10 Real Life People Who Inspired Famous Cartoon Characters

Blog By Helma  |  26-05-18

Many of the most popular cartoon characters were not created from whole cloth in fact, you might recognize the real people who inspired them

W.C. Fields (Mr. Magoo)

W.C. Fields (Mr. Magoo)

The writer of the cartoon, Millard Kaufman, had not intentionally based Mr Magoo on W. C. Fields, at least not in the very beginning. However, later the creative directors finally decided to draw inspiration from the hit comedian.


Frank "Rocky"Fiegel (Popeye the Sailor)

Frank

The photo enough proves that the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor was inspired by Frank Fiegel. Fiegel was somewhat of a local legend in Chester, Illinois, the hometown of the creator of the cartoon, E. C. Segar.


Dennis Lloyd Ketcham (Dennis “The Menace” Mitchell)

Dennis Lloyd Ketcham (Dennis “The Menace” Mitchell)

Hank Ketcham, the cartoonist who created the Dennis the Menace comic was considering his own son to be the real Menace, the titular character of this series. Then, one day, Dennis created some mess to which his mom, Hank's wife yelled, "Hank, Dennis is Menace!" when Hank finally finalized the sketch!


Veronica Lake, Lauren Bacall, and Rita Hayworth (Jessica Rabbit)

Veronica Lake, Lauren Bacall, and Rita Hayworth (Jessica Rabbit)

Interestingly, the character of Jessica Rabbit from the animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit was in fact based on three different women. One of them was Rita Hayworth, the seductive wife of the animation director Richard Williams, she was the original source of inspiration. However, the character’s hair was based on Veronica Lake’s mane. On director Robert Zemeckis’s insistence, some cues were taken from Lauren Bacall as well.


Margaret Kerry (Tinker Bell)

Margaret Kerry (Tinker Bell)

Tinkerbell, one of the world’s most famous fairies from the play Peter Pan is rumoured to be based on Marilyn Monroe. But later, it was made clear, that it was in fact drawn from the looks of Margaret Kerry.


Deadeye/Red Skelton (Yosemite Sam)

Deadeye/Red Skelton (Yosemite Sam)

It is quite interesting that the Looney Tunes character Yosemite Sam was primarily inspired by director Fritz Freleng, but in later cartoons, he was directly based on Skelton’s Deadeye.


Percy Crosby (Skippy)

Percy Crosby (Skippy)

The titular character of Percy Crosby’s comic strip, Skippy was drawn from the younger version of the writer itself!


Marjorie Henderson Buell (Little Lulu)

Marjorie Henderson Buell (Little Lulu)

One of the few female cartoonists, Marjorie Henderson Buell had also used her younger version to create her cartoon Little LuLu.


Henry

Henry

The protagonist of Carl Anderson’s comic strip Henry wasn’t based on an actual person. Actually, he happened to make a quick sketch once at a vocational training class for his students, which later served as the inspiration for his cartoon character Henry!


Mickey Rooney (Archie Andrews)

Mickey Rooney (Archie Andrews)

Though in CW's drama series, Archie Andrews was played by actor K.J. Apa, but in reality, he is inspired by Mickey Rooney!








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