Fictional Characters Based on Real People

Some of your favourite fictional characters may well be based on real people. Here are a few that may surprise you.



if you have seen the 2011 Steven Spielberg movie, The Adventures of Tintin, you will understand how great Tintin is. But Tintin existed long before that movie. Tinitin’s first adventure was in 1929, and he has remained one of the most popular European comic book characters  ever since. However, you may not know that TinTin was actually based on a 15-year-old Danish boy, named Palle Huld, who had won a contest to re-enact the journey from Phineas Fogg’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days”.  Huld completed the trip in 44 days.


James Bond


The James Bond films are based on  popular books written by Ian Fleming. Fleming himself was an intelligence officer, and it was in this role that he is said to have found his inspiration for the famous spy novels. The most likely candidate to have inspired 007 is a man called Forest Yeo-Thomas, who was one of the UK’s top spies during WW2. Yeo-Thomas parachuted into occupied territory three times. He was also captured and tortured by Gestapo before being put in a concentration camp, from which he managed to escape.


Severus Snape


JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series is one of the most popular book series in the world. Of course, no school would function without its teachers, and some of the series’ most memorable characters are its teachers, including Severus Snape. Snape is immediately regarded as an enemy by Harry, Hermoine and Ron because of his cold stares and shady ways. It is reported that Snape was based on a chemistry teacher who taught J K Rowling at school. It seems fitting that Snape taught potions at Hogwarts.




Zorro, a skilled swordsman and fighting vigilante, has appeared in many books, TV shows and movies.  The character was created in 1919 and was inspired by a man name Joaquin Murrieta, known as the Mexican Robin Hood. Murrieta lived in California with his family, who had found success in gold mining. Unfortunately Murrieta’s family was murdered by American miners, and he was unable to find justice through the legal system. So, he took it upon himself to find justice and started a gang to get revenge on his family’s killers. He began to rob banks and live outside the law. After his death, his legend spread and was adapted into the character of Zorro.

 Source(s): Listverse