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Who knew that Shrek was based on an actual person?

03.01.2011

Here’s something I bet almost none of you know (including myself up until ten minutes ago): Shrek was actually based on a real guy.

No, not Mike Myers, rather his name was Maurice Tillet, a man with a disease called acromegaly which caused him bones to grow uncontrollably and ended up making him disfigured.

Rather than hiding in a locked room for the duration of his life, Tillet used his deformity to become a wrestler known as the “freak ogre of the ring,” but later everyone started calling him "The French Angel" once irony became cool.

Tillet was also a very intelligent guy, and a writer who spoke 14 languages. He fought until he died in 1954 when he was 51. Before that however, he had his face casted, and one of the casts made its way to the New York Barbell museum where it’s supposedly the basis of the animated character. With those features and the “ogre” moniker, it’s hard to believe that’s not the case.

Thanks to slices-of-life for the info, and you can check out more of Maurice below.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: I hear Donkey was inspired by Sarah Jessica Parker.
Source: Slice of Life

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8:13PM on 03/02/2011

Okaaaaay

Thank you for telling us about this man, but why, Tassi, did the man become the character? You left that very crucial part of the story out. Wish you had informed us how this man supposedly went from being some famous mutant to a children's fairy tale character in a book to a cinematic phenomenon. Once again, Paul Tassi goes for the cheap thrill.
Thank you for telling us about this man, but why, Tassi, did the man become the character? You left that very crucial part of the story out. Wish you had informed us how this man supposedly went from being some famous mutant to a children's fairy tale character in a book to a cinematic phenomenon. Once again, Paul Tassi goes for the cheap thrill.
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11:01PM on 03/01/2011

Extra Tidbit

Hilarious, good one Paul. Very interesting article.
Hilarious, good one Paul. Very interesting article.
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9:34PM on 03/01/2011
"The French Angel" was at his coolest in the old giant Gorilla film "Mighty Joe Young" (1949)-see it!!!
"The French Angel" was at his coolest in the old giant Gorilla film "Mighty Joe Young" (1949)-see it!!!
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5:34PM on 03/01/2011

Chirs Farley

Who here also actually knows the voice of Shrek was originally Chris Farley and that there is actually audio somewhere with him as Shrek, and it really was almost a whole different movie
Who here also actually knows the voice of Shrek was originally Chris Farley and that there is actually audio somewhere with him as Shrek, and it really was almost a whole different movie
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8:26PM on 03/01/2011
It was supposed to be a WHOLE different thing than Mike's portrayl. Don't get me wrong, I love Myers but from what I read, you could tell people at Dreamworks dug Farley's more. Not surprised, he was the man!
It was supposed to be a WHOLE different thing than Mike's portrayl. Don't get me wrong, I love Myers but from what I read, you could tell people at Dreamworks dug Farley's more. Not surprised, he was the man!
4:54PM on 03/01/2011

....

Makes me afraid to know who "The Love Guru" was modeled after. But I digress. If anyone over at Joblo gets a chance to interview SJP, can one of you ask her what it felt like to finish behind Secretarit for the Triple Crown? Thanks a bunch.
Makes me afraid to know who "The Love Guru" was modeled after. But I digress. If anyone over at Joblo gets a chance to interview SJP, can one of you ask her what it felt like to finish behind Secretarit for the Triple Crown? Thanks a bunch.
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10:16PM on 03/01/2011
Mike Myers convinced spitual guru Deepak Chopra to do a cameo for the movie. This was already reported on joblo.

[link]
Mike Myers convinced spitual guru Deepak Chopra to do a cameo for the movie. This was already reported on joblo.

[link]
4:10PM on 03/01/2011

Awesome story, Was probably an awesome guy.

Such a shame that instead of making a great story out of this guy and doing backstory and research. They just decided to copy his face make him green and make a shit ton of money. 14 Languages!! Fucking genius.
Such a shame that instead of making a great story out of this guy and doing backstory and research. They just decided to copy his face make him green and make a shit ton of money. 14 Languages!! Fucking genius.
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4:09PM on 03/01/2011
interesting! I didn't know this.
interesting! I didn't know this.
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3:54PM on 03/01/2011

ha extra tidbit

JOBLO FIX YOUR DOUBLE POST CRAP
JOBLO FIX YOUR DOUBLE POST CRAP
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3:52PM on 03/01/2011

ha extra tidbit

HII OOO
HII OOO
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3:32PM on 03/01/2011

Come on...

That Sarah Jessica Parker joke is the oldest one in the book and it is completely unfunny and not true. She might not be the most beautiful person on the face of the planet, but she does not look like a mule or horse and is in no way ugly.

Now if the tidbit said "Sarah Jessica Parker plays annoying characters and sitting through Sex in the City is unbearable", I might be inclined to agree.
That Sarah Jessica Parker joke is the oldest one in the book and it is completely unfunny and not true. She might not be the most beautiful person on the face of the planet, but she does not look like a mule or horse and is in no way ugly.

Now if the tidbit said "Sarah Jessica Parker plays annoying characters and sitting through Sex in the City is unbearable", I might be inclined to agree.
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3:54PM on 03/01/2011
quiet white knight. she is infact a sub species of the Equidae family
quiet white knight. she is infact a sub species of the Equidae family
5:02PM on 03/01/2011
Well, she seems to make a pretty comfy living off of that 'horse-face' of hers, so I guess she's doing something right.
Well, she seems to make a pretty comfy living off of that 'horse-face' of hers, so I guess she's doing something right.
10:25PM on 03/01/2011
proof is in the pics... [link]
proof is in the pics... [link]
-1
2:49PM on 03/01/2011
well, I mean.. I thought I did, I just always assumed Shrek was based on Wayne Rooney.
well, I mean.. I thought I did, I just always assumed Shrek was based on Wayne Rooney.
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3:01PM on 03/01/2011
Someone beat you to it below.
Someone beat you to it below.
2:40PM on 03/01/2011
To be fair, he doesn't have acromegaly half as bad as Matt Smith.
To be fair, he doesn't have acromegaly half as bad as Matt Smith.
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2:36PM on 03/01/2011
Sarah Jessica Parker looks like a fucking horse... her idea of foreplay is a bushel of carrots and a box of sugar-cubes.
Sarah Jessica Parker looks like a fucking horse... her idea of foreplay is a bushel of carrots and a box of sugar-cubes.
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2:26PM on 03/01/2011

Oh Snap!!!

That tidbit is dead on and fucking hilarious!!
That tidbit is dead on and fucking hilarious!!
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2:01PM on 03/01/2011
this is the same illness that plagued John Merrick, who became Elephant Man
this is the same illness that plagued John Merrick, who became Elephant Man
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2:49PM on 03/01/2011
No, it's not. To this day, they're not entirely sure what Joseph Merrick suffered from, despite conducting DNA tests as recently as 2003.
No, it's not. To this day, they're not entirely sure what Joseph Merrick suffered from, despite conducting DNA tests as recently as 2003.
10:30PM on 03/01/2011
Google "elephant man" and you'll see that it wasn't the same condition: Joseph Merrick had tumors all over his body. On the other hand, Andre the Giant had the same condition.
Google "elephant man" and you'll see that it wasn't the same condition: Joseph Merrick had tumors all over his body. On the other hand, Andre the Giant had the same condition.
10:40PM on 03/01/2011
Richard Kiel who played Jaws in the Bond movies had the same condition and _probably_ Lou Ferigno too although that's just speculation. Really any body builder could be suspected of having this condition especially if they have a big head and not just a big body.
Richard Kiel who played Jaws in the Bond movies had the same condition and _probably_ Lou Ferigno too although that's just speculation. Really any body builder could be suspected of having this condition especially if they have a big head and not just a big body.
-45
1:35PM on 03/01/2011

blank

blank
blank
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1:55PM on 03/01/2011
... does not make you funny. It makes you a Sarah Jessica Parker.

*Fixed.
... does not make you funny. It makes you a Sarah Jessica Parker.

*Fixed.
1:56PM on 03/01/2011
I thought she was great as the lead singer for Twisted Sister...
I thought she was great as the lead singer for Twisted Sister...
2:03PM on 03/01/2011
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2:18PM on 03/01/2011
I know, seriously.

Horses are offended if you call them donkeys.
I know, seriously.

Horses are offended if you call them donkeys.
2:27PM on 03/01/2011
Hey, don't be dissing Dee Snider like that. At least he and his band have some talent!
Hey, don't be dissing Dee Snider like that. At least he and his band have some talent!
2:50PM on 03/01/2011
I retract my Dee Snider comment. I'm not saying SJP is ugly, but I hear Matthew Broderick tapes a picture of Alan Ruck to the back of her head when they "celebrate" their wedding anniversary every year.
I retract my Dee Snider comment. I'm not saying SJP is ugly, but I hear Matthew Broderick tapes a picture of Alan Ruck to the back of her head when they "celebrate" their wedding anniversary every year.
3:56PM on 03/01/2011
Sarah Jessica Parker is so ugly....thats all i got
Sarah Jessica Parker is so ugly....thats all i got
4:09PM on 03/01/2011
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1:26PM on 03/01/2011

I hear...

Scorsese is working on the Bio-Pic, LOL
Scorsese is working on the Bio-Pic, LOL
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1:17PM on 03/01/2011

The Swedish Angel

Maurice Tillet was a featured actor in Mighty Joe Young. Along with other strong men he engaged Joe in a tug of war but of course lost. When intoduced in trhe film, he broke a large bar of wood, I guess, across his giant head.
Maurice Tillet was a featured actor in Mighty Joe Young. Along with other strong men he engaged Joe in a tug of war but of course lost. When intoduced in trhe film, he broke a large bar of wood, I guess, across his giant head.
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9:35PM on 03/01/2011
U got that right!!! very cool stong men scene.
U got that right!!! very cool stong men scene.
1:12PM on 03/01/2011

"...bones to grow uncontrollably ..."

So your saying there is a way to control how your bones grow? I wouldn't mind some bone claws like Wolvie...
So your saying there is a way to control how your bones grow? I wouldn't mind some bone claws like Wolvie...
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+9
1:08PM on 03/01/2011
He probably got more out of life than most "normal" people.

I bet he was fun to be around.
He probably got more out of life than most "normal" people.

I bet he was fun to be around.
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+9
12:45PM on 03/01/2011

"The French Angel"

What an incredible guy/story. I love it.
What an incredible guy/story. I love it.
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12:23PM on 03/01/2011
Nonsense, everyone knows Shrek is based on Wayne Rooney.
Nonsense, everyone knows Shrek is based on Wayne Rooney.
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1:53PM on 03/01/2011
I'm glad I read the other comments before posting the same thing.

Well played, Captain. Well played.
I'm glad I read the other comments before posting the same thing.

Well played, Captain. Well played.
2:00PM on 03/01/2011
I was fairly certain Shrek was based on Fantasia Barrino.
I was fairly certain Shrek was based on Fantasia Barrino.
12:01PM on 03/01/2011
very sweet story :)

and yeah tidbit LMFAO!!!
very sweet story :)

and yeah tidbit LMFAO!!!
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11:54AM on 03/01/2011
Cool story bro.

RE Tidbit: hahahaha Very funny and very true.
Cool story bro.

RE Tidbit: hahahaha Very funny and very true.
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