Maurice Tillet, also known as "The French Angel," the "Ugliest Man in the World," and, more recently, the "real-life Shrek," was a French lawyer-turned-wrestler who made a name for himself internationally for both his unique appearance and his signature bear-hug wrestling move. What many don't realize, however, is that this man was also suffering from a tragic disease known as acromegaly that transformed him from a generally normal man with a kind disposition to a man forced into social isolation because of his suddenly inherited deformities.
The man who many believe to be the inspiration behind the titular character in DreamWorks' Shrek was also a soldier, lawyer, renowned wrestler, and even a stunt actor who – despite the pain and isolation he endured from his disease – managed to maintain his kind heart and angelic disposition.
Some Referred To Him As The "Ugliest Man In The World"
Tillet was known to have a sweet disposition, but this hardly deterred critics of his appearance. George Macricostas, another wrestler, is rumored to have exclaimed to his friend, Karl Pojello, "Karl, I have just seen the ugliest man in the world."
He Appeared In A 1935 French Film Called Princesse Tam TamVideo: YouTube
Though little is known about Tillet's involvement in this 1935 Josephine Baker film, he appeared uncredited as a bar patron during one of the film's musical numbers.