Brenda Bakke is Holly White
One that’s not always mentioned: Brenda Bakke as Sergeant Nim on the film Gunhed (1989) was the visual inspiration for the Holly White character. Gunhed is a Japanese action/science-fiction film directed by Masahiro Takashima.
Bakke could also be seen in the comedy Hot Shots! Part Deux, where she plays a spoof on Sharon Stone’s character from Basic Instinct and a romantic interest of Charlie Sheen.
Albert Einstein is Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar
Now talk about obvious. If you don’t see Albert Einstein in that pic, you definitely need glasses.
Dr. Petrovich’s (now with an extra “t”) face was based on the famous scientist but his design was later revised -as many of the other character portraits- for the game’s re-releases.
Bob Hoskins is Yozev Norden
Whether you call him Yozev Norden, Yosefu Noruden, Joseph/Josef, or Johan Jacobsen (current name), it’s surely Bob Hoskins you see in the earliest character portrait.
Hoskins was a renowned British actor, known by some for his role in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985) and by many for his starring role in Who framed Roger Rabbit? (1988). In the year that Metal Gear 2 was released, he was on Mermaids alongside Cher and yes, in 1993, he played Mario in the infamous movie Mario Bros.
Richard Crenna is Roy Campbell
It’s clear that Kojima was inspired by actors of the time when we recognize Richard Crenna ( John Rambo’s ex-commanding officer Colonel Sam Trautman in the first three Rambo films) as Roy Campbell (or Kyanbel in the first edition of the game).
Crenna himself spoofed his own character in the movie Hot Shots! Part Deux, where Brenda Bakke (Holly White) also made an appearance.
Mel Gibson is Solid Snake
Kojima has confirmed that Snake is an “homage” to Snake Plissken, main character of John Carpenter’s classic Escape From New York played by Kurt Russell (eye patch included later on in the series).
However, the character portrait in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake was clearly based on action star Mel Gibson; to be more precise, on his character Martin Riggs from the film Lethal Weapon released in 1987, three years prior to the game.
Sean Connery is Big Boss
With an added eye patch (just like Snake Plissken in Escape from New York and LA), Sean Connery becomes Big Boss. Left pic is from the 1990 film The Hunt for the Red October based on Tom Clancy’s best-seller where Connery plays Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius.