Maurice Tillet was a French man born with a rare disorder called acromegaly, which causes abnormal bone growth. Despite his physical differences, Tillet went on to do great things, including learn 14 languages and become a professional wrestler.
Casts were made of his head before he died, and because of the physical similarities and story arch (both he and Shrek overcame their differences to do great things), many people suspect that Shrek was modeled after Tillet.
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