Are the characters in Left For Dead 1 and 2 modeled after real-life people?


2 Answers 2


It depends on what you mean by "modeled after real-life people".

If you mean visually, then yes! Valve usually models the face of their characters based on some real-life person (probably a hired model or actor, but I can't confirm this). From Left4Dead Wikia, here is a list of the face models for each character (as well as the voice actor):

Game Character Face model Voice actor
L4D1 Bill Bernard Fouquet Jim French
L4D1 Francis Taylor Knox Vince Valenzuela
L4D1 Louis Sean Bennett Earl Alexander
L4D1 Zoey Sonja Kinski Jen Taylor
L4D2 Coach Darnell Rice Chad Coleman
L4D2 Ellis Jesy McKinney Eric Ladin
L4D2 Nick Taymour Ghazi Hugh Dillon
L4D2 Rochelle Shanola Hampton Rochelle Aytes

The body is easier to model in 3D, and is probably based on sketches made by Valve artists. However, it is very difficult to accurately model a face, and that's why they use real-life models for faces. (but, of course, they fine-tune the modelled face to fit better to the character, like the G-Man from Half-Life series)


It appears that they are just stereotypes:

Wikipedia article

There are four playable human characters in the game: Francis, a stereotypical biker (voiced by Vince Valenzuela); Bill, a Vietnam Veteran (voiced by Jim French); Zoey, a university student (voiced by Jen Taylor); and Louis, a district Account Manager (voiced by Earl Alexander).

(my emphasis)

However, I wouldn't be surprised if each characters appearance wasn't based on a real-life person - but that person could be anyone, even one of the developers!

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