Shrek was based on a real human named Maurice Tillet, a Russian-born wrestler who primarily competed in France in the 1940s.
Like the ogre, Maurice was treated like a monster, described as “a fierce monstrosity, not a human being, but a stone of brutality”.
However, he was a man with a huge heart, extremely generous and intelligent.
His appearance was due to a condition called acromegaly, which is usually caused by a benign tumor and symptoms include enlargement of the face, hands and feet.
He lived to be 51 years old, exceeding the low life expectancies that doctors gave him.