9 Fictional Characters And Their Real-Life Inspirations

06/23/2015 10:41 am ET | Updated Jun 23, 2015

You may be surprised to learn that many of the most recognizable fictional characters in pop culture were inspired by real people. Sorry, we know that throws a wrench in your dream sketches. But good news -- now you can see what those real-life inspirations actually look like!

1. J.K. Rowling based Professor Snape on her own Chemistry teacher, John Nettleship.

snape harry potter real

Image: White Hound / WikiCommons

2. Wendy, of Wendy's burger chain, was the nickname of founder Dave Thomas' daughter.

wendy thomas

Image: Flickr user marada

3. Author Ian Fleming had multiple characters in his espionage series remark that James Bond looked like singer Hoagy Carmichael.


Image: Getty

4. Alice Liddell inspired family friend Lewis Carroll to write Alice's Adventures in Wonderland when she was just 10.


Image: WikiCommons

5. Poet John Gray is thought to be the true Dorian Gray of Oscar Wilde's story.

dorian gray

Image: WikiCommons

6. Dr. Joseph Bell inspired the character of Sherlock Holmes.

sherlock holmes

Image: Flavorwire / WikiCommons

7. Christopher Robin Milne and his teddy bear became the main Winnie the Pooh characters in his father's stories.

8. Uncle Sam was a real person named Samuel Wilson.


Image: WikiCommons / Getty

9. Wrestling-star Maurice Tillet is rumored to be the inspiration for DreamWorks' Shrek.

maurice tillet

Image: Associated Press

Also on HuffPost:

  • Captain America: The First Avenger
    "Even superheroes can't escape from the wrath of house chores."
  • The Great Gatsby
    "Nothing screams 'greatness' more than ironing your intimates in front of a toilet. Yup. Real #classy, Leo."
  • The 40 Year-Old Virgin
    "#Abstinence never looked this hot."
  • The Amazing Spiderman
    "Sometimes being a superhero really sucks."
  • The Terminator
    "I'll be back. After this grueling workout."
  • The Mask
    "Sssomebody stop me. From rockin' this hand gesture."
  • Edward Scissorhands
    "I think the orange fro really adds Depp to his character."
  • Fight Club
    "The soap thing was just the start. We're venturing into cleaning services now."
Suggest a correction