Maurice “The French Angel” Tillet

Maurice “The French Angel” Tillet

Birth
France
Death 4 Sep 1954 (aged 50)
Justice, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Burial Justice, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 37985691 · View Source
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Professional Wrestler. Born in France, he was highly intelligent and could speak 14 languages. He was also a keen poet and was hoping to get into the acting business. Tillet won the American Wrestling Association World title and some of his moves included the palm strike and his finisher the bear-hug. In his twenties, he developed acromegaly, a rare disease that causes bones to grow wildly and uncontrollably. Soon his whole body was disfigured as a result. This led to much pain for Tillet as this gentle man was being called names, berated and forced to flee the place he loved so much. Seeking a new identity to fit his chronic disfigurement, Tillet fled to America where he made a living on his appearance by becoming a professional wrestler, and was dubbed as the "freak ogre of the ring". His villain persona ("the French Angel") was an instant success with the crowds. Perhaps the highlight of his career was on August 1, 1944, when The French Angel defeated Steve "Crusher" Casey for the American Wrestling Association World championship. He soon became a recluse, although a few people did manage to befriend Tillet, including the businessman Patrick Kelly, whose home in Braintree, Massachusetts Tillet would often visit. There the pair would often play chess together. Tillet died in 1954 from heart disease at age 51. Bobby Managain, who as Bobby Managoff was a wrestling champ, asked Tillet on his death bed if he could make a plaster cast of his face. Tillet agreed, and Bobby made three masks of his face. One of which was given to Milo Steinborn, while two ended up with Patrick Kelly. Steinborn donated this mask to the York Barbell Museum years ago. One of the masks sat on Kelly's office desks for years, the other he donated to the International Wrestling Museum in Iowa. The animated movie character Shrek was modeled after Tillet.

Bio by: sideshow

Gravesite Details I would like to thank Arleen for the photos of Maurices grave

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: sideshow
  • Added: 5 Jun 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 37985691
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Maurice “The French Angel” Tillet (23 Oct 1903–4 Sep 1954), Find a Grave Memorial no. 37985691, citing Lithuanian National Cemetery, Justice, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .