Actors who share traits with the characters they play on TV

Yahoo Contributor Network

After an actor scores a role on a TV show, the actor's real-life background is often incorporated into the script for the show. This often results in TV characters who share a number of traits with the people who play them. Other times, an actor is selected because of their uncanny similarity to the character they are auditioning for. From sitcoms to supernatural dramas, here are some prime examples of TV shows with actors who share major traits with the characters they portray.

"The Office"

Tons of characters on the office share their name with the actor who plays them. But in the case of Angela Kinsey, who plays Angela on the show, the similarities are more than skin deep. Angela the character is best known around the office as a cat lady, who even feeds strays in the company parking lot. In real life, Angela works with a charitable organization called Alley Cat Allies.

Meanwhile, actor Craig Robinson (who plays Darryl) is in a band, just like his character. In fact, Robinson's real-life band played a gig on an episode of "The Office." Another musical talent is Creed Bratton, who basically plays a fictional version of himself. Both Creed and Creed were in The Grass Roots, and Creed gives the alias William Charles Schneider (Creed's birth name) in one episode.

"The Vampire Diaries"

Young actress Nina Dobrev plays centuries-old vampire Katerina Petrova on "The Vampire Diaries." And just like Katerina, Nina's family hailed from Bulgaria. Born Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva, Nina Dobrev was born in Bulgaria but moved to Canada when she was just 2 years old.


The characters on "Community" are racially and religiously diverse. But contrary to what you might think, the religions given to each character weren't chosen arbitrarily. Jewish Annie is played by Alison Brie, who got her start in a Jewish community center playhouse. Likewise, Yvette Nicole Brown is Christian just like her character Shirley, and Donald Glover was raised as a Jehovah's Witness, just like his character.


This beloved dark comedy was must-see TV in the '70s and early '80s. The character Max Klinger was played by actor Jamie Farr. Like Klinger, Farr hailed from Toledo, Ohio. Farr even served in Korea in real life: The dog tags he wore on the show for his costume were actually his own.

Something similar happened on "McHale's Navy." Eagle-eyed fans might have noticed that Ernest Borgnine's hat was a bit smaller than the rest of the hats worn by other cast members. The reason: The other actors were wearing hats from a current Navy surplus, while Borgnine was wearing his own, period-correct hat from his time in the Navy during WWII.

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