Does anyone know why on TV show's credits a lot of times the actor's first name is lower case and their last name is done in all caps?

  • 9
    Just a stylistic choice.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 16:11
  • 5
    Do you have some examples for that? That seems rather unusual to me. (Though, at the end of the day it likely just comes down to the specific style the showmakers try to go for.)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 16:11

2 Answers 2


This is a standard practice on French productions, or with French crews, since it is traditional in French culture to write names with the first name in lowercase letters and the last name in UPPERCASE letters. Other productions may have adopted this style for artistic or legibility reasons.

  • It is common on forms to be asked to write the last name ("nom de famille" or family name) in uppercase for readibility.
    – Taladris
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 22:19

It's really just a design choice.

Part of the reason is that it makes the big blocks of text in the credits a bit easier to read and easier on the eye. Also, an actors surname can be considered the more important identifier than their first name. For example if I say Brando, Chaplin, Olivier, Nicholson, De Niro, Pacino, etc. etc. you know immediately who I am talking about.

Similarly, in many countries actors unions require professional actors to have a unique name to avoid any possible confusion as their name is a key part of their professional credibility. In many cases, they will stick with their given first name and pick a distinctive surname if their original name is already taken or they just want something which sounds better.

Equally, it is fairy common practice to refer to actors by their surname in reviews and other theatrical journalism.

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