Stranger Than Fiction: Iconic Characters Inspired by Real People

There’s a secret when it comes to writing fiction. The truth is, it’s usually less fictional than we think. Behind nearly every stealth secret agent or foul cartoon bartender, you’ll find a real person who inspired these characters. Because what’s a better source of inspiration than real life? It’s like they say, truth is stranger than fiction.


Source:, Copyright: Lionsgate Television, Warner Bros, American Movie Classics /, Copyright: Mirimax Films / Photo by Jojo Whilden, Netflix / Chris Haston, Nbc Tv, Kobal, Shutterstock

While discovering your favorite author or film director isn’t 100 percent original can be a bit disappointing, it’s pretty cool to realize that some of your favorite characters did, in fact, exist. It’s kind of like discovering that magic is real. From Ursula to Olivia Pope and James Bond, there are plenty of fictional characters who are based on very real people.

Let’s check out our list of 30 iconic fiction characters who were based on real people!

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