06/23/2015 10:41 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

9 Fictional Characters And Their Real-Life Inspirations

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



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