Sometimes having the same or a similar name to someone or something else can be unfortunate.
Anyone remember a candy designed for weight loss called Ayds? Its origins went as far back as the 1930s, but their sales really took off in the '70s and '80s... but increasing publicity about AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) as the 1980s progressed eventually torpedoed the dietetic product's sales.
There is a finite number of given names and surnames in this world, although there are a lot of both, and even a finite (though huge) number of combinations.
Sometimes, it's unavoidable to have the same name as one or more famous people. I've known a man named Robert Klein, no relation to the comedian, and met a man named John Lennon, no relation to the well-known musician. My own name, David Lynch (although I always include my middle initial, "M"), is shared with a famous film and TV director and a former baseball player, among others.
Hollywood is filled with actors who've had to change their real names because someone with the same name was already registered with the Screen Actors Guild. Actors Stewart Granger and Michael Keaton were actually born James Stewart and Michael Douglas, respectively.
Sometimes people have a little fun with it. Radio and TV comedian Harry Einstein finally gave his fourth son, born in 1947, the name of Albert. When young Albert Einstein became a professional comedian, he took the name Albert Brooks.
Even similar names can evoke confusion. Whenever I hear the name of the white supremacist and former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke (shown below in both an old and a more recent photo), I'm reminded of someone else.
That "someone else" is an actor named David Dukes, not Duke, a character actor who unfortunately passed away in 2000. And I'm apparently not the only one who associates the two (although I never actually confused one for the other). The Wikipedia entry for David Dukes advises "For the white supremacist leader, see David Duke."
I first encountered David Dukes in a short-lived 1975 CBS television series called Beacon Hill. David Dukes is pictured first on the left in the back row. Beacon Hill also featured Stephen Elliott, Nancy Marchand, Edward Herrmann, Linda Purl, and many others.
Here's a better look at Dukes (far right), Stephen Elliott (middle), and Paul Rudd (far left):
Now, when I say "Paul Rudd," maybe you're thinking of this actor, who plays Ant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I've seen the Beacon Hill Paul Rudd (who died in 2010) also listed online as Paul Ryan Rudd, but I honestly don't recall his using his middle name when he was on Beacon Hill.
Anyway, back to David Dukes. One of his best-known roles was as the man who attempted to rape Edith Bunker on an All in the Family episode called "Edith's 50th Birthday."
The scene where Edith turns the tables on her tormentor by thrusting a burnt cake into his face received the loudest audience applause and cheers of any other episode in the series.
I also saw Dukes in The Men's Club, an underrated 1986 film featuring an impressive ensemble cast, including Richard Jordan, Harvey Keitel, Frank Langella, Roy Scheider, Craig Wasson, Treat Williams, Stockard Channing, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and others!
It was while researching this article that I found out that David Dukes had suffered a sudden, fatal heart attack at the age of fifty-five.
As an almost-final note, there's a slight connection between the Marvel Cinematic Universe that Paul Rudd is a part of, and the white supremacist David Duke. It involves actor Chris Evans (shown below).
Of course, you may be more familiar with Evans in his Marvel Cinematic Universe role, that of Captain America!
Well, about a year ago, Chris Evans and none other than David Duke himself got into a little "war" on Twitter. You can read about it here. (And by the way, the article says Captain America was created by Joe Siegel and Jack Kirby. Uhhh, not quite. It was Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Jerry Siegel co-created Superman with artist Joe Shuster!)
And finally, just to prove my point about various people having the same name, if you go to the Wikipedia page for "Christopher Evans," you'll find it's the name of sixteen different celebrities!
Thanks for your time.