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Maurice Tillet - "The French Angel" and Probable Shrek Prototype

Dreamworks has not commented on rumors that Shrek was inspired by Maurice Tillet. (

Voiced by Mike Myers, Shrek is the reluctant hero of the 2001 fairy tale comedy of the same name, which was based on a children's book by William Steig about a brutish ogre with a distinctive look. Although Dreamworks, the production company behind Shrek, has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors, many believe that Shrek was inspired by a French wrestler from the 1930s and '40s named Maurice Tillet.

The French Angel

Maurice Tillet was born in 1903 in Russia to French parents who soon moved back to France to raise their son. By all accounts, he had a relatively normal childhood with no major health issues. In fact, he had such a cherubic face that he earned the nickname "The French Angel" in the course of his wrestling career, but wrestling wasn't always Tillet's dream. He initially hoped to become a lawyer. That all changed, however, shortly after his 20th birthday.

Young Maurice
Young Maurice

Tillet And Acromegaly

As he entered his twenties, Tillet started to notice unusual swelling in his hands, feet, and head. When the issue persisted, Tillet sought medical attention, and after running a battery of tests, the doctor gave Tillet a chilling diagnosis: He had acromegaly.

Acromegaly is a hormone disorder that causes the bones to lengthen and thicken. (
Acromegaly is a hormone disorder that causes the bones to lengthen and thicken. (

What Is Acromegaly ?

Acromegaly is a medical condition that causes a benign tumor to grow on the pituitary gland in the brain. The tumor causes the pituitary gland to release excess amounts of growth hormones, which means the tremendous growth spurts that a person experiences in childhood continue unabated into adulthood in patients with acromegaly. People who suffer from acromegaly are much larger than the average adult, with bones that thicken as they lengthen. The bones in their hands, feet, and face are affected the most. As you can imagine, this greatly alters the appearance of the patient.

Cheering Maurice

No Longer An Angel Face