IMDb lists millions of names. Though we do our best to avoid mistakes, inevitably some of these names may need to be corrected (either because they include spelling errors or because the person is now known under a different stage name).
Our general rule is to list people in the database under their most recently and/or frequently credited stage or professional name.
If you've found a person listed under a name that does not correspond to the above definition, you can submit a correction by clicking on the "Edit Page" button and then selecting the "name correction" option on the next page.
However, before attempting to correct a name it's very important to understand the criteria we use to determine a person's primary name, i.e. the name that appears at the top of their filmography.
Let's clarify what we mean by "most recently and/or frequently credited name":
- By "credited name" we mean the exact name (down to the precise spelling, spacing and capitalization, when applicable) that appeared on-screen (in a film or TV show) at the time of the title's initial release. If someone's birth name is John Smith but their name was misspelled as Jon Smith in the titles of a film they worked on, their credited name for that film is Jon Smith. Changes in subsequent releases/alternate versions/later corrections do not count.
- If a person has used more than one name during their career, we'll list as their primary name the one they have used most frequently or most recently. This depends on how a credited name is used. For example: if Johnny Depp decided to appear in a new film to be released next year under the pseudonym "Oprah Noodlemantra", we'd still list his primary name as Johnny Depp (because that's the name he's most frequently credited as).
- We make an exception to the "most-often-credited-as" rule if we have reason to believe someone will be using a different name for all future credits -- for example, if they changed their name because of marriage or have registered a new professional name with the relevant guild. Such changes are made only for people with active careers. In the past, we required at least one onscreen credit with the new name; while that is still preferable, it is no longer a strict requirement.
- We list only one filmography page per person, no matter how many names that person has used during their career. For example, if someone has used 3 different names and has directed TV shows under the name "John Smith", has worked as a stuntman on kung-fu movies as "Jack 'The Machine' Steel" and has appeared as "Buck Naked" in adult-oriented videos, we'll still list one filmography page for that person (under their most recent/frequent stage name). Again, the rule is One person = one filmography, no matter how many names that person has used. No exceptions.
Please also be aware that name changes take time to be applied, they don't appear overnight. The best case scenario is one week, but many corrections take longer (or get rejected altogether if they violate one of the above rules). You can see our current processing times here.
So, keeping all of the above in mind, how should a name correction be submitted?
1. Go to that person's page.
2. Click on the "Edit page" button towards the bottom.
3. Next to the "Name Correction" option click the drop down and select "Add Correction".
4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select "Continue".
5. Input the new name in to the field and select if you would like to preserve your existing name on old credits.
6. Please be sure to indicate the reason for the correction in the Explanation field.
7. Click "Check these updates" and correct any errors you're presented with.
8. Press "Submit".