12 Disney Characters Who Were Based on Real People

2. Maleficent — Eleanor Audley

Eleanor Audley not only gave a voice to Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, but Disney filmmakers also asked her to perform and film the scenes that would help the animators produce the fictional character. This means that the actress’ features and gestures inspired the movements and face of Maleficent.

Additionally, Eleanor also served as inspiration for creating the animated character, Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s legendary and evil stepmother.

3. Jessica Rabbit — Rita Hayworth

The bombshell of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? became an icon due to her portrayal in the film and her stunning figure. But her appearance wasn’t just a matter of luck: Jessica Rabbit was based on the beautiful actress Rita Hayworth.

At the beginning of the character design, the writer Gary K. Wolf based her on the dancer of the animated short film Red Hot Riding Hood, created by Tex Avery. However, during the production of the movie, Jessica Rabbit’s image shifted. This shift was inspired by several actresses, but mostly by Rita. Richard Williams, the director of animation for the film, said he tried to make the character look similar to Hayworth, but with Veronica Lake’s hair.

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