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Real-Person Epilogue

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Biopics, works that are Based on a True Story and fiction that feature dramatized depictions of real people as prominent characters will sometimes show video footage or photographs of the real person portrayed during the Closing Credits or a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue. The purpose is usually to remind the audience that the person actually existed, allowing them to compare who they just saw to Real Life.

Compare Real Person Cameo where the real person is having a bit part in the work itself.


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    Films — Animation 
  • Charlotte (2021)'s epilogue features postwar footage of Charlotte Salomon's climactic masterwork Life? Or Theatre? being discussed by Ottilie Moore and Albert and Paula Salomon, who are characters in the film.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Downfall (2004): At the end of the film, after the Where are They Now montage, the real Traudl Junge appears, making a commentary regarding her own work during the war, and displaying a self-critique on how naive she had been when young. Specifically, she compares her self-blindness of the Nazis to the awereness of another Sophie Sholl, a german woman of her own age, who had worked to resist the regime and been executed for it. (Note: this excerpt was taken from the 2002 documentary film "Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary", where she talked at length about her life and work during the nazi years.)

  • Schindler's List ends with the real-life Schindler Jews (and some of the actors who portrayed them) placing stones on the real Oskar Schindler's grave.
  • The Creative Closing Credits of the boxer movie The Fighter show clips of the real Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund (played in the movie by Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale). It becomes apparent that Bale's eccentric portrayal of Dicky was rather accurate.
  • Hacksaw Ridge: The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue start off with black & white footage of the real war hero Desmond Thomas Doss (played by Andrew Garfield) as he receives the Medal of Honor. We also get to see his wife Dorothy.
  • Before the end credits of Intouchables, a short clip of the real tetraplegic Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and his assistant Abdel Sellou is shown as both are Watching the Sunset.
  • The end credits of Harvey Milk biopic Milk includes photographs of the real people portrayed in the film.
  • The Bio Pic Maudie (2016) ends with a 30 second black & white clip of the real Maud Lewis and her partner Everett Lewis in their cottage.
  • The end credits of Saving Mr. Banks feature photographs of Walt Disney and P. L. Travers taken during the production and premiere of Mary Poppins, followed by recorded audio of Travers attending a story meeting (as set up earlier in the film itself).
  • Hidden Figures ends with photos of the three real protagonists, illustrating the further contributions to science they went on to make after the events of the film.
  • The Disaster Artist ends with clips of Tommy Wiseau after The Room (2003) became famous, as well as a side-by-side comparison of famous The Room scenes and their reenactments done in The Disaster Artist.
  • October Sky ends with images and footage of the real versions of the film's protagonists.
  • At the end of Europa Europa after Solly has survived World War II, the real Solomon Perel appears briefly in the present day.
  • The movie adaptation of The Blind Side ends with a scene featuring the real Michael Ohey and his adoptive family.
  • Green Book ends by showing photos of the real Tony and Dr. Shirley, and fills in some info about what happened to them in real life after the events of the movie (they stayed friends).
  • Queen of Katwe ends with a credits sequence in which each of the major actors appears alongside the real-life person they were playing.
  • Ip Man: The Final Fight (no relation to the Ip Man series) ends by showing the footage that Bruce Lee commissioned of the real Ip Man practicing with his wooden dummy.
  • The epilogue of Soul Surfer features footage of the real Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm to a shark attack.
  • Gettysburg ends with photos of each actor turning into photos of the real people the characters were based on.
  • Before the closing credits of the biopic Chaplin, we are shown snippets of films with the real Charlie Chaplin.
  • Pain & Gain ends with the credits showing the main cast with a picture of the real person they were portraying.
  • At the end of McFarland, USA, we are shown the adult, Real Life version of the boys on the cross country team.
  • Patriots Day ends with statements from the real people involved alongside pictures and video of the attack and Boston's recovery from it. It closes on pictures of those that died during the events.
  • Parodied in Walk Hard, which ends with footage of the "real" Dewey Cox (there is no real Dewey Cox).
  • The Doctor Who docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time ends with a side-by-side comparison of the real people depicted in the film with the actors who played them (as pictured above), as well as the actual footage of the First Doctor's farewell speech to his granddaughter Susan from "The Dalek Invasion of Earth".
  • Stan & Ollie ends with a clip of the real Laurel and Hardy from Way Out West as well as photos from the tour depicted in the film.
  • Snowden ends with footage of the actual Edward Snowden giving an interview via webcam.
  • Fighting with My Family ends with clips from the documentary the film is based on as well as the actual match between the real Paige and A.J. Lee.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody ended with pictures and facts about the real life Freddie Mercury, and then footage of an actual Queen performance.
  • The Impossible has a scene before the closing credits showing a photograph of the real family the movie is based on.
  • Dolemite Is My Name ends with a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue that cuts back and forth between text explaining what happened after the end of the movie (Dolemite was a success) and scenes from the actual Dolemite that had been replicated in the movie, featuring the real Rudy Ray Moore.
  • Lone Survivor has a particularly sad example: it shows pictures and home videos of the real Navy SEALs that were killed during Operation: Red Wings. The very end is a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue concerning Marcus Luttrell and Mohammad Gulab.
  • Mank ends on footage of the real Herman Mankiewicz, followed by text explaining what happened to him after the events of the film.
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom shows images of the real Ma Rainey over the closing credits, and uses a recording of her actually singing as the closing music.
  • Burke & Hare plays it with a twist: the final scene is a present-day Distant Finale in which the camera moves through the Edinburgh Anatomical Museum, finally settling on the preserved skeleton of William Burke which is on display there to this day.
  • The Eyes of Tammy Faye, like Dolemite above, ends on a combination of this and "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, explaining what happened after the downfall of the Bakkers' PTL empire, and showing clips from earlier in the movie side-by-side with Real Life photos or video of the people depicted.
  • The metafictional superhero film Kamen Rider Saber + Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger Super Hero Senki, which features Shotaro Ishinomori as a major character, begins its closing credits with a photo of the real Ishinomori.
  • Invincible ends with text, clips, and images of the real Vince Papale, including both events covered in the film and his later career.
  • The One and Only Ivan: Before the movie cuts to the end credits, the details of the real Ivan the gorilla along with the photos and real-life footage of him are shown.

    Live-Action TV 
  • American Crime Story:
  • The first-season finale of Feud shows the real-life photos of Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and the other major figures in the series.
  • The penultimate episode of Trust shows a photograph of Little Paul after his rescue, but the season finale itself has no montage; Fletcher Chace claims that it's just too depressing and anyone who actually cares can look it up themselves.
    "Google it."
  • The HBO series Band of Brothers begins and ends each episode with an interview (or other footage) of the actual soldiers portrayed.
    • Its companion series The Pacific withheld this until its finale.
  • Episodes of The Goldbergs usually end with a clip of one of the real Adam Goldberg's home videos. In later seasons, The Stinger featured interviews with some of the real people depicted on the show.
  • The final episode of Chernobyl ends with one of these which also acts as a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue. Pictures of the real experts and officials involved in the disaster are shown along with brief explanations of what happened to them in the 30 years since. Sadly for many this involves death due to complications from radiation exposure.
  • The Doctor Who episode "Rosa", about Rosa Parks in 1955 (played by Vinette Robinson), integrates the epilogue into the show's universe by repurposing the video footage as a Time-Shifted Actor: The episode ends with the Doctor showing the TARDIS crew a real-life clip of Parks being awarded a Congressional Medal in 1999.
  • A Small Light: The show ends with showing real-life photos of the major characters involved, as well as detailing what happened to those who survived.
  • At the end of AppleTV+'s miniseries adaptation of The Shrink Next Door, a photograph of the real Martin "Marty" Markowitz and Dr. Isaac "Ike" Herschkopf is shown during the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue scene.

  • The Ninja Sex Party song "Danny Don't You Know" is about the duo's singer Danny singing to his younger self about their future. While the real Danny is of course in the song, young Danny is played by Finn Wolfhard, so the end shows images of the real child Danny and as well the duo's other member Brian in his childhood.

    Western Animation 
  • The Pixar short Sanjay's Super Team, which is inspired by director Sanjay Patel's childhood memories, ends with photographs of Sanjay and his father, one from the past and one more recent.