Every one of us will never forget that we have grown up with some of the famous cartoon characters which were clumsy, grumpy, defiant and pompous. Some of the cartoon characters are embedded in our memory forever. Some cartoon characters were created from some sort of inspiration as every writer, creator and animator gain inspiration from someone they know, love and admire. While some of them were created, some of them were real-life characters and rest was inspired by characters played on Television and Radio.
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Here is the list of top ten Real-Life Inspirations for famous Cartoon Characters that were based on the portrait of well-known individuals.
- Frank ‘Rocky’ Fiegel – Popeye
Frank Fiegel, nicknamed ‘Rocky” was the inspiration for the famous character Popeye the sailor which was created in 1929 by Elzie Crisler Segar. He was somewhat of a local legend in the hometown of the creator of the cartoon, Chester, Illinois. He resembled the same character like Popeye – one-eyed toothless person smoking a pipe and very much fond of little children. Inspired by Segar’s hometown friends, other characters were created in Popeye cartoons. In 1977 a bronze statue, 183cm tall and 408 kg in weight was unveiled in his memory in Chester’s Segar Memorial Park.
- Alyssa Milano – The Little Mermaid
The inspiration behind Ariel from Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ was actress, Alyssa Milano. Also featured as little Samantha in ‘Who’s the Boss’ and as Phoebe from ‘Charmed’, you would probably know Alyssa Milano. The inspiration behind the look and personality of the popular Mermaid was Alyssa’s vigorous nature and gorgeous big eyes. She was the sole impetus for writer and producer for Disney to deliver encouraging essentials to Ariel.
- Dennis Lloyd Ketcham – Dennis
Considering his own son to be the real menace, the cartoonist Hank Ketcham created ‘Dennis the Menace’. Hank created the sketch when Dennis created some chaos with his mom and Hank’s wife shrieked, “Hank, Dennis is Menace”. Hank who was an artist by profession drew more than ten pencil sketches and sent to his mediator. He received a reply for twelve more sketches after ten days as Bob Hall, Post Syndicate’s President was quite impressed with the sketches.
- Palle Huld – Tintin
Tintin and his white doggy – another cartoon character which won the hearts of children were inspired by Palle Huld who was only a boy of 15. The creator of the character was a Belgian comic artist Georges Remi, better known as Herge. Huld won a remarkable competition in 1928 run by a Danish newspaper by re-enacting the famous voyage of his protagonist Phileas Fogg in the novel, ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’. Tintin also became famous with his 3D movie in 2011 which was directed by Steven Spielberg.
- Arleen Sorkin – Harley Quinn
Arleen Sorkin was an American actress, comedian, and screenwriter and featured in soap opera ‘Days of our lives’, and voiced the DC comics villain Harley Quinn in the animated series ‘Batman’. Paul Dini, a writer admired the performance of Sorkin in the soap opera and the duo came up with the DC comic favorite anti-heroine Harley Quinn. Sorkin was so much complimented in the voice that she did not hesitate to become a voice artist for the character in Batman.
- C Fields – Mr. Magoo
William Claude Dukenfield, better known as W.C Fields was an American Comedian, actor, and writer who displayed a sympathetic character despite his grumbling hatred for Children. Nearsighted Mr. Magoo is said to have been inspired by him which was an immediate hit in 1949. With two Academic awards, he starred in 53 animated series. Many similarities can be seen between Mr. Magoo and W.C Fields like narrow eyes and a bulbous nose. In spite of these similarities Millard Kaufman, the writer of Mr. Magoo claimed that actually, he was not the inspirer.
- Conrad Veidt – The Batman Joker
Hans Walter Conrad Veidt better known as Conrad Veidt was a German actor who featured in ‘The man Who Laughs’, was the inspiration behind the Batman villain ‘The Joker’ which was created by Bill Finger in 1940. The Joker is an iconic figure in comic books. ‘The Man Who Laughs’ is a German silent movie about a man Gwynplaine whose father was a nobleman. He suffered the sins of his father who used a knife to carve his face into a hideous grin.
- Margaret Kerry – Tinkerbell
Tinkerbell was replicated after actress Margaret Kerry in James M. Barrie’s female fairy Tinkerbell. Earlier there was a rumor that Tinkerbell was based on the sex goddess Marilyn Monroe. Kerry took part in the audition like other actresses for a part in the movie and also faced the challenge of portraying the character of a little fairy. Kerry played music and designed Tinkerbell making food for breakfast. She was selected for the part and Tinkerbell became one of Hollywood’s iconic animated characters.
- Archie Andrews – Archie
Archie Andrews attended high school with Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones and Dilton Doiley in Riverdale. Others with special appearances were parents of teenagers, Principal Weatherbee, and teacher Miss Grundy in which the main focus of the comic ‘Archie’ was the romances with Veronica and Betty. It also features his interaction with the friends of Riverdale and his friendship with Jughead. Archie’s radio show and movies became so famous that the time came when comic books were introduced to the readers. Archie comic books influenced contemporary readers and were made to give an impression of the recent themes.
- Marjorie Henderson Buell – Little Lulu
Marjorie Henderson Buell was an American cartoonist who wrote under the name Marge. She became the first female cartoonist to achieve international appreciation after she created the cartoon character Little Lulu after herself. Until 1945, cartoons specially designed by Marge were published in The Saturday Evening. Lulu was portrayed as a silent character that spoke with actions and soon it gained such fame that it appeared from lunch boxes to clothes.