Harry Potter’s cold and loathsome potions teacher Severus Snape was based on author J.K. Rowling’s high school chemistry teacher, John Nettleship. Prior to students pointing out the undeniable similarities between Nettleship and Snape, including their physical appearance, John had no idea that he was the inspiration behind the character. While insulted at first, he eventually took pride in his fictionalization. In addition to making guest appearances and giving talks in Rowling’s hometown of Chepstow, Wales, Nettleship penned a pamphlet about the many local landmarks that are connected to locations in the books. Sadly, Nettleship passed away in 2011, the same year that the last Harry Potter film hit the silver screen.
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