The 8 Best Fictional Characters Based on Real People

Indiana Jones

George Lucas adventurous archaeologist drew inspiration from real-life explorer Roy Chapman Andrews, a naturalist and paleontologist known for his expeditions across Indonesia, China, and Japan.

Auric Goldfinger

Ian Fleming's iconic villain shares his name and some traits with the architect ErnQ Goldfinger, whose work influenced post-World War II England.

Cosmo Kramer

The eccentric character from Seinfeld finds his roots in a real-life counterpart, adding depth to the show's dynamic cast.


Disney's villainous sea witch finds her origins in the American actor and drag queen Divine, adding a surprising twist to her character's creation.

Norman Bates

The eerie character from Psycho draws from real psychological phenomena, blending fiction with the chilling realities of split personalities.

Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle's brilliant detective was inspired by Joseph Bell, a surgeon known for his deductive prowess and keen observational skills.

Tony Stark

The charismatic Iron Man finds inspiration in Howard Hughes, a wealthy engineer known for his adventurous spirit and eccentricities.

The Dude

Jeff Bridges' iconic character in The Big Lebowski was based on Jeff Dowd, a film producer with a penchant for White Russians.