10 Animated Characters Who Are Based On Real People

Mobile Wallpapers and Encyclopedia Britannica

Does art imitate life, or life imitate art? In this case, it's most likely the former.

Take a look at 10 famous cartoon or movie characters who were based on other people.


French professional wrestler Maurice Tillet was known as "the freak ogre of the ring" in the '40s. He suffered from a condition that caused his bones to thicken more than the average man.

Popeye the Sailor

Frank "Rocky" Fiegel was the real Popeye. Rocky became the sole inspiration for this iconic comic strip character that can still be found on Popeye candy sticks. Rocky, like Popeye, loved to smoke pipes and get into fistfights.

Dennis "The Menace" Mitchell

Perhaps it's not a surprise to learn that the original Dennis "The Menace" was based off of cartoonist Hank Ketcham's son, Dennis Lloyd Ketcham.

Tinker Bell

Unfortunately, magical fairies don't exist. The iconic Disney version of Tinker Bell was inspired by actress Margaret Kerry.

Archie Andrews

The inspiration for our favorite male red-headed cartoon character came from teen comedian Mickey Rooney. Rooney played the fictional character of Andy Hardy in the Andy Hardy movie series from the '30s. Andy is similar to Archie, in the sense that both characters somehow attracts girls who are way out of their league.


This beloved robot is based on the famous pioneer of cartoon films, Walter Elias Disney. The animated character gets his name from Disney's first and middle name.

Mobile Wallpapers and Encyclopedia Britannica

Lucy from 50 First Dates

Lucy, who suffers from a type of amnesia that makes her unable to remember anything that happens after her car accident, is modeled after Michelle Philpots. Her car crash also left her with a 24-hour memory. Philpots wakes up every morning having to look at her wedding album and sticky note reminders to get through the day.

Eric Cartman

The main character in the TV series South Park is based on a fictional character played by Carroll O'Connor. The character Archie Bunker, from All in the Family, was an inspiration to South Park creators. They created Eric Cartman, an "8-year-old version" of Archie Bunker.

Yosemite Sam

Looney Tunes character Yosemite Sam is based on cowboy Red Skelton, also known as Deadeye. Check out both of their mustaches!

Betty Boop

Who would have been a better model for Betty Boop than 1920s actress Helen Kane? Kane was known for her sexy, squeaky singing voice and short curls. Once she noticed the uncanny resemblance between herself and Betty Boop, she filed a lawsuit and surprisingly lost.

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Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.