10 Cartoon Characters That Actually Exist In Real Life

The Real Life Inspiration For Some Of The Most Popular Cartoon Characters

From the real life Shrek to the Victoria Secret model who looks like Elsa from Frozen we count 10 cartoon characters that actually exist in real life.

10. Peter Griffin / Robert Franzese

Peter Griffin and Robert Franzese.

Robert Franzese of Deer Park, New York is the real life version of Peter Griffin from the hit television show Family Guy. When asked about how he discovered his talent Franzese said “I had been going to Comic Con when I could since 2008, but 2012 was the first year I actually dressed up,” Franzese said. “On the second day, I went as Peter Griffin — it was an easy costume and I wanted to be comfortable. While I was there, I just started doing the voice and people really responded to it. I didn’t break character that day for five hours.”

In 2014, a YouTube video of Franzese dressed as Peter Griffin went viral, propelling him to internet stardom. In the video, the self confessed ‘nerd’ can be seen walking around Comic Con while performing a near flawless impression of the dim witted cartoon star. With his white shirt, green pants and glasses Franzese stops to take photos with his new fans. His likeness is so good he was even asked to perform stand up as Peter Griffin at the convention and now has his own YouTube channel showcasing his videos.

9. Milhouse / Paul Pfeiffer

Milhouse and Paul Pfeiffer.

It has long been rumoured Milhouse from the Simpsons is actually a caricature of Paul Pfeiffer, Kevin Arnold’s best friend from the television series, The Wonder Years. Even though Milhouse is a spitting image of Pfeiffer there is another theory that the real inspiration for Milhouse was actually former Simpsons writer, Rob Cohen.

Paul Pfeiffer was played by Josh Saviano who was also rumoured to have grown up to become singer, Marilyn Manson. As funny as it sounds that rumour is of course, not true. After finishing acting, Saviano graduated from Yale University and went on to work as a lawyer. He has perhaps turned out to be a little more successful than his cartoon counterpart.

8. Pocahontas / Irene Bedard

Pocahontas and Irene Bedard.

If the woman to the right hand side of this picture looks familiar to you, it’s probably because you have seen her before, in cartoon form. Irene Bedard is a native American actress best known for voicing Pocahontas in the 1995 Disney film. While Disney has never officially said that Bedard was the inspiration for the visual design of Pocahontas, her likeness to the beloved cartoon character is remarkable.

7. Consuela / Mike Henry’s Maid

Consuela the maid and Zoila the maid.


Mike Henry the man who voices Consuela the maid from the popular cartoon series, Family Guy based her likeness off an actual maid who once worked for him. Consuela makes regular appearances in the show cleaning for various characters and has even tidied up for the likes of Darth Vader, Superman and James Woods. We also think she looks a lot like Zoila, the maid from the television show Flipping Out.

6. Ursula The Sea Witch / Divine

Ursula The Sea Witch and Divine.

Ursula The Sea Witch from the cartoon Disney classic, The Little Mermaid is actually based on a drag queen named Divine.

It is said to have come about when Howard Ashman, the man who wrote the rock musical Little Shop of Horrors, accepted a job with Disney to write the lyrics for their next animated film. Initially, several versions of Ursula were created including a scorpion fish and a manta ray inspired by Joan Collins. However it was a sketch by animator Rob Minkoff that caught Ashman’s eye. “She looks like a Miami Beach matron,” Ashman had said when he first saw the design. He could imagine the sea witch ‘playing Mah Jong by the pool’.

Divine, the drag queen that inspired the final version of Ursula was born Harris Glenn Milstead. He was an actor and singer who worked on several films including the 1988 version of Hairspray. Divine starred as Edna Turnblad, the overweight mother of Tracy who was played by Ricki Lake.

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