertainment industry, but with little success until Gladys landed a role in the Broadway play "The Warrens of Virginia" (by William C. deMille) in 1907.

In 1909, Pickford signed a contract with the Biograph Company and acted in dozens of films in a short period of time. After relocating to the west coast, Pickford's career took off, and before too long she became known as 'America's Sweetheart' and the 'girl with the curls'.

Pickford's impact on the film industry grew over time, including becoming one of the co-founders of United Artists and one of the original members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She also happened to be the second actress to earn the Academy Award for Best Actress (for 1929's "Coquette").

It was David Belasco, the producer of "The Warrens of Virginia", who assigned the stage name of 'Mary Pickford' to Gladys. She chose to continue using it thereafter.
4. Richard Dix (1893)

Answer: Ernst Carlton Brimmer

Born July 18th, 1893 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Ernst Carlton Brimmer (AKA Richard Dix) began his acting career in school plays, but after graduating, he studied to be a surgeon, but that only lasted a year before he took a job working at a bank. That didn't stop him from continuing to act in his spare time, and this eventually became his career of choice.

After working with stock companies in New York and Hollywood, Dix signed a contract with Paramount and achieved great success in the 1920s, which led to an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for "Cimarron" (1931), but he unfortunately lost out to Lionel Barrymore.

Dix continued acting into the mid-1940s, then suffered a heart attack in 1949, two years after retiring.

Dix chose his stage name in honour of a lifeguard friend of his who lost his life while trying to rescue someone else.
5. Jack Benny (1894)

Answer: Benjamin Kubelsky

Born February 14th, 1894 in Chicago, Illinois, Benjamin Kubelsky (AKA Jack Benny) got his start in the entertainment industry playing violin in vaudeville theatres in the Chicago area before serving in World War I, during which he got his first real taste of comedy while entertaining his fellow soldiers.

Following the war, Benny developed his comedy routines and soon began working in film and radio. His radio show "The Jack Benny Program" vaulted him into stardom as it ran from 1932 until 1948. His television debut came in 1949, and the now-televised "The Jack Benny Program" quickly followed, running from 1950 until 1965.

Benny's stage name came about through conflicts with other performers. Originally working under his real name, another professional violinist (Jan Kubelik) felt that their names were too similar and that his career would suffer with the comedic Kubelsky also playing violin as part of his act. After re-branding himself as Ben K. Benny, another entertainer (Ben Bernie) threatened to sue over the name choice. Thus was born 'Jack Benny'.
6. Shemp Howard (1895)

Answer: Samuel Horowitz

Born March 11th, 1895 in New York, New York, Samuel Horowitz (AKA Shemp Howard) was an actor and comedian best known for being one of 'The Three Stooges' with his younger brothers Moses (Moe) and Jerome (Curly).

Shemp joined the act started by his brothers (and friend and fellow-Vaudevillian Ted Healy) for the early part of his career (from 1923 until 1932) before striking out on his own. For the next decade and a bit, he had a successful 'solo' comedic career, acting alongside greats like Roscoe Arbuckle, W.C. Fields, and Abbott and Costello. But when his brother Curly fell ill, he was convinced to return to the Stooges act alongside Moe and Larry Fine.

All of the brothers adopted 'Howard' as an anglicized variant of 'Horowitz', and Shemp's first name came from his mother's heavily-accented pronunciation of 'Sam'.
7. George Burns (1896)

Answer: Nathan Birnbaum

Born January 20th, 1896 in New York, New York, Nathan Birnbaum (AKA George Burns) began his long entertainment career by singing with three of his (11) siblings, calling themselves the 'Pee-wee Quartet' and busking for change. After being drafted and not qualifying (due to his poor eyesight) in 1917, Burns began his career in earnest.

Success in his comedy act came when he found the right counterfoil to his dry wit. First, in 1923, this was Hannah Siegel (whose stage name was Hermosa Jose), whom he married. But this partnership would only last half a year (complete with divorce). A few short years later, he married Gracie Allen (in 1926), forming the partnership that would make them both famous. They worked together in radio, film and television until Allen's death in 1958.

Burns' career saw a resurgence in the 1970s with movie role successes "The Sunshine Boys" (1975) and "Oh, God!" (1977). He continued working until his death at the age of 100 in 1996.

A couple of stories surround Burns' stage name. In interviews he claimed that he chose the name from two successful baseball players who were both named George Burns, while another story says the 'George' came from his brother Izzy, who hated his real name and changed it, with the 'Burns' coming from the Burns Brothers Coal Company (he purportedly used to steal coal from their truck).
8. Pola Negri (1897)

Answer: Apolonia Chalupec

Born January 3rd, 1897 in Lipno, Poland, Apolonia Chalupec (AKA Pola Negri) began her career by studying ballet and acting in Warsaw, establishing herself as a stage actress before moving to Germany at the age of 20. Her work there was noticed and Paramount offered her a contract in 1922, the first ever for a European actress.

Over the next ten years, Negri established herself as one of the most popular actresses in silent film, known for her femme fatale roles. With the advent of talkies, she relocated to Europe where she concluded her professional career. She eventually returned to the United States, becoming a citizen, and lived out her life away from the entertainment industry until her death in 1987 at the age of 90.

Shortly after she began her dancing career, while recuperating from a bout of tuberculosis, Negri chose her stage name by shortening her first name and adopting 'Negri' in honour of Italian poet and novelist Ada Negri.
9. Shirley Booth (1898)

Answer: Thelma Marjorie Ford

Born August 30th, 1898 in New York, New York, Marjory Ford (AKA Shirley Booth) was an actress best known for her theatre work, although she did also act in a small number of films. She was the fourth person to earn the 'Triple Crown of Acting' during her career, winning an Oscar (Best Actress for "Come Back, Little Sheba" (1952)), along with two Emmys and three Tonys.

She started out working in summer stock productions as a teenager in Connecticut, but soon left home to pursue a theatre career in New York City. While she also took opportunities to work in radio, film and television, her first love was the theatre. She didn't actually star in a movie until the age of 54, but she did famously fill the role of Hazel in the sitcom of the same name from 1961 until 1966. She retired in 1974 and lived to the age of 94, passing away in 1992.

When Booth was an aspiring young actress, her father was against her career choice and refused to let her use the family name. So, she changed it to 'Thelma Booth', at first, before also adopting 'Shirley', purportedly because she had never liked the name 'Thelma' to begin with.
10. Colleen Moore (1899)

Answer: Kathleen Morrison

Born August 19th, 1899 in Port Huron, Michigan, Kathleen Morrison (AKA Colleen Moore) got her start in Hollywood through her uncle's connection with D.W. Griffith, and signed her first contract with his company in 1917.

Moore would prove to be one of the most popular silent film stars, and fashionable as well, helping to popularize the bobbed haircut as the consummate 'flapper' in the mid 1920s. After many successful films, Moore took a break from acting between 1929 and 1933 before endeavoring a return with talking pictures. She did not continue her successes in the new medium, and retired from filmmaking after just four talking pictures.

Her stage name was adopted at the suggestion of her family.

NOTE: There is conflicting information regarding the year of Moore's birth (1899/1900/1902), but according to "Colleen Moore, A Biography of the Silent Film Star" (2012), the bulk of official records support 1899 as the strongest candidate for the truth.
Source: Author reedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor skunkee before going online.
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