Shrek’s appearance may depend on the French wrestler

Shrek's appearance may depend on the French wrestler

HHe is the very ugly monster Shrek the Green, the main character from the 2001 DreamWorks animated film of the same name, and he is well known. The friendly green monster Shrek is the so-called oger, a human-like creature from folklore that often appears in fairy tales. Rumors that the character was based on French wrestler Maurice Tillet (1903-1954), who resembled Shrek in many ways have not been confirmed or debunked. Who was this Tillet nicknamed “The French Angel”?

Quasimodo & Ellert and Brammert

Stories are often circulated of the existence of ugly mythical characters in real life. For example, there are people who believe that the Quasimodo humpback monster, the “Humpback Notre Dame” who fell in love with gypsies, does exist. The saga of the giants Drenthe Ellert and Brammert is said to be based on a veritable march that roamed the Drenthe desert in the middle ages … but what about Shrek?

Maurice Tillet, nicknamed “The French Angel”

Maurice Tillet, the supposed muse of Shrek Beast, is the son of French parents and was born in Russia in 1903 in the Urals. His parents worked there. When Morris was fourteen years old, the Russian Revolution broke out and the family decided to return to France, where they settled in the city of Reims. Morris had an angelic face, which is why his mother called him “the Angel”.

When Tillett was seventeen, or nineteen or twenty, the sources were unclear, something strange happened. One day his head, arms and legs suddenly began to swell. A visit to the doctor led to the conclusion that he had a rare hormonal anomaly known by the medical term acromegaly, also known as Mary’s disease.

Tillett abandoned his plans to become a lawyer after his terrible illness. After training as an engineer, he decided to join the French Navy, where he worked for several years in the interwar period.

In 1937, Tillet met Lithuanian wrestler Carl Pogelo during one of his cruises. This convinced him to start wrestling. The two became close friends and left for Paris to train together. When World War II broke out, the duo moved to the United States. They settled in Boston, where Tillet became a well-known figure. Between May 1940 and May 1942 he was the AWA World Heavyweight Champion.

Maurice Tillet during a wrestling match with Lou Theis, 1940

Pretty woman

Despite Tillett’s striking appearance, which many did not describe as “beautiful”, according to some sources, he married a beautiful woman named Olga. In America, he also regularly has a photo with popular actresses and photo models, including Dorian Leigh. Tillet himself wore his alleged “ugliness” with pride. As a wrestler he used, among other things, the title “The ugliest man in the world”.

Maurice Tillet in 1936
Maurice Tillet in 1936

Tillett was gifted and fluent in no fewer than fourteen languages. He was also an excellent chess player, played as an actor and wrote several poems.

On August 4, 1954, his life friend Carl Pogelo died of lung cancer. When Tillett learned of this news, he had a heart attack and died the same day along with his best friend. They were buried in a mass grave in Chicago.

After all, there is no conclusive evidence that the movie’s character Shrek is really based on Maurice Tillet. The similarities are striking, but movie producer DreamWorks never confirmed that Tillet was a model for the character.

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Also read: Trijntje Keever, possibly the tallest Dutch woman ever
…From: The saga of Ellert and Brammert from Denthe


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