Late Danish actor Palle Huld may have been the inspiration behind writer Georges Remi a.k.a. Herge’s comic-book hero, Tintin.
Huld, who passed away this year, had been a red-haired 15-year-old boy with freckles and a snub nose, when he entered a competition in early 1928 to mark the centennial of the celebrated author Jules Verne.
The winner of the competition was to re-enact the globe-circling voyage undertaken by Phileas Fogg in Verne’s best-selling novel, ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, the Guardian reported.
A Danish newspaper held the competition, which was open to only teenaged boys, who, if they won, would have to complete the circumnavigation unaccompanied, within 46 days, and without using planes.
Huld, who was then a fresh-faced boy with a penchant for plus fours, left Copenhagen on March 1 and duly circled the globe, including then-war torn Manchuria and foreigner-unfriendly Moscow, by train and passenger liner.
He returned 44 days later to be greeted by a crowd of 20,000 cheering admirers and his mightily relieved mother, who, according to the Copenhagen Post, “had been prescribed sleeping tablets for the duration”.
The following year, an intrepid, globetrotting boy reporter, fresh-faced, freckled, with a snub nose, a shock of bright red hair and a penchant for plus-fours, made his first appearance in a Brussels newspaper called Le Petit Vingtième.
Over the following 50-odd years, Tintin, the creation of a Belgian comic artist called Georges Remi, better known as Herge, went on to star in some two-dozen comic books with more than 200 million volumes being sold worldwide.
Meanwhile, Huld went on to a glittering career as a stage and screen actor in Denmark, performing for years with the Danish Royal Theatre and appearing in 40 movies.
But whether he was the inspiration for Tintin is still being debated, as some Tintinologists believe their hero was more likely to have been inspired by a French war and travel photojournalist called Robert Sexe. (ANI)