Maurice Tillet: The Inspiration For Shrek Had A Condition Called Acromegaly

By | July 19, 2020

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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. You have to admit, it is kind of uncanny.

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. 

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Tillet showed no sign of his condition until he was in his twenties. (

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.