It would be hard to find people that never gazed upon the wonder that is cartoons, the morning/afternoon routine of watching those shows being one of the greatest parts of our childhood years. It's no surprise that some of the cartoon characters are ingrained into our memory forever, whether with fondness or sheer hatred and while the majority of them were created purely with the power of the creators' imagination, a select few were actually inspired by real people!
Scroll down below to see who inspired some of the most iconic characters in cartoon shows and don't forget to comment and vote for your favorites!
The spinach-munching-fist-fighting-sailor from our childhood is no doubt an iconic character. The inspiration for this strongman has reportedly come from a Chester, Illinois (the creator's hometown) local, Frank “Rocky” Fiegel, a small and wiry, but tough guy. Fiegel smoked a pipe, was toothless and participated in many fights, just like the character. It is said that he'd been kind to children, although died childless and was buried in a lot that's marked by an engraving of the iconic character on the headstone.
The Little Mermaid's tentacled villain, Ursula the Sea Witch, was inspired by actor Harris Glenn Milstead' drag persona Divine. Divine appeared in a number of John Waters' movies which form a huge part of LGBT history and culture.
In The Incredibles, Edna is an eccentric fashion designer who creates costumes for famous superheroes. So it's small wonder that people attribute this character's likeness to Edith Head, a costume designer with signature style. With round glasses and the back bob cut, we sure can see the resemblence.
The creators of The Jungle Book aimed high when they decided to get The Beatles to voice the vultures, however the offer was quickly shot down when John Lennon declined. This didn't stop the animators from making the characters look like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Not only do the vultures reemble the iconic band members, they also share Liverpudlian accents with them.
Most of us are definitely familiar with the near-sighted, gullible and socially-awkward Milhouse Van Houten from The Simpsons. Although he was named after US President Nixon (whose middle name was Milhous), the boy's character and likeness was based on Josh Saviano's Paul Pfeiffer, whom the show creators aimed to caricature. We can certainly see how these two are alike.
Another iconic character from "back in the day", Betty Boop was originally created as a caricature of Helen Kane, an American singer who gained fame by imitating the style of black singer Baby Esther Jones. Although Betty was originally an anthropomorphic French poodle, as she became the star of her own cartoons, Boop was transformed into a full human. Kane ended up suing Max Fleischer & Paramount for exploiting her personality and likeness, but ultimately lost the lawsuit.
Most of The Simpsons characters are etched into our memories forever and the greedy Mr. Burns is no exception. While the man himself is an embodiment of corporate greed, his appearance is based on Fox founder Barry Diller. We're not sure if basing one of your antagonistic characters on your boss is a good idea, but with Mr. Burns it surely made a memorable result.
Another character from a childhood classic, Mr. Magoo is the short, wealthy retiree who manages to alway get into all sorts of trouble due to his extreme shortshightedness and refusal to admit the problem. Luckily for the old fellow, he manages to get out of every problem unscathed. According to the animation director John Hubley, Mr. Magoo was a mixture of two people, his uncle Harry Woodruff and American comedian W. C. Fields. Looking at the photographs of Fields, it's hard to deny the similrity!