Movie Talk

Ariel Milano? Alyssa Reveals She Was 'Little Mermaid' Inspiration!

Movie Talk

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Alyssa Milano, 'The Little Mermaid'

A young Alyssa Milano served as inspiration for 'The Little Mermaid' (Photo: Getty/Everett)

Alyssa Milano: Former child actress. Twitter junkie. Mermaid?

Milano appeared on "The Wendy Williams Show" on Wednesday to promote her new TV series "Mistresses," and in between questions about her career and her young son Milo, Milano revealed a little known fact about herself: She was the model for the character of Ariel in the beloved Disney animated feature "The Little Mermaid" — even though she didn't know it while the movie was being made.

"I actually was, yeah! Which I didn't know when it was going on!" Milano said when asked about her influence on the 1989 film. "I didn't know that when it was going on. But they asked me to host 'The Making of "The Little Mermaid,"' [Watch the awesome retro video here!] and it came out there that the drawing and likeness of the little mermaid was based on pictures of me from when I was younger."

More than one fan has spotted a resemblance between Ariel and Milano over the years, and years after the fact, it was revealed that animator Glen Keane, who brought Ariel to life for the "The Little Mermaid," used photos of Milano from her days on the show "Who's The Boss" as a model for the mermaid's face. Another actress, Sherri Stoner, was brought in to give Disney's artists a reference for the character's movements.

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Alyssa Milano

Milano, seen here in New York on Wedensday (Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Of course, Milano has kept herself pretty busy since her days as a child star on "Who's The Boss," and sultry adult roles on "Melrose Place" and "Charmed." She's appeared in the movies "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend" and "Hall Pass," had a recurring role on "My Name is Earl," starred in the short-lived sitcom "Romantically Challenged," and is now heating up the small screen as Savannah Davis, a wife gone astray, on "Mistresses." But she clearly takes pride in her small part in the creation of a Disney classic.

And when Williams asked Milano, "Doesn't that make you just want to dye your hair red and wear a clam-shell bra all the time?" Milano replied with a smile, "Yes, that's how I walk around at home!"

Hey, she could probably pull it off, even as a 40-year-old mom.

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