Would you honestly believe that John Cleese’s real name should be Cheese? Yep, that’s right. Actor, comedian, producer and writer, John Cleese was nearly known as John Cheese. No, it wasn’t some odd celebrity stunt to draw attention to himself. It was, and really should have been his name, and John Cleese can thank his father for dropping Cheese from his surname.
John Cleese is one of the best known British comedians today. Along with a motley crew of fellow actors and comedians, he is best known for his time with the Monty Pythons ensemble. They were the ones who are responsible for movies such as Monty Pythons Holy Grail, which featured a line in Game of Thrones, controversial film The Life of Brian and many other comedy classics. Cleese has also featured in many other popular films including A Fish Called Wanda, a couple of James Bond films, and some Harry Potter films. His versatility in acting styles is rarely matched. But would he have been taken as seriously if people called him John Cheese instead of Cleese? His father didn’t think so.
Now, his father didn’t change his surname to protect John. He did it for his own reputation. In fact, at the time that he changed the surname from Cheese to Cleese, John wasn’t even a twinkle in his fathers eye. o when exactly did he change it?
Shortly after the outset of World War I, Cleese’s father, Reginald Cleese, joined the army to serve God and Empire. But when he signed up for service he was embarrassed with the family name. When he enlisted he decided to take matters into his own hands and changed it from Cheese to Cleese, effectively solving the embarrassing dilemma.
Here are a few other bonus facts about John Cleese:
He reached his imposing height of 6’4 3/4″ at age 13
He sold part of his colon that was removed after surgery.
Not only does he sound smart, he is. He has a law degree from Cambridge University.
His mother lived to the grand old age of 101.