17 “Fictional” TV Characters Based on Real People

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Omar Little from The Wire


Omar was based on the late Donnie Andrews, a stickup artist turned police informant and anti-crime advocate. The show’s creator, David Simon, crossed paths with Donnie during his work as a journalist. And while Donnie served time in prison, he informed David about all the crimes in Baltimore (in exchange for copies of the newspaper). This not only inspired David to create a show about the topic, but he also modeled Omar, a stickup artist who never targeted innocent people, after the former criminal. Donnie said: “They made Omar exactly the way I was. David wrote ‘The West Side Story’ after my conviction in 1986 and they basically had everything down-pat.”

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