The story of Maurice Tillet — a real Shrek from Chelyabinsk
Categories: CelebritiesBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/the-story-of-maurice-tillet-a-real-shrek-from-chelyabinsk
Having released several parts of the animated film "Shrek", the DreamWorks film studio, for some reason, hid the fact that the prototype of the green swamp giant was a real person. One look at the photo of wrestler Maurice Tillet is enough to understand that it was he who inspired the artists when working on the image of the main character.
Maurice Tillet was born in Russia, near Chelyabinsk, in 1903. The French family did not end up in the Southern Urals by chance — Maurice's father worked under a contract on the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway as an engineer. The boy's mother taught the children of railway workers French, which was very popular at that time.
Maurice's father died very early, and his mother had to deal with the boy's upbringing herself. Probably, it was thanks to the efforts of his mother that Thiye mastered languages on the fly and in adulthood, in addition to French and Russian, he could speak English and German fluently.
After the October Revolution, mother and son returned to France, where Maurice graduated from a prestigious college in Reims and entered the university. The beginning of his student life coincided with the deterioration of his health — Maurice was diagnosed with acromegaly (a severe disorder of the neuroendocrine system caused by hypersecretion of the so-called growth hormone).
The disease, in which excessive bone growth occurs, did not prevent the young man from studying and even playing rugby professionally in the university team. But, unfortunately, due to the change in appearance, I had to forget about the career of a lawyer, which the young man dreamed of.
When Maurice's appearance changed beyond recognition, he regretfully left school and began to look for a place in life where actions are important, not appearance. The way out for Tiye was to serve in the navy — a young man got a job as a mechanic on a warship, on which he spent the next five years of his life.
It was in the navy that Maurice Tillet became interested in wrestling — during long sea crossings, the team maintained physical fitness with this sport. During his wanderings around the world, the man came to terms with his appearance and even began to treat her with a certain amount of humor. Therefore, when, after his discharge from the navy, Tiye received an invitation to try himself in cinema, he gladly agreed.
With his data, Maurice had the opportunity to act only in comic pictures, and playing minor roles. After shooting in a dozen not too intellectual films, Tiye realized the futility of such a career and moved to the security of the film studio.
Most likely, the man would have worked as a watchman for the rest of his life, guarding the shooting props, if not for a fateful meeting with Carl Poggello, a professional wrestler. Karl, or rather Karolis Pozhela, was born and raised in Lithuania, but his wrestling career gave him the opportunity to travel around the world. Poggello has performed in Europe, North and South America, China and Japan. At the time of the meeting with Tiye, the athlete had already completed his career and was engaged in coaching and producing activities.
Karl saw Maurice on one of the French boulevards — it was difficult not to notice the young giant in the crowd. Poggello immediately realized that in front of him was a real wrestling diamond, which only needed to be given a decent cut.
The young Frenchman had everything he needed to succeed with the viewers of sports shows: physical strength, unusual appearance, charm and, importantly, acting experience. Maurice, after some hesitation, agreed to try himself in wrestling — except for a shaky chair in the watchman's booth, he had nothing to lose.
Under the guidance of an experienced Poggello, Tiye quickly began to make progress in wrestling. Karl was engaged in creating an image of an athlete, staging stunts, developing training programs and signing contracts around the world. Maurice was an obedient student and, as it turned out, a talented wrestler, so the couple's business quickly went uphill.
The charismatic wrestler with an unusual appearance quickly became a favorite of the audience. Tillet had a dizzying success in Europe, and then became one of the favorites of the public in the United States. Thanks to this, Maurice managed to obtain American citizenship without any problems. In the USA, the wrestler became known as the French Angel, and his crowning trick was the "bear grip", from which the opponent could not escape.
Tillet's wrestling career lasted for a long twenty years, during which Maurice repeatedly became a champion. But, despite the harsh profession, the man remained the same at heart. The athlete was a deeply religious person, and there were legends about his responsiveness to other people's misfortunes. The athlete held many charity shows, the funds from which were transferred to orphans and hospitals, while Karl supported the ward in all his affairs.
Over the years of working together with Tia and The Poggellos became close friends, and Maurice was practically a member of his coach's family. Coincidentally, the wrestler and his mentor started having health problems almost simultaneously — Karl was diagnosed with lung cancer, and Maurice began exacerbations of chronic diseases associated with acromegaly. Poggello died on September 4, 1954, and his friend Tiye — just a few hours after receiving the sad news, from a heart attack.
It was decided not to separate friends after death, so Karl and Maurice were buried in the same grave at the Lithuanian cemetery in Justice, Cook County, Illinois. A short but capacious epitaph is carved on their common tombstone: "And death cannot separate friends."
A wonderful athlete and a wonderful person was gone, but the hero, created by the animators of the DreamWorks studio, helped to replicate his image around the world in millions of toys and images. Every time you see the good—natured green Shrek, remember the glorious Maurice Tillet - he undoubtedly deserved it.