Who is Shrek Based on: Who was ‘The French Angel’?

Who is Shrek Based on: It’s possible that the man known as The French Angel was the real-life model for Shrek.

The Frenchman, born in Russia and given the name Maurice Tillet, became famous in the 1930s and 1940s as a wrestling superstar. Tillet, who was born in 1903, is rumoured to have been given the nickname “angel” because of his elfin good looks.

However, doctors reportedly diagnosed Tillet with acromegaly while he was just 17 years old, as reported by the Canadian news outlet Canoe. Excessive bone development, most notably in the hands, feet, and face, is a symptom of hormonal disease.

Photos taken of Tillet after his growth surge caused by acromegaly reveal a man who looks suspiciously like Shrek, the lovable ogre from the 2001 film of the same name. According to News.com.au, Tillet joined the French navy after wanting to become a lawyer but instead began a career in professional wrestling in 1937.

DreamWorks, the studio that distributed Shrek, has never commented on the persistent allegation that Tillet’s appearance was the inspiration for the cartoon character, despite the striking similarities between the two. The Huffington Post’s request for comment from a company representative went unanswered for some time.

Who is Shrek?

American studio DreamWorks Animation has created a multimedia franchise based on William Steig’s children’s book Shrek! (1990). The main character, Shrek, is a bad-tempered but good-hearted ogre who grudgingly accepts a quest to save a princess, which leads to his making friends and embarking on many adventures in a fantasy realm.

There are four computer-animated movies in total: 2001’s Shrek, 2004’s Shrek 2, 2007’s Shrek the Third, and 2010’s Shrek Forever After (2010). Shrek 4-D, a short 4-D film based on the original theme park attraction, premiered in 2003.

There have also been two television specials made: Shrek the Halls (2007) for the holidays, and Scared Shrekless (2010) for Halloween. Puss in Boots, released in 2011, and The Last Wish, set for release in 2022, are two of the many films based on the popular book and animated short. A musical adaption also launched on Broadway and ran for almost a year.

Who was ‘The French Angel’?

Maurice Tillet, sometimes known as The French Angel, was a French professional wrestler of Russian descent. Tillet was twice crowned World Heavyweight Champion by Paul Bowser of Boston’s American Wrestling Association and was a major draw at the box office in the early 1940s. Tillet was born to French parents in the Russian Ural Mountains in 1903.

who is shrek based on

His father was an engineer for the railroad, and his mother was a schoolteacher. Early in Tillet’s childhood, his father passed away. His mother called him “The Angel” because he had such a sweet expression when he was young.

Tillet and his mom escaped the Russian Revolution and ended up in Reims, France. Tillet was diagnosed with acromegaly, a disorder characterized by abnormal bone expansion and thickness, at the age of 20. Acromegaly is often brought on by a benign tumor on the pituitary gland.

The French Angel Career

On a visit to Singapore in February 1937, Tillet met professional wrestler Karl Pojello, who convinced him to pursue a career in the field. Tillet and Pojello relocated to Paris for training, and he spent two years wrestling in France and England before fleeing to the United States in 1939 due to the outbreak of World War II.

In 1940, promoter Paul Bowser in Boston, Massachusetts, pushed Tillet, wrestling as The French Angel, as a main eventer, and he became a huge draw in the area. Tillet’s notoriety led to him being billed as an unbeatable opponent, and he stayed that way for a whole nineteen months. Starting in May of 1940 and lasting until May of 1942, Tillet held the title of AWA World Heavyweight Champion. In 1944, he made a brief return to the Boston-based publication.

Read More: Who is the Dropout Based on: What Happened to Elizabeth Holmes?

The French Angel Death

Tillet passed away on September 4th, 1954, in Chicago, Illinois. The news of the passing of his friend and former trainer, Karl Pojello, caused him to have a heart attack. Tillet and Pojello are buried next to each other in the Lithuanian National Cemetery in Justice, Illinois, Cook County, which is located twenty miles (32 kilometers) south of Chicago. Friends Whom Even Death Couldn’t Part” is engraved on their tombstones.


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