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The Real Life Shrek- Maurice Tillet

“The French Angel”

The animated character Shrek was a real-life inspiration. The real Shrek – MAURICE TILLET named as  “The French Angel” or the Freak Ogre of the Ring – A French Wrestler. He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on October 23, 1903. The real-life Shrek i.e. Maurice resembled a green ogre with a heart of gold in his features. Due to his blonde hair and angelic face, his friends used to call him the French angel. He was nicknamed the “Ugliest Man in the World by some narrow-minded people.

Mr. Maurice Tillet the real life shrek

Maurice, in his twenties, developed acromegaly, a hormonal condition where growth hormone-producing cells of the anterior pituitary gland become excessively active. As a result, large quantities of growth hormones are produced. The person cannot grow taller. All body tissues grow rapidly, including the bones become thicker and the soft tissues can continue to grow and tissues continue to get large.

Early Life of Maurice Tillet

Maurice Tillet with his wife

Tillet attended St. Philip Neri Catholic School, where his mother was a language teacher. Maurice Tillet, married to a beautiful woman named Olga. He was a Russian-born Frenchman. He dreamt of becoming a lawyer because he had a strong Catholic faith but ended up in the French navy.

Later he entered the profession of wresting in 1937 under the guidance of his friend and amateur wrestler, Karl Pojello. Maurice gained a name for a world heavyweight wrestling champion on the 1st of August 1944 after defeating Steve Crusher Casey. He moved to the US where he developed a wide range of signature moves, along with his iconic “Palm Strike” and “bear hug.” He was an enthusiast chess player who used to visit his close friend entrepreneur Patrick Kelly. His home was in Braintree (Massachusetts) Tillet regularly visited him for their routine game sessions. Tillet died of a heart attack at the age of 51 years. He fought till the end of his life.

The Visual Inspiration For DreamWorks – Shrek

real and reel life shrek image

Despite having a similar physical appearance between Maurice and Shrek, the studio – DreamWorks never addressed Maurice’s appearance as it was the inspiration for the animated character Shrek.

There were three casts. Two masks of Maurice having a greenish tinge are displayed at The Weightlifting Hall of Fame, Lowa and York Barbell Museum by sculptor Louis Linck, where it would allegedly be used as a model to design the popular cartoon character and One is with his friend.

image of shrek's statue



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