Home Blog Posts Interesting facts Shrek – the Disney ogre – was based on an actual person

Shrek – the Disney ogre – was based on an actual person


Shrek – the Disney ogre – was based on a actual person!

Shrek, a 2001, Disney movie based on an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) whose precious solitude is suddenly shattered by an invasion of annoying fairy tale characters. They were all banished from their kingdom by the evil Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). Determined to save their home -not to mention his – Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad and sets out to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) to be Farquaad’s bride. Rescuing the Princess may be small compared to her deep, dark secret. (source: IMDb)

Here is something you probably didn’t know – Shrek is based on a real person!


Maurice Tillet was a French pro wrestler born in 1903. As a child he had a completely normal appearance and Tillet was nicknamed “The Angel” due to his angelic face. He was highly intelligent, allegedly speaking 14 languages and being quite gifted in prose and Chess. He finished law school but always aspired to be an actor. However, in his twenties Maurice developed Acromegaly, a condition that made his bones grow uncontrollably large (the same disease that Andre the Giant suffered). It caused him to quit his career as a lawyer as he felt people would not accept his appearance in the courtroom. Now you must think- that must have put him down? Think again! He actually headed the exact opposite of down, by going to the United States and taking advantage of his condition.

real-world-shrek2He transformed himself into a pro wrestler called the “French Angel”. He soon became so popular that he was booked unstoppable, going undefeated for a span of 19 months.


Tillet was arguably the biggest wrestling star during the early 1940′s. He was very famous in his time and not just among wrestling fans. He was the subject of numerous magazine features, he always made the newspapers, often the front page, when he came into a town for a match. Due to this bizarre occurrence of events he was also allowed to fulfill his biggest wish… to become a famous actor and starring in a number of successful movies.


In 1953 Mauric Tillet died, not from Acromegaly but from a heart disease. Just shortly before Maurice Tillet passed away Chicago sculptor Louis Linck befriended Tillet and made a series of plaster busts commemorating him for his wrestling career. One of the busts is in the Chicago’s International Museum of Surgical Science. (source: http://www.bizarbin.com/shrek-real-person/)

Fun fact: There is a Broadway musical based on the popular movie – a definite need to watch if you’re a Shrek fan!