10 Fictional Characters You Didn’t Know Were Based On Real People

10 Fictional Characters You Didn't Know Were Based On Real People 10) Severus Snape Hogwarts’ Potions’ Master and Head of Slytherin House, Professor Severus Snape, is the brainchild of JK Rowling, appearing in her Harry Potter books

The anti-hero is a teacher who, Rowling describes herself, as one who abuses his powers and is ‘not a particularly pleasant person at all’ In a 1999 interview with WBUR Radio, Rowling confirmed Snape was loosely based on one of her own teachers from school The teacher who provided this inspiration was John Nettleship, the Head of Science at the Chepstow comprehensive school she attended When he learned he had inspired the character, Nettleship said, “I knew I was a strict teacher, but I didn’t think I was that bad” But he DID admit he was ‘a short-tempered chemistry teacher with long hair’, and so could see the resemblance

And the similarities don’t just end there Hermione is loosely based on JK Rowling herself The author said she is an exaggeration of how she was when she was younger 9) Norman Bates & Buffalo Bill In the 1950s, Ed Gein was in newspapers all over the world after his ‘house of horrors’ was discovered and his gruesome story went on to inspire horror movies and their villains Gein was a murderer who kept the skin and bones of his victims and would also ‘grave rob’ to obtain similar materials

In his house, police found furniture made of human skin and bones and items of clothing made from human flesh In 1991, Gein was the inspiration for the serial murderer in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ Buffalo Bill would mainly target women and skin them to use their flesh to create a woman-suit, much like Gein In fact, psychiatrists suspected that clothing made of women’s skin was for the purpose of pretending that he was his recently deceased mother Gein also inspired the character of Norman Bates from ‘Psycho’

Both Bates and Gein suffered abuse as children and started killing soon after their mothers died 8) Sherlock Holmes The famous detective Sherlock Holmes was introduced to us in 1887 by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle The Baker Street resident is famous for his observational abilities and use of forensic science and logical reasoning to solve cases He has since appeared in 4 novels and 56 short stories, as well as numerous movies and TV shows The author always maintained that the detective was based on his University professor, Dr Joseph Bell, whom had an indelible impression on him when studying at the medical school of Edinburgh University

Dr Bell was ALSO renowned for HIS extraordinary observational abilities and attention to detail which he used to diagnose patients In fact Bell famously deduced that one man was a cobbler just by looking at how he wore his trousers Even physically, the detective resembled the scientist with his grey eyes, narrow nose and high forehead Dr Bell was very proud that he had provided the inspiration for one of the world’s most famous detectives but did, however, feel that the author sensationalised his abilities How modest

7) James Bond James Bond is one of the world’s most famous Secret Service Agents He was created in 1953 by Ian Fleming and has since been the subject of 14 novels and 26 movies Fleming has since admitted that Bond was based on ""a compound of all the secret agents and commando types he met during the war"" But one of the most notable inspirations was Forest Yeo-Thomas, whose wartime experiences were mirrored in the novels Like Bond, Yeo-Thomas was elusive, so much so that the Germans called him “The White Rabbit”

In fact once, when he was being chased on a train by the SS, he calmly ate lunch opposite the Gestapo officer that had just murdered his partner – a story which inspired an almost identical scene in ‘From Russia With Love’ In classic Bond style, Yeo-Thomas was eventually caught by the Nazis after being betrayed by an acquaintance He was tortured by officers – as happens in Casino Royale – but managed to escape by shooting an enemy agent 6) Ebenezer Scrooge Ebenezer Scrooge appears in Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ He is the epitome of greed and selfishness – and the name ‘Scrooge’ has even come to denote a grumpy old man, especially around Christmas time

The inspiration for this literary character is likely to have been John Elwes [el-wez], MP for Berkshire, England in the 18th century He became famous for being a miser [my-sir] and is consequently often referred to as ‘The Real Life Scrooge’ After his father died, Elwes and his mother inherited $10 million in today's terms Yet, ironically, the story goes that his mother soon died from starvation because she was too frugal to spend any money on food The miser inherited a further $23million after his uncle died but having more money didn’t deter him from his stingy ways

Even after being elected to Parliament Elwes dressed in rags, and looked so scruffy that he was sometimes mistaken for a beggar and given money in the street 5) Betty Boop Betty Boop is an animated flapper girl created by Max Fleischer She first appeared in 1930 in the cartoon ‘Dizzy Dishes’ and her large, round baby face, big eyes and mini dress have led her to become one of the most iconic cartoons in the world Inspiration for the cartoon came from the actress and ‘boop-boop-a-doop’ jazz singer – Helen Kane She was a squeaky-voiced performer who was known for her baby-like singing and characteristic look which was identical to that of Betty Boop

The resemblance of the cartoon to the singer really was uncanny So much so, that Kane eventually went to court over the cartoon, suing for $250,000 under claims of wrongful appropriation in 1932 Although it is clear to see that the cartoon embodied the singer, the court found that Kane’s claim was not valid since her appearance was not UNIQUE 4) Edna Mode Edna ‘E’ Mode is THE ultimate superhero costume designer in ‘The Incredibles’ She is known for her eccentric, no-nonsense and brutal personality and, while she may only be a supporting character in the franchise, according to a FanPop poll she is the second ‘favorite character’, after Violet

According to Pixar artist Teddy Newton, alongside James Bond character Q, Edna Mode is primarily based on the equally prolific costume designer Edith Head whose career began in the 1920s in Hollywood She eventually became one of the leading costume designers of the movie ‘golden age’, heading up Paramount’s and later Universal’s costume departments Throughout her career she received 30 nominations and won 8 Oscars Head has worked on a staggering 436 movies, including blockbusters such as Vertigo, Rear Window, The Birds, to name but a few Oh, and of course the biggest similarity of all is Edna’s uncanny resemblance to Edith Head

3) Miss Piggy Miss Piggy is best known from Jim Henson's ‘The Muppet Show’ Since gracing our screens in 1976, she has become famous for her long, blonde locks, for being a diva and, of course, for her on-and-off romance with Kermit the Frog Miss Piggy was inspired by 1940s jazz singer Peggy Lee In an interview with Smithsonian Magazine, Bonnie Erickson who designed Miss Piggy explained how she used to live in North Dakota where Peggy Lee sang on the local radio station before she became a famous jazz singer Erickson originally called the character Miss Piggy Lee as a way of paying homage to the singer

She wanted the muppet to be an empowering female character – just like she saw Peggy Lee to be But as Miss Piggy became more and more famous, Erickson explained that she did not want the name to upset her idol, Peggy Lee, and so her name was instead shortened to Miss Piggy 2) Snow White The tale of Snow White was first published by the Brothers Grimm in the 1800s and popularised by the Disney cartoon in 1937 It is believed to have been inspired by an 18th century woman named Maria Sophia Margaretha Catharina von Ertha who lived with her jealous stepmother in Lohr in Germany Lohr was, in fact, famous for its glasswork which may explain the incorporation of Snow White’s glass coffin in the tale

The region also had mines where children would work, and Maria Sophia used to go there to play with them Clear to see where the idea of little men working in mines came from now, isn't it? And the similarities don’t just end there Maria's stepmother also DID own a ‘magic mirror’ OK so maybe it wasn’t MAGIC, but it did certainly appear to ‘talk’ as it reverberated sounds The mirror was made in 1720 and can today be found in Lohr Castle

1) Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart You probably know these two best from the multi-award winning movie ‘Chicago’ and ‘Chicago the Musical’, both of which are based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins Watkins was a journalist for ‘The Chicago Tribune’ who was reporting on the 1924 trials of murderesses Beulah Annan [Bwee-lar Ann-an] and Belva Gaertner, and made their crimes into a play in 1926 Watkins based the play’s characters on the individuals involved in the cases, and the events in the play on those that occurred in real life Like Roxie Hart, married Beulah Annan shot her lover, Harry Kalstedt, in 1924 because he tried to end their relationship When police asked why she shot him she simply replied, “Just gin, I guess

” The media gave her the title “Chicago’s most gorgeous slayer” Meanwhile showgirl Gaertner also killed her lover, Walter Law, in 1924 during a drunken argument The girls’ victims clearly did ‘have it coming’ as juries found them both not guilty

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