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This is an interesting question, and it has an even more interesting answer. I love the old Peyton Place movies, so I just had to take a stab at finding an answer for you.
On books.google.com, I found the book Inside Peyton Place: The Life of Grace Metalious. Did you know that the fictional story was based on the real life of Grace Metalious, whose life in Manchester, New Hampshire, was the basis for the story and of Alison McKenzie.
As it turns out, Metalious was not very careful about concealing identities in her novel. There was a teacher at the local high school named Tom Makris. It was obvious that he was the inspiration for "Tomas Makris." According to Inside Peyton Place, at first the real Makris was flattered to be included in the book, but when Hollywood producers decided to make a movie version, all of a sudden he considered it libelous. He and his wife filed a $250,000 libel suit against Metalious and her agent, charging that the book had "brought them into public hatred, contempt, ridicule, slander, and disgrace."
The case did not go to court. Fearing the publicity, Metalious's attorney encouraged her to change the character's name for the movie, and for subsequent reprintings of the novel. They also settled out of court for $60,000.
Does life imitate art or does art imitate life?
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