John McClane is a fictional character and the protagonist in the Die Hard series of films. He is portrayed by actor Bruce Willis in the four films, beginning with Die Hard in 1988. In addition to appearing in the Die Hard films, McClane also has an uncredited cameo appearance in Loaded Weapon 1. McClane is also featured in a series of comic books, entitled Die Hard: Year One. The series deals with the earlier years of the character.
The character has been well received, being called "iconic" and the "quintessential American hero".
John McClane was originally based on the fictional character Detective Joe Leland from Roderick Thorp's novel, Nothing Lasts Forever, along with another character, Frank Malone from Walter Wager's novel 58 Minutes (later adapted as Die Hard 2) and is somewhat based on and inspired by Dirty Harry. Die Hard villain Hans Gruber describes him as "just another American... who thinks he's John Wayne," to which McClane replies that he "was always partial to Roy Rogers." He is described as being a foul-mouthed, wisecracking, no-nonsense New York cop with an itchy trigger finger, an aversion to Eurotrash terrorists, and a never-say-die spirit.
McClane's marriage is in a constant state of crisis, his vigilantism and disregard for authority have put him in danger of losing his job more than once, and he is a chain-smoker who is described as "two steps away from becoming a full blown alcoholic," which McClane jokingly upgrades to only "one step".
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