Travis Bickle from ‘Taxi Driver’
The Character: In Martin Scorsese's 1976 classic, Robert De Niro plays Travis Bickle, a former Marine who takes a job as a taxi driver to cope with his insomnia. Bickle becomes obsessed with a woman who works for a local senator and finds his thoughts becoming more and more violent, leading him to shoot a robber and attempt to assassinate the local senator before engaging in a gunfight to save a young prostitute. It's a real heartwarming tale.
The Inspiration: Arthur Bremer was also a socially awkward and troubled guy who felt disconnected from society. Like Bickle, Bremer found a lady he really liked and sabotaged their first date by talking about sex and showing her pornography. And also like Bickle, Bremer shaved his head and began stalking his would-be girlfriend while keeping a journal of his most private thoughts and violent impulses. He decided he wanted to assassinate Richard Nixon or George Wallace, and after failing to kill Nixon, he tried to assassinate Wallace, but was apprehended after shooting off a few rounds.
But that's not where the 'Taxi Driver' story ends -- art imitated life, but then life imitated art when John Hinckley Jr. became obsessed with the movie, shaved his head into a mohawk to mimic Travis Bickle, and attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan in an effort to impress the film's young actress, Jodie Foster.