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10 Famous Fictional Characters And Who They’re Based On

Uncle SAM
Art DOES imitate real-life! Shrek, Joker… even Quasimodo. You never knew these characters were actual living people!



Who Knew! Shrek is actually based on a French man who lived in the 1900's named Maurice Tillet. Maurice developed a disease called Acromegaly which made his bones keep growing and growing. He became famous as a pro-wrestler in the states and eventually died of a heart attack at age 51. He never let his disease get him down and would have been proud to know that his face and body were the inspiration behind the popular comedy movie series, Shrek. You can read more about Maurice here.

Beavis & Butthead


Creator, Mike Judge, based Beavis' & Butthead's faces on two professors he had at UCSD. SERIOUSLY! Visit their pages on the college's website here and here and see for yourself. I wonder if Proff. Branson has braces in real life and if MTV has made them more famous for their faces than their ability to teach science.

The Joker


The Joker's toothy smile and heavy makeup is derived from the 1928 film, The Man Who Laughs. It's a silent film but you can watch a fan-made "trailer" for it here. As deranged as the Joker is- only his style is copied from the movie. The original character was quite the opposite.



We know a lot more about deformed people now than we used to due to scientific discovery but who would have thought that "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" really was a real person? Quasimodo gets his signature appearance from an actual sculptor working in Notre Dame in the 1800's. (Read about him here.)

Winnie The Pooh


Winnie the Pooh was a GIRL bear named Winnipeg. Her mother had been shot and she was sold for $20 to an Army Lt. during WWI. He named her after his hometown and she became their regimental mascot. To the improvement from her sad beginnings, she spent her life comfortably in the London Zoo far away from war. Much like Winnie the Pooh, she was well-known for her playful and gentle spirit. I still have no idea what a "Pooh" is though - LOL.

Dr. Eggman (from Sonic The Hedghog)


Do you remember that speedy blue hedghog, Sonic? The Japanese creators based the appearence of Dr. Eggman, Sonic's nemesis, on Theodore Roosevelt… and an egg. What did Theodore Roosevelt ever do to the Japanese?

The Big Lebowski


The Coen Brothers' inspiration for Jeffery 'The Dude' Lebowski was producer and political activist Jeff Dowd- right down to the white russian drinks. It seems to me that Jeff Dowd uses The Dude's fame to further his own work too. Visit his website.


Patrick Bateman


Christian Bale himself has gained the reputation for flying off the handle but he claims he based his performance of Patrick Bateman in the film 'American Psycho' on Tom Cruise. The book's writer, Bret Easton Ellis, said he considered Cruise an influence too... Do you notice a resemblance?

Uncle Sam


Uncle Sam was inspired by Samuel Wilson of Troy, NY. He was a meat-packer who sold his product to soldiers during the War Of 1812. The barrels of meat were stamped "U.S." for United States but the soldiers affectionately said they were from "Uncle Sam". The name stuck and eventually Sam Wilson was recognized as the father of America's national symbol. Cool! I always thought it was sort of acronym for UNited States of AMerica.


Norman Bates, Leatherface, & Buffalo Bill


Yech... If you're into horror movies then you remember Norman Bates, Leatherface, and Buffalo Bill but did you know that they were all based upon one man? Serial killer and certified psycho Ed Gein was notorious for murdering his victims and keeping the cut-up pieces of their bodies around his farmhouse. The man had issues.


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