From Miss Piggy to Popeye, you never knew which characters were based on real people.

as a new production of the popular musical has recently opened in London

It takes place in Berlin in 1931, a decadent haven where the legendary Sally Bowles performs at the infamous Kit Kat Klub.

Jessie Buckley plays Sally, who was made famous by Liza Minnelli in the 1972 film. Eddie Redmayne also appears.

But did you know that Sally was based on a real person? And, as NADINE LINGE of the Daily Star explains, many other famous fictional characters, from Scrooge to Miss Piggy, have their roots in real people.

Cabaret is based on Christopher Isherwood's writings, which are based on his experiences in 1930s Berlin and his relationship with Jean Ross, aka Sally, a 19-year-old cabaret singer.

She was an upper-middle-class English girl who sang in the city's many clubs after being expelled from boarding school.

When she later became a war correspondent, she had affairs, had an abortion, and was pregnant with her daughter.

It's a holiday classic, and Charles Dickens based his miser in A Christmas Carol on John Elwes, a real-life politician and eccentric.

Born into a wealthy family of skinflints, he was the MP for Berkshire from 1772 to 1784.

Elwes went to bed when it got dark to save money on candles, walked in the rain to avoid paying for a coach, ate moldy food, and dressed so shabbily that people mistook him for a beggar.

Peggy Lee, the American jazz singer best known for her song Fever, was the inspiration for the glitzy porker.

Miss Piggy Lee was the original name given to the puppet by Muppets designer Bonnie Erickson, both as a joke and as a tribute to Lee, but the surname was dropped after the unimpressed singer threatened to sue.

Angelina Jolie and Alicia Vikander reprised their roles as the adventurer in two films based on the popular Tomb Raider video game series.

Sue Hendrickson, an American palaeontologist who discovered the 67-million-year-old remains of a Tyrannosaurus Rex in 1990, was the inspiration for the original character.

Whale fossils in Peru were among her other discoveries.

The musical Chicago was based on a 1926 play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, which inspired the 2002 film starring Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta Jones as a pair of sexy female murderers.

Watkins was a Chicago Tribune reporter who covered the Belva Gaertner and Beulah Annan trials.

Both women were accused of shooting men with whom they were having affairs, but they were both found not guilty.

Tintin was a globe-trotting teenage reporter created by Belgian artist Herg, who did good deeds and foiled criminals with the help of his trusty dog, Snowy.

Palle Huld, a Danish actor who was 15 when he won a competition to recreate Phileas Fogg's circumnavigation of the globe in the novel Around the World in 80 Days, was an inspiration to him.

In just 44 days, he completed the feat in 1928, and his adventure was widely publicized; Tintin was published the following year.

I'm not sure if Dave Toschi, the real-life cop who inspired Clint Eastwood's Harry Callahan, ever asked a villain to make his day, but he was a top inspector with the San Francisco Police Department.

He was the lead investigator in the Zodiac serial killer case, and Dirty Harry, released in 1971, was based on it, with Callahan on the hunt for a similar vicious psychopath. However, unlike Harry, Toschi never caught the killer - the Zodiac killer has never been identified.

John Nettleship, one of author JK Rowling's own school teachers, inspired Harry Potter's Hogwarts professor.

He taught chemistry at Wyedean School in Gloucestershire, and he is the Potions professor when we first meet Snape.

"I was horrified when I first found out," John, who died in 2011, said after the films were released: "I knew I was a strict teacher, but I didn't think I was that bad."

The real Frank Abagnale was the inspiration for the 2002 film Catch Me If You Can, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

In the 1960s, the New Yorker assumed multiple identities, including that of a doctor and lawyer, but most famously that of a Pan Am pilot in order to obtain free air travel.

He is now 73 years old and runs a consulting firm, but the veracity of some of his stories has been called into question.

The pipe-chomping, spinach-scoffing sailor couldn't possibly be a real person, right?

Elzie Crisler Segar, the creator of Popeye, lived in the same town as Frank "Rocky" Fiegel, a bartender.

Fiegel smoked a pipe all the time, had a jutting chin, and was always getting into fights, often with multiple opponents.

Popeye is said to have been inspired by Fiegel, and his grave even has a statue of the character.

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