8. Frank Bullitt (Bullitt) / “Dirty” Harry Callahan (Dirty Harry)

When asked the question, “Who is the most badass cop in history?”A couple of legendary movie cops come to mind, and almost certain to make any list are Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry and Steve McQueen’s Bullitt. Surely both of those legendary characters deserve mention, but what about Dave Toschi?

Dave Toschi was a well-liked and respected detective for the San Francisco Police Department for over 30 years. He is perhaps known best as the lead investigator of the Zodiac Killer case that terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area during the late ‘60s and ‘70s. Mark Ruffalo even played him in David Fincher’s criminally under-appreciated 2007 film Zodiac. But before all that, he also worked as a film consultant on Bullitt (1968) and was the basis for much of Steve McQueen’s iconic portrayal, including his signature “upside down,” quick draw shoulder gun holster.

Now Eastwood’s equally iconic cop Dirty Harry is, admittedly, a bit more of a stretch. Toschi was not the direct inspiration of the character, but the film was based largely on the notorious Zodiac case and killer, which was still intensely ongoing at the time of the film’s production/release and for which Toschi was the lead detective.

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This article was first posted on October 26, 2012