17 “Fictional” TV Characters Based on Real People

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Elaine Benes from Seinfeld


The sassy Elaine, who played Jerry’s ex on the show, was actually inspired by multiple people. But the main inspiration came from Jerry’s real-life ex and comedian, Carol Leifer. Like Elaine, she and Jerry used to date, but they stayed good friends after they split. And get this: Carol has written for the show, which means she got to create lines for the character that was modeled after her. Some of her episodes were inspired by events that happened in her own life.

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