It seems very strange to me that the main character in Quantum Leap is named Sam Beckett, given that there was already a very famous playwright with that name. They even acknowledge it in one episode (Honeymoon Express) when he reveals that he's a time traveler named Samuel Beckett and the woman he's talking to says, "Like the playwright?"
Is there some story behind why they chose this name rather than a name like Sam Beckworth or Sam Becker or something less confusing? I find it hard to believe that no one on that show realized the conflict before the start of the show.
Update Oddly enough, I stumbled across the 1988 show China Beach, which has a main character named Private Samuel Beckett. Given that both shows were created at nearly the exact same time, I wonder if there was some common reason why two shows would both name a character the exact same name as a famous playwright.
Beckett died in 1989, which makes it unlikely either was a posthumous tribute to him, but China Beach is a show about Vietnam, and Bellisario is known for his shows with military themes, so maybe there's some Samuel Beckett in the military space that they were both named after? I'm not turning anything up at the moment.