Sometimes when people hear the term ‘biographic movies’ they get bored. It isn’t the most popular genre, though it is really good. But, there are a lot of movies that actually have characters that existed in real life that aren’t categorized as biographical, some of them mix reality and fiction to create a new story, and others just portray the real thing.

Next time you watch a movie, you will want to know if the characters in it are real or not. Films are a fun way to learn about a lot of topics, such as historical characters, pop culture references, and more, but always knowing the difference between real and fiction. Here are 10 movie characters that existed in real life that maybe you didn’t know.


10. Chris Gardner – The Pursuit Of Happiness (2006)

via BBC

Will Smith does a great job portraying Chris Gardner, a businessman that struggles with severe money problems that affect his marriage and eventually become homeless. Gardner took care of his son and went through a tough time between shelters until he managed to move to Chicago where he opened a stock firm that later he sold and became a millionaire.

The movie was based on Chris’s written memories and had mainly positive reviews. It is a drama movie perfect to watch on a Sunday afternoon with Will Smith and his son Jaden starring in a warming heart story.


9. Elizabeth Gilbert – Eat, Pray, Love (2010)

via Forbes

This romantic drama film starring Julia Roberts was a box office success back in 2010. Julia is Elizabeth Gilbert, an American woman who apparently had all her life put together, who realizes that she isn’t happy with her perfect life. She decides to leave her husband, her house, and her career behind while she starts a self-discovery journey around the world looking for purpose. She learns the power and true pleasure by eating in Italy, praying in India, and finding her true love in Indonesia.

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote her memories in 2006 and has sold more than 12 million copies. She has been an example for women to turn around their lives when they feel lost so they can find happiness.


8. Chris Kyle – American Sniper (2014)


American Sniper was directed by Clint Eastwood and based on Chris Kyle’s memoir. Bradley Cooper develops the character of Chris, who became the deadliest marksman in U.S military history.

Kyle had a legendary career as a sniper in Iraq and was well known because of his skills, but after four traumatic tours he develops PTSD and he’s haunted by the people he couldn’t save. The end of the movie shows that in 2013, he left his family and got shot by an ex-marine and died a year after he wrote his autobiography.


7. Hugh Glass –  Revenant (2015)

via Wikipedia

The movie that finally got Leonardo Di Caprio an Oscar award was written about Hugh Glass, a hunter that guided captains Andrew Henry’s trappers all through the now Dakota territories. The events portrayed in the film happened back in 1823 when Glass led a campaign until he was attacked by a grizzly bear that left him severely wounded and he was left to die.

Alone, Hugh starts to go through the wilderness, in the snowstorm until he arrives at the mountains where he is visited by his wife’s spirit. The film emerged from a tale of the story that at the same time came from a poem. It had a great performance in the theaters and had a lot of nominations across the awards.


6. John Nash – A Beautiful Mind (2001)

via ABC

A Beautiful Mind is a drama movie about the American mathematician John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics and Abel Prize winner. Russell Crowe gives life to Nash’s character, who starts to develop paranoid schizophrenia and delusions that affect his professional and personal life.

The film was based on a novel written by Sylvia Nazar, it won 4 Oscar awards and earned around 310 million dollars.


5. Alan Turing – The Imitation Game (2014)

via BBVA Openmind

Alan Turing, who was played by Benedict Cumberbatch, was a pioneer British scientist that had an important role in discovering secret codes that appeared on the Enigma Machine from Nazi Germany. The part played by Turing helped the allies win World War II, and his actions are written in his biography The Enigma by Andrew Hodges.

The movie counts with great reviews such as 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and Benedict Cumberbatch was highly praised because of his performance.


4. Micky Ward – The Fighter (2010)

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Christian Bale and Mark Whalberg are Micky Ward and his half-brother Dicky Eklund. The movie was inspired by the 1995 documentary about Ward and it won 2 Oscars and 2 Golden Globes. The film takes place in Massachusetts, 1980, and narrates Eklund’s life while he is trying to redeem himself by training his younger brother after his loss against the boxer Sugar Ray Leonard.

There are a lot of serious topics that appeared in the film, like drugs and crime. The critics gave it good qualifications and the characters developed by Whalberg and Bale are still praised.


3. Daniel Jones – The Report (2019)

via NME

This Amazon Prime thriller starring Adam Driver tells the story of Daniel Jones, an FBI agent that investigates along with the Intelligence Senate Committee the torture accusations to the CIA after the well-documented attacks of September 11.

Jones discovered the questionable torture techniques the CIA adopted after the events and tried to make it public, but the White House did everything to avoid Daniel telling the people.


2. Scott Fischer – Everest (2015)

via Mountain Madness

Everest narrates the story of the tragic death of eight climbers that died after a huge snowstorm on May 10th, 1996. There were two teams of alpinists, one led by Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) and the other by Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) that tried to survive when the snow came to them.

The film premiered in 38 countries and had a net profit of 203 million dollars around the world because of its box office success. Unfortunately, Scott Fischer died in the expedition, and all the events that took place around the days of his death are described in the book Into Thin Air by John Krakauer, which helped to write the movie.


1. Zodiac Killer – Zodiac (2007)

via BBC

This thriller is about the Zodiac serial killer that attacked the San Francisco Bay between the late ’60s and early ’70s. The murderer used to send letters to the newspaper that mocked the police and their abilities to solve crimes. Until this day, the Zodiac killer is an open case, it was never caught despite the efforts of the San Francisco Chronicle caricaturist, Robert Graysmith, who was obsessed with solving the puzzles in the letters.

The movie counts with a distinctive cast with Jake Gyllenhaal, as Graysmith, Robert Downey Jr., as Paul Avery, a reporter of the San Francisco Chronicle, Mark Ruffalo as the policeman Dave Toschi, and more remarkable names.