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Blake Lively's real name revealed - and the surprising backstory behind the change

 Blake has been entertaining us for almost 20 years

Blake Lively looks radiant during red carpet appearance
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
June 8, 2023
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For almost 20 years Blake Lively has entertained on the big and small screens - and on social media - but did you know that her real name is very different? Blake, now 35, was born in 1987 to her parents Ernie Brown and Elaine Lively, who named their daughter Blake Ellender Brown. 

She was their second child – they had also welcomed a son, Eric, – and Elaine was mom to three children, Lori, Robyn, and Jason, from a previous marriage. But, deciding to buck tradition, Ernie chose to change his name to Elaine's, meaning the family all used the last name Lively. 

Blake Lively is seen filming "It Ends With Us" on May 25, 2023 in Hoboken, New Jersey. © Gotham
Blake on the set of her new film

Ernie was a working actor, and Elaine a talent agent, and from a young age Blake would accompany her parents to auditions, which she previously revealed helped her to gain confidence in her own abilities as a performer. Her siblings are also actors: Lori is known for her work in Teen Witch and Doogie Howser MD.

Her acting debut came at the age of 10 when she appeared in her father's film Sandman, but during high school she turned away from the entertainment industry and wanted to head to college. 

Blake Lively with her father Ernie Lively and mother Elaine Lively attend the ceremony honoring Ryan Reynolds with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 15, 2016 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)© Axelle/Bauer-Griffin
Blake with her father Ernie and mother Elaine

That all changed in 2004 when she auditioned for several roles in the summer, and was cast as Bridget in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants alongside now best friends Alexis Bledel, America Ferrara, and Amber Tamblyn. 

Two years later in 2007 Blake was cast in The CW's series Gossip Girl, and she became a household name as Serena van der Woodsen, the high schooler from the Upper East Side. 

She starred alongside Ryan Renyolds in the panned 2011 film Green Lantern, but the film saw them become good friends and they married in 2012. 

blake lively ryan reynolds children attend wrexham afc match 2023© Getty Images
Blake and Ryan pose on the soccer pitch in 2023

This past May saw Blake celebrate her first Mother's Day as a mom to four as she welcomed their latest child in early 2023. Blake and Ryan's three children are daughter's James, eight, Inez, six, and three-year-old Betty, all of whom were namechecked in Taylor Swift's2020 album Folklore on the tracks 'Betty' and 'August'. 

Fans of Taylor are also convinced that the star may have confirmed the name of Blake and Ryan's fourth child, who se date of birth and sex remains unclear. 'Daisy May' is a name mentioned in Taylor's song 'You're On Your Own Kid,' from her recent album Midnights which was released in November 2022. 

Actors Robyn Lively and sister Blake Lively are seen arriving to the Michael Kors Collection Fall/Winter 2022 Fashion Show © Gilbert Carrasquillo
Robyn and Blake in 2022

Blake will head to the big screen again next year though, as she will star in an adaptation of Colleen Hoover's controversial novel It Ends With Us which took social media by storm in 2022.

The book – which has around three billion views on TikTok, is a #1 Sunday Times bestseller and stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for over 90 weeks – is loosely based on Hoover's mother’s own journey when Colleen was a child. 

Blake Lively films with Brandon Sklenar on set of It Ends With Us© Getty
Blake films with Brandon Sklenar on set of It Ends With Us

The female protagonist, Lily (played by Blake) grew up in a toxic household, but she never gave up and worked hard, moving to Boston after graduating college. After the death of her father, the book follows Lily as she meets a new romantic partner in Ryle Kincaid. But their relationship begins to mimic those Lily had seen growing up, to devastating effects, and as the new relationship overwhelms Lily, her thoughts turn to her first love, Atlas Corrigan, and a link to the past she left behind. 

However the book has been criticized by many for romanticizing domestic abuse, especially as the promotion of the story across social media and by publishers has focused on the steamy elements of the text.

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