‘Baywatch’ Icon Carmen Electra Files Documents To Officially Change Her Name

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Carmen Electra is pursuing a formal name changeCarmen Electra is pursuing a formal name change

Since launching her career in 1990, the beloved Baywatch actress has been known to her fans as Carmen Electra. This stage name has taken the place of her birth name, Tara Leigh Patrick, in an informal but universally recognized manner. However, Carmen has now officially submitted documents to formally change her name to her stage name.

51-year-old Carmen filed the paperwork on December 29, 2023, with TMZ first breaking the story. With dreams of Broadway and the limelight, Carmen started as a dancer at Kings Island for the show “It’s Magic.” She collaborated with singer-songwriter Prince and posed nude for Playboy magazine. But it was her time on Baywatch that made Carmen Electra a household name – but not, until recent events, her legal name.

Carmen Electra has filed paperwork to make her stage name her legal name instead of Tara Leigh Patrick

Carmen Electra is changing her name from Tara Leigh Patrick to her stage nameCarmen Electra is changing her name from Tara Leigh Patrick to her stage name
Carmen Electra is changing her name from Tara Leigh Patrick to her stage name / Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency

By time of writing, it is unknown why Carmen is pursuing the legal name change now. Additionally, as of January 9, Daily Mail reported that it is unknown if the request has been granted. The speed of the process varies by state, but the general steps remain the same.

In California, you would ask the court to allow for a name change. “To do this, you file a petition with the court and publish a notice in a newspaper,” reads the Self-Help Guide of the California Courts website. “Then, you’ll either have a court date (a hearing) where a judge will make a decision, or the judge may make a decision without a hearing. Once the judge decides, you pick up a court decree (court order) with your new name. The process generally takes up to 3 months.”

What’s in a name

BAYWATCH, 1989-2001, Carmen ElectraBAYWATCH, 1989-2001, Carmen Electra
BAYWATCH, 1989-2001, Carmen Electra, 1998 / Everett Collection

Carmen has been tied devotedly to her stage name for over 30 years now – and through three serious relationships. She’s been married to Dennis Rodman and Dave Navarro, and partners with Rob Patterson – but through it all, she has always kept the surname Electra.

It was Prince, with whose Paisley Park Records Carmen signed for her self-titled debut studio album in 1993, who came up with her stage name.

BAYWATCH: WHITE THUNDER AT GLACIER BAY, Carmen ElectraBAYWATCH: WHITE THUNDER AT GLACIER BAY, Carmen Electra
BAYWATCH: WHITE THUNDER AT GLACIER BAY, Carmen Electra, 1998. ph: Eddie Sanderson / ©Trimark Home Video/Courtesy Everett Collection **US SALES ONLY**

“I auditioned for an all-girl group that he was putting together and he ended up signing me to his label Paisley Park,” she recalled. “After I danced for him he said, “You look like Electra. That should be your name.”

“I thought it sounded kinda like a superhero type of name which actually it is,” Carmen admitted. “So I was hesitant but it just sorta grew on me and that’s it. I’m Electra now.”

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