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These Iconic TV Characters Are Based On Real People… Who Are Not Happy

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Think the idea of seeing yourself portrayed on TV would be a dream come true? According to some people, it’s not actually so great. Here you’ll the meet the real-life people behind several popular TV characters and find out why they found the experience less than glamorous.

Seinfeld’s Dreaded ‘Soup Nazi’

Perhaps one the most quotable characters on Seinfeld was the notorious “Soup Nazi” who would constantly lay down the verdict of “No soup for you!” to unruly customers. As it turns out, he was based on a real Manhattan soup shop owner named Al Yeganeh who was known for his incredibly strict rules. Hearing that Yeganeh was enraged by his TV portrayal, Jerry Seinfeld stopped by his shop to apologize, only to be cussed out and probably banned from soup for life.

real people

NY Times/ NBC

Carol Burnett’s Family Guy Feud

In 2006, Carol Burnett was mimicked in an episode of Family Guy, with which she was clearly less than amused. The show portrayed her as a janitor in a porn shop and poked fun at one of her characters from The Carol Burnett Show. The actress responded by filing a lawsuit against the show for using her likeness without permission. Though the judge agreed with Burnett in theory, ultimately he ruled that the show’s actions fell under the protection of the first amendment. Next, you’ll meet a woman who claims her portrayal on Orange Is The New Black wasn’t quite as steamy as it was made out to be.

real people

Biography.com/ Cartoon Network

The Real Alex From Orange Is The New Black

Though she was dubbed Alex on Orange Is The New Black, the character is actually based on a woman named Cleary Wolters. In an interview with Vanity Fair, she insisted that the show had taken some serious liberties with her story. Wolters offered various clarifications such as, “I was not Piper’s first and I certainly did not seduce her.” and “We did not have sex in prison. Not even a little bit.” Despite her conflicted views, she still admits to watching the show, because “The actors are incredible, the storyline is interesting, and come on, who doesn’t want to see Donna from That ’70s Show have lesbian sex?”

real people

Vanity Fair/Netflix

M.A.S.H.’s Real Life Hawkeye Pierce

Everyone’s favorite Army surgeon from the hit TV series M.A.S.H. was based on Dr. H. Richard Hornberger, who also wrote the book that the series was based on. Though Hawkeye’s pacificist leanings where loved by viewers around the globe, the actual Hawkeye was much more conservative and was rumored to take issue with the liberal slant of the show. He once even claimed that it “tramples on my memories.” Apparently, the woman behind Patricia Arquette’s Medium didn’t find the publicity as welcome as you’d think either.

real people

Boston.com/ FOX

Struggles Of a True Life Medium

Though the show Medium garnered a large number of fans, many did not realize that the story’s protagonist is an actual person. Allison Dubois, who was portrayed by Patricia Arquette on the show, is an actual medium who has assisted law enforcement in various investigations in the past. Dubois admitted that she was relieved when the series ended, due to the strain it caused in her personal life. Apparently, the publicity resulted in a huge amount of requests from around the country asking her to participate in murder investigations. Not only did Dubois find the situation overwhelming, it drove her into a depression for some time.

real people

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