Below are some newspaper articles, book extracts, and some personal stories about Maurice. Some have come to me directly from those who knew him. Even though Maurice died long ago, his personality and actions have had a lasting affect on all those that knew him. Maurice's story embodies how one can, with extreme challenges, become incredible, and inspire all those around him. Maurice worked to remain physically, emotionally, and spiritually strong. At the same time, he was continually regarded for his intelligence, kindness, and generosity. Maurice set an amazing example of how to live an authentic and amazing life.
Story from Philip Smith 01/09/2014. Philip's father met Maurice in the early 1940's -“I saw the FaceBook post ‘French Angel was Shrek’, and I remembered the name French Angel and the admiration in my father's face. My father spoke about Maurice to me a few times. Maurice must have had a huge intellect. I lost my dad when I was 10 years old. My father was very well read with very high intellect. What really impressed him was a person’s intellect.
The stories were told to me between the ages of 8 and 10 years old.
My father, George Richard Smith, used to drive to Adelaide, Australia, which is a 450 kilometer drive one way, for business every few months. He would take me along for company on these trips. While in the car he would tell me stories of places he been and things he done and seen. We would take a pit stop and he would sit there and read people from the way they walked, talked, and held themselves etc. He would talk about people in politics/sports, past and present, and relate why they maybe did what they did. The French Angel was one of the people he had the good fortune to have met and had a meal with.
My father started as a Navy, went to Saw Doctoring, and later in life earned a degree in Engineering and a PHD in mathematics, so that he could teach math at a night college.
He did everything at double speed, including eating and speaking. He was extremely blunt and to the point. He had no patience for fools and was very impatient. He loved, with a passion, any chance to debate anything for the joy of mental gymnastics. He mentioned Maurice spoke and ate painfully slow but he did not mind as the conversation was excellent and stimulating. Maurice held his attention, which was not a common occurrence. My father was not the kind of man to admire others easily. He said that Maurice had a great sense of humor, and was an intelligent, enlightened man with a wonderful outlook on life.My father served for 4 1/2 years aboard the HMAS Australia as a Stoker Man and Anti Air Craft Gunner during World War Two. He was a fight fan, primarily boxing, but also wrestling. He had seen newspaper clipping and photos of the French Angel in sports sections of papers. During one of the HMAS Australia's visits to America during WWII, I am not sure what year or what port, either New York or San Francisco, my father did what he did at each port om visiting with his shipmates and arranging boxing and sometime wrestling matches between American and Australian forces.
They were friendly bouts, but sailors being sailors they bet on matches with money, or for goods. During one of these matches a rather large quantity of cigarettes where won by my father and his friend. After the match they found the cigarette packets had been resealed and stale bread was in them instead of cigarettes. Enraged, my father and his shipmate took after the American service men. They chased them out of the state they were in, which they were not allowed to do. My mother thinks it was New York but does not know in and which state they went too.
They lost the trail of the American service men, and went to a cafe to get a drink to drown their sorrows, and to come up with excuse as to why they were AWOL. They knew they be in heap of trouble when they got back
When at the café, the French Angel walked in with another man and took a table for a meal. My father and his friend knew who Maurice was, and was surprised how short he was. They did a bit of staring and Maurice eventually waved them over to his table. My father was apologizing for the staring but Maurice just waved this off but started asking questions about the HMAS Australia. My father and his friend were in uniform and on their uniforms was HMAS Australia
HMAS Australia, at the outbreak of the war, was sent to help counter the Italian Navy but after France was taken, the French navy was split in two. There was the Free French navy and the French navy under German command.
The HMAS Australia served with the French Navy, for few months, and engaged the French navy with the Free-french and British navy. Maurice called them to his table in order to ask about some of the French ships. Father and his friend was not aboard the HMAS Australia, at that time, but related the tales of the action from other shipmates.
Maurice then asked them to join him for a meal and they had an evening talking.
They started out talking about the Navy, but my father being an engineer at heart, the topic more to engineering and architecture, and the effect of new building methods, and the effect it would have on the make-up of city life for city people, the possibilities for the future of cities, etc.
The only negative thing he said about Maurice was, "He drank bloody plonk, only thing I could fault the man on, I sat there and managed a few glasses of the bloody stuff, did not want to hurt his feelings so drank few of the fowl stuff". PLONK is an Australian slang term for wine, sherry, port etc. My father was a strict beer or whisky drinker, he did not like plonk at all. I have no doubt that Maurice paid for the drinks and that's why his dad drank it. Their pay at that time was often delayed during the war, or he lost his pay betting too much on fights.
My mother said my father was so impressed by the depth of his intellect he did not even think about Maurice’s appearance until he was at sea again. My father was impressed, here was a man dealt a horrible misfortune, but made his peace with it, and was living a full life. Maurice took what he was given and turned it into positive. This is how my father remembered this chance meeting. Not his appearance, but a warm friendly man with an intellect that is rare indeed. To use a navy term, an officer and a gentleman.
This meeting had such an effect on my father was that later in life he would recall his meeting with Maurice, and he used this meeting partly to help with trails that my family went through later. My mother suffered Polio and the doctors told my parents she would never get out of a wheel bed. My father would say if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. He would give examples of people who he felt where good examples of not giving in. Maurice was one of them. For the record my mother farther refused to give in to her polio and she had a normal life except for dancing. She is now 88 years old now and still swims, go for long walks, lawn bowls, ten pin bowling and drives a car still.
To sum up a fight fan, by chance met a fighter, they had a meal together and my father discovered he was not what he was appeared to be, but instead was quite a soul. In my father’s own words, "One of those rare souls, someone upon meeting and talking to you, you do not remember his looks, you remember the man"
The article below is clearly a SERIOUS work of fiction in depicting how Maurice got his look. I include it as the earliest found article on Maurice's entry to wrestling.
Weekly Sporting Review from England Oct 21, 1938 –
"He may not be another Robert Taylor, and his looks may not go over in a big way with the female element, yet THE “ ANGEL” is definitely an attraction.
The “Angel” is fast becoming one of the wrestling world’s biggest box-office magnets. He has appeared in all parts of the world with pronounced success; there is no disputing his capabilities as a grapler.
Possessed not only of abnormal strength, The “Angel” has scientific qualities which he can match against the best in the grappling game, and it is only when the opposition gets rough that he, too, emerges the same way.
Behind The “Angel” lies and astounding story. It will challenge any in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” series. One day, The Weekly Sporting Review will publish its full details; for the moment we shall describe it briefly.
The “Angels” real name in Maurice Tillet. He was born in the Russian Mountains of wealthy and athletic parents. He was unnaturally strong, lived in the open air, kept fit by felling trees. There was nothing abnormal about him except his great strength. He was tall, good-looking, perfectly proportioned. His parents sent him to college, where he had the finest education money could secure. He learned several languages. Maurice, at the age of 19, fell in love with a beautiful Russian girl. They married. He was ardently devoted to his wife, worshiped her. They traveled the world on their honeymoon. His wife, too, was athletic and a lover of the open country. She loved hunting, and one of the most intriguing parts of their honeymoon was an expedition in the African jungle.
Then Tragedy stepped in.
Maurice and his wife had made several excellent “bags” and then on their way back when suddenly from out of the thicket sprang an infuriated tigress.
With the speed of fueled lightning, the tigress pounced on Maurice's wife with horrible grimness began to maul her.
Maurice was unable to prevent the ghastly procedure. The animal had her in it’s clutches like a leech and the first blow had killed the woman outright.
Maurice, powerless, afraid to use his gun in fear that he would shoot his wife by mistake, stood petrified to the spot, watching with ???? ???? the terrible scene in front of him.
The Tigress had done its work only too well, and as the fearful aftermath of what had occurred dawned upon the unhappy man, he had a strange sensation overcome him. Every nerve in his body became paralyzed, his face took on a fearful shape. The shock had distorted every fiber in Maurice’s frame – fear and horror had transformed him from a human being into a freak.
Maurice ran away from the frightening scene… he ran wildly, blindly, until he was picked up by natives.
Doctors were stunned when they learned of the amazing change of the man. They had him under observation for many months made a “study” of the sensational change. But they could not bring him back to normal. The transformation had set in with startling completeness.
The “Angel.” Heartbroken by the loss of his wife, gradually broke away from his parents, forgot the rest of the world, traveled as a freak in circuses and was ultimately discovered by Karl Pojello, the Lithuanian wrestler, who trained him to become a grapler."April 1960, N.Z. Sports Digest - When Maurice first came to the U.S. is 1940, he left Genoa Italy aboard the S.S. Rex. On his U.S. entry details he listed himself as, "Known as the Angel" and occupation "Artist". On 01/13/40 he left the Rex. at 10AM, and was flagged and "Held for Special Inquiry". Reason given, "No C.I.V.". He was held for three days, given three days worth of meals, and released, 01/16/1940 at 11:25am. The following was an explanation given from Sports Digest:
"....When Maurice landed in America he was accompanied by Karl Pojello, An American of Lithuanian extraction and formerly one of the wrestling greats. Maurice spoke no word of English. All the questions the customs men fired at him were answered by Pojello. After each question the Port Officials stared at Tillet, still fascinated by his grotesque appearance.
They were obviously frightened. As if this Ape Man was about to let out a screech and start to swing from the ships ropes hanging nearby from the liner. But Tillet uttered not a singly word. He just stood and looked and listened. One could not but wonder what was going on in the mind of this strange creature. Suddenly some passengers paused at the long customs table. They were a family - the parents, the three children, from two to six years of age. While the grown ups drew away in revulsion, the children went closer to Tillet, and suddenly were hugging his legs, sitting on his lap, holding his hands and glancing shyly into the mask-like countenance with confidence and trust. What had escaped the adults had gone right into the hearts of the children. Maurice had a good and gentle heart of gold. Maurice was held for several days until immigration authorities made up their minds what to do with him. When asked what his profession was, he spoke the one English word he knew, "wrestler". That answered a lot of questions and made hitherto obscure things clear..."
Theory: Customs agents somehow put down that he was an artist, this detail, and his being Russian/French, speaking no English, and looking as Maurice looked, raised concerns for the agents. Likely once it was explained that he was a wrestler, and providing tbe detail that he was, "Known as the Angel", in wrestling circles, made clear why he was coming to the U.S. to the satisfaction of immigration.
Fortnight ago a bandy-legged Billiken with a massive gargoyle head, a nose like a Bartlett pear, ham hands and fiddle-case feet, popped out of Central Park woods in Manhattan and loped off around the reservoir in a tiger-cat trot. Manhattanites who brisk around the reservoir in wintry weather are generally game guys, but one gander at this interloper was enough to send some skedaddling.
Readers of LIFE, however, recognized him at a glance. He was the Angel, an awesome, Continental wrestler introduced pictorially to the U. S. by LIFE last September, while he was still being billed in England as "that ferocious monstrosity, not a human being, but 20 stone of brutality." The Angel is now in the U. S. to try his particular brand of might & mayhem in the no-holts-barred roughhouse that passes in the U. S. for wrestling.
Last week in Boston, the 280-lb. Angel took on his first comer, Luigi Bacigalupi, 275-lbs. ringside. In the Boston Arena, 7,000 wrestling fans (twice the usual number) stood on their chairs as the Angel trod up the aisle. In the ring, Bacigalupi whanged the Angel's cowcatcher jaw with a barrage of forearm wallops. The Angel only growled, waded in, got a headlock, a full nelson, a head scissors, an armlock, and then the hold the fans were waiting for —his touted bear hug. He simply crooked his cordwood arms around Luigi's vast circumference, hooked his stubby broomstick fingers behind, squeezed. Bacigalupi wheezed and bellowed while his breath lasted, then the Angel grabbed him with an inside crotch & lift, slammed him to the mat and pinned him for fall No. 1 in just short of six minutes. Fall No. 2 took only 2:12. Twenty minutes later handlers carried Luigi off, done in for at least two weeks.
With his face & form, if the Angel keeps on winning he stands to be the biggest box-office draw in wrestling since Gus Sonnenberg ten years ago showed the way to the current, lucrative stomp-&-tromp, body-slam, flying-tackle technique.
The Angel is actually Maurice Tillet, born of French parents in the Russian Urals 35 years ago. His mother, who has always called him Angel (Ange), he say’s is now a professor of languages in a girls' college at Rheims. Something went wrong with Maurice's glandular system (probably acromegaly) when he was very young, but his mother still called him Ange. Maurice turned out to be a good athlete, was once a circus strong man, played on the All-France rugby team against England, once met George V after a match. He served in the French Navy, was mustered out in Singapore a few years ago and, so the story goes, stayed there to shoot tigers.
At any rate, a touring, Lithuanian-born U. S. wrestler named Carl Pojello met him in Singapore in 1936 in Le Laurier bar. One handshake was enough for Pojello. He took the Angel to Paris, taught him all he knew about the U. S. catch-as-catch-can, or British "all-in," wrestling business. Since then, in 140 matches in six countries, according to uncontradicted reports, the Angel has been unbeatable.
In the U. S., Manager Pojello (still a wrestler himself at 42) wisely avoided the more hippodromic Manhattan wrestling syndicates (Jack Pfeffer's "Bums," etc.), picked up with Boston's Paul Bowser. Bowser, now the Angel's matchmaker, recognizes one Steve Casey as U. S. champion, claiming for this crown an unbroken line of descent all the way back to Frank Gotch, who retired as champion in 1913. Other current "recognized" U. S. champions: Veteran Jim Londos (N. Y., Pa., & Calif.) ; Bronko Nagurski and/or Bobby Bruns (Midwest); Everett Marshall (Rocky Mts.). None of these prize beeves has yet offered the Angel a bout, but if he mops up the rest of the herd, the champs may have to face him or quit.
Behind the massive, masklike face that looks like something out of a Coney Island mirror, the Angel is not a bad egg. Well-manicured and groomed, his pilgarlic pate usually covered in public with a beret, he reads authors such as Paul Bourget (Le Disciple), speaks hoarse but genteel French and smatterings of four other tongues, avoids crowds when he can.
He eats five times a day, with big helpings of fruit in between. Favorite fruit: bananas; next: pears, which he gobbles up the way others do grapes. Of U. S. wrestling tactics, he has not yet run the full gamut, will not venture a full critique. Asked, however, how the slugging Bacigalupi welcome in Boston struck him, he replied blandly: "Je ne suis pas une jeune fille" (approximately: "I'm no lily").
Biloxi Daily Herald, February 20, 1940 -
Paul Bowser's latest foreign wrestling importation, Maurice Tillet (better known as the Angel) has a part in the French film, "The Harvest," now showing on Broadway.
Time Magazine Article from March 4th,1940 -
M. Maurice Tillet is an amiable Frenchman who recently journeyed to the U. S. to engage in wrestling bouts. His nickname is "The Angel." Much excited by photographs of his monstrous head were four enterprising young anthropologists at Harvard, Carlton Stevens Coon, Hallam Leonard Movius Jr., Carl Coleman Seltzer and William Herbert Sheldon Jr. They wanted to measure it. Last week they announced that they had indeed taken the Angel's measurements.
M. Tillet is the victim (or, as a wrestler, the beneficiary) of pituitary overdevelopment, resulting in acromegaly—enlargement of the face and jaws. The Harvardmen X-rayed his head, found the sella turcica, which houses the pituitary, considerably enlarged. They measured the tremendous, coffin-shaped face, found it 7.16 inches wide, 7.05 inches long from nose-bridge to jaw-point. They also noted huge protuberances over the eyebrows and at the back of the head, an elevation like a ridgepole from front to back of the cranium.
It seemed likely that pituitary excess set in after the Angel's long bones had stopped growing, otherwise he might have been a giant. His overdevelopment is lateral. Though just under 5 ft. 10 in. tall, he weighs 276 Ibs. One investigator declared: "The collar bones and rib cage are the most massive I have ever seen. . . . The tremendous nuchal [back-of-the-neck] musculature is quite beyond anything I have ever conceived."
The anthropologists found M. Tillet "intelligent, very appealing, kindly and gentle." In short, they liked him. At an afternoon party, he refused sherry and cigarets, took tea and cookies. Like most French commoners, he has a profound respect for the learned professions. He asked Earnest Albert Hooton, famed bellwether of Harvard anthropology, for a signed photograph. Hooton complied, and received from the Angel an elegant letter of thanks, in French, with practically no spelling mistakes.
Last week, back in his garish world of grab-grunt-&-grimace, M. Tillet wrestled in Washington against one Alan Eustace. Five hundred would-be spectators were turned away from the small arena and, as usual, the Angel won, in 10½ minutes.
Chicago Tribune, Thursday March 21, 1940 -
“THE ANGEL PINS MR. DUSEK AMID 6,000 O’S, AH’S"
The Angel, that petit cherub of wrestling who resembles a drama parlay of an Edgar Allen Poe tale and a Walt Disney nightmare, had a busy day in our town.
Yesterday he submitted to a to-hour survey of his peculiar physique by Henry Field, curator of the Field Museum. Mr. Field decided after one glance to call up on the United States army engineers for a lift, but finally went ahead and did the job himself, skipping the aerial photos usual in such work.
Last night, a gaping throng of 6,000, including Mr. Field, witnessed the Angel’s Chicago debut as a wrestling artist in the Coliseum. That undertaking also was a success, for the 36-year-old Frenchman, whose right name is Maurice Tillet. It took him only 15 minutes 4 seconds to subdue tough Ernest Dusek with his own contribution to mat curios – the bear hug.
One cynic who knew that the Angel already had flattened the ornery Dusek with as much dispatch in New York recently insisted on throwing peanuts into the ring, but all in all the anthropologists and plain wrestling folk alike took to the Angel in such a fashion that there is danger of his returning.
Mr. Field found Maurice one of the most intelligent and gracious subjects he ever has run across. The regular sweat-and-snort clientele had to admit that the Angel, for all of the apparent unwieldiness of his 276 pounds on a 5 foot 8 ¾ inch frame, is a highly agile gent.
Dusek, whose wrestling manners never have won the Emily Post mat award, attempted to inject a touch of bare knuckle sauce into the entertainment, but a few dainty flicks of the Angel’s frying pan palm almost planted Ernest in Commissioner Joe Triner’s lap. Other results:
Ruffy Silverstein threw Olaf Olson (20:49); Lou Thesz threw hans Kampfer (23:34); Leo Lefebvre and Seelie Samara, wrestled 30 minutes no decision; Karl Pojello threw Rudy Kay (16:51).”
Oakland Tribune pg1 June 29 1940 -
NIGHTMARE LOOKS NICER THAN THE ANGEL-BUT HE'S SMART – By ALAN WARD An hour is spent with Maurice Tillet, alias The Angel, and at the end of that period the observer has lost his initial sense of pity and amazement at this gentle fellow on whom Nature played such a scurvey trick. A first glance at The Angel in the flesh produces a definite shock on the beholder. Facially he is like nothing ever perceived outside of a nightmare, attack of the delirium tremens or a caricature with accent on the grotesque.
HAS NO WORRIES
Here, too. is a human who looks on life with tranquil eyes, who neither is abashed nor annoyed by the curious stares offhe public, who lives in a mental world all his own and into which domain no outsider might tresspass. This writer is positive The Angel, heavyweight wrestler that will shuffle onto the local Auditorium mat next Friday Night for his first Oakland appearance and neither in…..(unreadable)…enjoys a calm, detached amusement when he realizes the shocked awe in which he is held by his fellow men and women. The Angel is billed as “The Worlds Ugliest Man.” And the three sheet-ing represents sheer understatement. The Angel Transcends all human ugliness… and in that very grotesqueness of physiognomy is a fascination difficult to analyze. Perhaaps the very placidity o£ his countenance is a factor in establishing the mental reaction of the observer Karl Pojello, himself a professional wrestler and close friend and manager for The Angel, insists this bogeyman of the padded mat is not the least concerned by his side-show appearance. "He is a good man, a smart man and long ago— or ever since he was a little boy— he quit being unhappy because he was different," Pojello tells you.
NATIVE OF FRANCE
Perhaps The Angel, Nature's prank though he may be, has attained that state of complete tranquility which so many humans seek to attain, but never grasp. The Angel, a native of France speaks English so poorly it is necessary that questions be directed a Pojello, and Karl, a bright-eyed Lithuianian, has an answer for each of them. The voice of The Angel, when he chooses to use it, is almost as startling as his appearance. It is astoundingly deep and guttural, and rolls from cavernous depths. But the voice fits its owner to a T. It hardly would be fitting il this huge individual, with a face which might have been carved from granite by a Gutzon Borglum after a tough Saturday night. Flanked by Pojello on one side Paul Bowser on the other, and will Ad Santel, local wrestling referee bringing up the rear, The Angel paid a social call to Oakland yesterday, a prelude to his formal appearance next week. Bowser, the most powerful figure in American matdom, accompanied The Angel on his Western tour, and will return with him to the East for another two or three weeks. . .which would indicate Bowser rather that Pojello pulls the strings which make The Angel dance, Speaking figuratively, of course. Pojello, as effervescent and glib as his gargantuan playmate, is self-contained and serene, tell you.
The Angel Is 36 years old weighs 276 pounds and stands 5 feet 8 and 3-4 inches; that he was a petty officer on a French submarine following the first World WarI that his father, a mining engineer, left him well fixed but he wrestles for the sheer fun of it. . . .That he Pojello) met The Angel in Africa early in 1937 and or learning his newly found friend aspirations to become a professions matman, undertook to augment a few simple lessons in the ancient art taken aboard the French submersible.. . .That for seven months The Angel worked like a fool to master the intricacies of grappling, launching his professional career late that year and gaining an instantaneous financial success.. . .That (and in this opinion Bowser heartily concurred) had The Angel visited the United States four or five years ago, when the mat sport was at its height here, there wouldn't have been an arena of the size sufficient to house the crowds.
AND THE ANGEL ATE
I opened this story with the statement one loses his sense of amazement and sympathy after sitting with The Angel for an hour. I'll close reiterating the opinion It was noticeable of a noon-day gathering of 12 men, one calm and un-concerned and leisurely individual ate his food and occasionally conversed with his neighbor. That individual was The Angel.
Oakland Tribune July 3, 1940 -
'Angel' Seeks Match With Hitler!
…..Mons. Tillet was telling me—through his interpreter, Karl Pojello, that he left his mother, the $25,000 home and his life savings in Rheims, France, when he left there six months ago Nazis spared one of his possessions and doesn't know if the nazi’s spared one of his possessions. Reminded that Herr Hitler has probably confiscated all his dough by now and that a Nazi general is probably living in his Rheims castle pressed If, indeed, it has not been bombed "The Angel" grunted something in French…."He said," Pojello enlightened me, "that he wishes he had Hitler here right now. He says he would squeeze him to death with his bear hug " But that would be unnecessary. If "The Angel" ever saw Hitler he would scare him to death ... I hope.
Oakland Tribune July 5, 1940 –
The Angel, 276 pound, French Wrestler believed by scientists to be the strongest man in the world, will make his first active appearance in Oakland at the auditorium tonight….
"The Angel", as a man, is an amazing series of contradictions. According to Americans who have quizzed him in French, he is well mannered, intelligent and well-bred. The son of a wealthy engineer, he has lived most of his life in a large chateau in Northern France, although he spent much of his youth in Russia. The Frenchman,according to doctors who have examined him, is the most amazing physical specimen in the world today. He has an enormous head, with facial features to match; a tremendous pair of shoulders and hands, and small legs….
Because of the peculiarities of his personality and the success of his career, “The Angel” has revived wrestling wherever he has traveled in America. He has consistently wrestled to standing - room – only houses. Consequently a capacity crowd is expected tonight at the Auditorium.
Oakland Tribune July 11, 1940 -
Modernizing the version of the "Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde" legend, Maurice Tillet of France, "The Angel," will attempt to materialize this gruesome, yet admirable character when he will turn over a large share of his earnings received from his wrestling match with Ivan Rasputin tomorrow night at the Auditorum to the French Red Cross….
San Antonio Light Pg10&13 Aug 1 1940 -
Pojello, always an athlete, says he was wrestling instructor in Russia's royal palace for two years before the revolution in 1917. He then turned professional and started kicking around the world. He came to the United States in 1923 and took out his first citizenship the next day. Meanwhile, Tillet served in the French navy, also taking part in wrestling and other sports. He weighed only 180 when he was In the navy, and played Rugby until he passed the 200-pound mark…… Pojello was in the Malay States to wrestle, so he managed to get Tillet a spot on the preliminary, where he was billed as "The Angel of France". Believing he had a "natural” Pojello finally brought Tillet back to France, and picked his wrestling spots carefully. They hit England at coronation time, and really began to grab headlines. Tillet WAS a natural, his grotesque features peeking forth from the front pages of even the most conservative papers….. After a bit of this Pojello took Tillet aside, he had learned to speak French by this time and said: "Mon cher Maurice, we now are going to America. "Which they did. And practically every man, woman and child on the hemisphere now is familiar with "The Angel," due to the enormous flow of publicity occasioned by Tillet's freakish appearance. Do Tillet and Pojello like this country? Wow, I will tell you this, for Maurice and me," Pojello says. "If the people of Europe could know what America is like, do you know how many people would be left over there? just four—King Geoge, Stalin, Mussolini and Hlitler!" When France declared war upon Germany, Tillet immediately registered, but no navy men over the age of 30 were called. Upon arrival in America, he visited the French consul, and reminded them he was ready to join the navy at any time the mother country saw fit. So he's no slacker. “Maurice is the perfect Athlete” His suave manager claims. “He is overgrown it is true, but he is as strong as he appears." Tillet has dropped only two falls since he entered this hemisphere losing one to Crusher Casey and another to Yvon Robert, the latter in Montreal, where the two Frenchmen drew lO,OOO spectators…… he's not "dumb" by any means. He reads as often as possible, his favorite author being Paul Bourget, a Frenchman who turns out literature of the "intellectual" type. He likes dancing, music and American girls – with reservations. He thinks American lassies are richer, wear more expensive clothes, but just can't compare to the French mademosille when it comes to sex appeal…..
Brownsville Herald August 14, 1940 -
"Texas Clips Wings - Of France's'Angel" AUSTIN – (AP) Maurice" "Angel" Tillet, French wrestler with the un-beautiful physiognomy, was suspended for an Indefinite period Wednesday by the boxing and wrestling division of the state bureau of labor statistics. The division notified Tillet he was deprived of his right to wrestle In Texas because of his failure to fulfill contract to appear In Houston Aug. 9.
Joplin Globe October 3, 1940 -
A National Wrestling Association suspension against The Angel for a riot at Houston, which the N. W. A. said was the result of Tillet's actions in and out of the ring, has been lifted.
Joplin Globe October 10, 1940 -
The Angel probably has been viewed by district fans in pictures if not in reality. He has been shown pulling a locomotive, lifting automobiles and otherwise showing his strength. The Angel, as Maurice Tillet is known, was discovered on the streets of Paris by two American wrestlers who were touring France.
Miami Daily News Record October 14, 1940 -
A National lifted a suspension against the Angel because of a riot in Houston, which the N.W.A said was caused by the Angels action, in and out of the ring, has been lifted. He will appear in Joplin while enroute from east California for a hunting trip.
Connellsville Daily Courier November 19, 1940 -
It was originally planned to bring the Angel (Maurice Tillet) in for next week's show but the 'horror" man has not fully recovered from yellow jaundice which he contracted three weeks ago.
Manitowoc Herald Times December 18, 1940 -
"The Angel" Is the only child of wealthy French parents. His father was a mining engineer in Russia's Ural mountains and his mother before her marriage was a French professor in Moscow university. She bestowed the nickname “Angel” on her son at birth.
Capital Times January 6, 1941 -
He wants you to know he is Just a sad French-man who weeps with sorrow over his countries death. A man and not monstrosity who looks at you intently and who speaks in a soft, clear voice…… Manager Pajello… Yes, The Angel comes of solid parental stock, his mother, who has been missing In France for several months, was a professor in foreign language at Moscow university and in Paris….. "Maurice is going to be an American citizen," Pajelle breaks out a smile wreathing his face. "Maurice already has his first papers and we are going to be American, good ones too. Soon we leave for tour of South America, Australia and great places which have never seen Maurice. He is so serious in this. So interested in people. He is fine character and you can tell your people that with your American 'esprit.'"….. He's a freak, a physical question-mark which even brought Harvard anthropology professor to claim he win an example of Neanderthal ages and his odd shaped head and body were measured, photographed and sculped for posterity. But the veneer, thick as it is can be brushed aside, In a sentence from Maurice: "Comme ea—like that—elle morte—she died!"
Des Moines, Iowa: Monday, January 6, 1941 -
(The Coliseum) … Maurice Tillet b. Red Ryan (2-0) … Hans Steinke b. Ole Olsen … Pete Baltram and Joe Esposito drew (30:00) … Frank Judson b. Charlie Monoogan … (promoter: Walter Gettson) … (3,100 fans) Notes: Tillet was billed as the “World’s Champion,” and Ryan was called the “Southern Champion.” Tillet was managed by Karl Pojello. According to the Des Moines Register, Tillet “got the ‘Angel’ name when he was a baby and his mother called him that.” Pojello said: “When he started wrestling, he used the name again because he thought it would attraction attention.” The paper said that the “Angel always gets 10 hours sleep a day and has to ‘because wrestling is so hard and he must stay in condition.’” Pojello claimed that Tillet was a “clean wrestler,” but when his opponent “gets dirty,” he will pay them back.
Arizona Independent Republic, Phoenix Arizona, Sunday Morning, Feb. 23rd 1941 -
in Boston, Joseph L. Murphy, state senator, contends that bean-town wrestling is a racket and that Maurice (The Angel) Tillet is a Fraud … Paul Bowser, promoter, promptly challenged him to step into circle with Tillet and support oratory with action. Murphy accepted on the condition that the Angel place his title on the line.
The Lowell Sun - Lowell Mass. Wednesday February 26th 1941 - Paul Bowser, local wrestling impresario, made only one stipulation today in offering to sign a world's championship match between Slate Senator Joseph Murphy and the title holder, Maurice Tillet "The Angel". Bowser invited the senator to meet him at the Arena tonight to sign a contract "My only stipulation is that the senator agree, and I am drawing a clause In the contract, that he will not hold The Angel, myself, or anyone connected with promoting the match, liable /or any personal Injuries he may receive in the contest," said Bowser upon returning from Pittsburgh. Murphy, speaking in behalf of legislation to provide state boxing commission supervision of wrestling, alleged on the senate floor that wrestling is a "racket." He said the sport is controlled by three men in this country, with Bowser running affairs in the east. To provide further publicity for his bill, Murphy, a five foot, 11-1/2 inch, former semi-professional football player, who weighs 200 pounds, issued a challenge to The Angel, provided the match were for the title. He promised that if contracts for the match were signed he would throw "The Angel into Bowser's lap." Bowser said at the meeting tonight he will point out to the senator the seat he expected to sit in.
Bakersfield Californian July 17 1941 -
He would like to marry some rich pretty girl, settle down to a life of ease and travel. So he said last night, through an Interpreter. He's a bit choosy about the girl, as she would be undoubtedly if she picked him. She must be around 25 years of age, not weighing more than 110 pounds and have no more than $5,000,000 to let him "manage" for her. She must be pretty. Tillet, who is a courteous, mild mannered individual outside the ring, has been a professional wrestler for four years. He was an amateur wrestler for five years and played rugby football for six years. He eats slowly, sometimes taking two hours for a meal. He likes French food, orange and celery juice, little wine.
Suburbanite Economist January 29, 1941
WRESTLERS MEET IN BENEFIT SHOW
'The Angel" and English Champ Will Battle Tonight –
More than a ton of wrestlers will feature the Lithuanian division's drive for funds for the Infantile Paralysis foundation tonight… The feature bout of the evening will be between Maurice Tillet and Lord Albert Mills. Tillet is the original "Angel" and Mills is reputedly the heavyweight champion of England….Another feature of the program will be the presentation of the "Angel's Queen." The "Angel" has been matched with gorillas for beauty, checked by scientists to see if he is the missing link in the cycle of evolution and has posed for pictures with Gypsy Rose Lee, but apparently this is the first time he has served at a judge of a beauty contest….. Proceeds from tonight's show will be turned over to the Cook County chapter of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, Inc.
Daily Kennebec Journal April 3, 1941 -
The World’s Heavyweight wrestling champion, Maurice Tillet of France: known as "The Angel," visited the Veterans Administration Facility on Wednesday forenoon with a party of friends. While at the station he visited the barracks and the hospital.
Ogden Standard Examiner February 21, 1941 -
Senator Challenges Eastern Mat Marvel
BOSTON, Feb. 21 (AP) — The question of whether husky State Senator Joseph L. Murphy will enter the ring in an effort to throw Maurice (The Angel) Tillet, huge professional wrestler, reached point today where nobody could back down very well….. Promoter Paul Bowser retaliated by offering to match the pair in a charity bout. Murphy accepted —with one provision—and said: "I shall be happy to toss the so-called champion into Mr. Bowser's lap when I use my new hold— the kerry buck." Murphy's stipulation—the championship belt" must be at stake. Now its Bowser's turn.
Nevada State Journal February 23, 1941 -
Bald State Solon Hurls Challenge to Grapple Angel
BOSTON, Feb. 22. (UP)—Joseph L. Murphy, bald 33-year-old state senator from Dorchester, today challenged Maurice (the Angel) Tillet….. Murphy said that wrestling is a "racket" and is certain he can defeat the Angel, whom Harvard anthropologists have described as "the quintessence of physical power"—so certain that he already has arranged for Tillett to "have a free bed and special nurses at City hospital after the match." It all started when Murphy, who stands 5 feet, 11 inches and weighs 200 pounds, introduced a bill in the state senate to place wrestling under jurisdiction of the boxing commission. "Wrestling is a racket," he said then. "Even I could defeat the Angel, and he's called world's heavyweight champion."
Arizona Independent Republic March 6, 1941 -
Senator Offered Wrestling Bout
CAMDEN, N. J., Mar. 5—(INS) - Joseph L. Murphy, the Massachusetts state senator who has offered to meet and toss Maurice (The French Angel) Tillet to prove wrestling bouts are fakes, today was given a chance to enter a ring with the 276-pound grappler. An offer to stage the match was wired Murphy at the state house in Boston by Frank and Ray Hanly, Camden wrestling promoters. They would use the 5,000-seat Camden convention hall for the bout and proposed a 35 per cent share in the gate receipts for the legislator. The Angel asserted he was ready to "geeve Murphy a good wresting lesson anny time, anny place" and would pass the proceeds along to charity.
Bismarck Tribune May 28, 1941 -
Measured by Eastern doctors because of his unusual appearance. They took X-rays of every bone in his body, studied the structure and size, and then pronounced him "an anatomical freak, a fellow who looks like the most powerful man who ever lived." Their statement covers both sides Of the French grappler from the standpoint of attraction He is as tough as anyone in the wrestling ring today, and he is almost unbelievably ugly. The X-rays show that the seilatureia—the medical name for the cavity in which the pituitary gland is located in the skull—is 2's centimeters… Other figures are: 1—M Tillet's skull thickness varied from 15 to 17 millimeters, the thickest point being 20 The average wrestler's is 3 to 4 mm. 2—Tillet's occipital protuberance—that bump on the back of your head—is IS to 2to3 times the size of the average man, being like an. English walnut compared with a small pea. 3—The Angel's frontal sinus is approximately an Inch long, or twice .as deep as the average man's, 4—M. fillets brain, normal In all respects, is larger than the average college professor's. S—The head of the humerus (largest bone in arm) is 1H times the average man's, but the shaft of the bone is twice as big in the same comparison. And this is true of most of Tillet's 206 bones, which are heavier in proportion because of great deposits of calcium. 6—The spine is twice and in some places four times the size of an average 6-foot man. 7—Tillet's ribs, measured on the X-ray photo, are 1 and 1/2 centimeters wide, thrice the size of the ribs of a fellow like Wild Bill Longson. Most interesting, of course, to the doctors was M. Tillet's head, the largest they had ever seen; so large in fact that they couldn't get all of the chin on the X-ray plate. The length of the face, from the root of Tillet's nose to the bottom of the chin, is 179 millimeters, compared with a normally large masculine face at 135; the width of his face, from ear to ear, is 181, compared to a large man's 110.
Manitowoc Herald Times November 11, 1941 -
His first job was as a strong man in the circus. For many years he was first mate on a French submarine.
Manitowoc Herald Times May 5, 1942 -
….He is an intelligent fellow and speaks five languages fluently….
Lowell Sun July 9, 1942 -
BOSTON, July 9 (UP)— Maurice (The Angel) Tillet, one of a half dozen claimants of the world wrestling championship, and his manager, Karl Pojello, have enlisted as members of the Boston Chapter of France Forever, it was announced today.....
Oakland Tribune Pg.22 July 23 1942 –
Curiously billed as the ugliest man in the world and advertised as a freak, the Angel, born Maurice Tillet, France, is a capable grappler, and one of the strongest. Claimed by scientists at Harvard University to be a throw-back to the Neanderthal man, Tillet performed remarkable feat of moving a 300,000 pound locomotive a distance of 100 feet.
Oakland Tribune August 12, 1942 -
He who was slapped:
In Los Angeles, where movie stars and heavyweight wrestling is taken seriously, the mob for days was snickering happily over the recent Angel-Jack Pfeffer slap-ping incident. And even the State Athletic Commission members while unwilling to reduce their dignity by approving the Angel's physical chastisement of Pfeffer obviously weren't to indignant. After all thecommission assessed only a 50$ fine in the wrestling domain is considered so inconsequential as to hardly rate a mention. Suspensions harras the wrestling bosses principally…because when a drawing and …(unreadable)…is set down for even a week, a few grand is kicked right out the back door.
The Angel is sore:
Anyway, the slapping with an open hand of Pfeffer was generally approved by those individuals who know the inside of the wrestling game. Pfeffer, a mouthy little guy, who has been in many a mat jackpot, has an especial talent for producing and producing and managing grapplers. Who, because of similarity in appearance or name to reigning favorites, can steal some thunder and dollars from the originals. The French Angel, who’s proper name is Maurice Tillet, is recognized as a nice fellow; a proud individuals despite a face and body which Boris Karloff couldn’t duplicate with the aid of a dozen makeup men. The Angels slap, the result of Pfeffers introducing and Balyhooing a Swedish Angel and to the obvious lessening of Tillet’s prestige and pride, was a salutary, and not a punishing measure. Tillet slapped Pfeffer in the manner an impudent, annoying urchin would be slapped. Pfeffer screamed bloody murder to the commission AND the wrestling crowd chortled happily.
Winnipeg Free Press August 13, 1942 - Los Angeles, Aug. 13. -
Promoter Jack Prefer. Thursday, charged Wrestler Maurice Tillet. the French "Angel." with acknowledging an introduction with a slap that probably "caused brain concussion." Pfefer has filed suit for $30,OOD damages. He said he went lo Tillel's dressing room to arrange a match wilh his man, the "Swedish Angel," and was slapped without provocation.
ANGEL LEAVES RING TO VISIT PEABODY - Friday, December 11, 1942 - (Missed doc'ing the periodical)
Maurice Tillet, the French Angel (as opposed to the new Swedish Angel) paid a scientific visit to the University again yesterday, but this time he came not as a specimen, but as a student. For an hour, Tillet and his manager, Carl Pojello (former coach of wrestling at Oxford and Cambridge) browsed around Peabody Museum. From there the two went to the French film at the Institute of Geographical Exploration. The Angel, a graduate of the University of Toulouse, is a native of France. Though the Angel seems to know his way around the ring, he had some trouble with Cambridge. Because he got lost and arrived some time later than he was expected, another visit has been planned. Most of this trip was spent in the laboratories looking at bones and statistics. "He had wanted to come for some time," officials declared. "He has a real scientific interest, and not just a curiosity." First contact with the University for the professional wrestler was early in his career, when anthropologists measured him. Among other things, they found that the distance from his forehead to his chin is 22 inches.
Maurice was a private man, as you would expect there are very few first hand reports of his thoughts, feelings, emotions. This article is the exception:
APRIL 8th 1943 The Lowell Sun, “Sports”, Lowell Mass., U.S.A. THURS. -
“The Lookout” – By John F. Kenney:
The Ugliest Man in the World Weeps Honest Tears – Because a dead ship was his only love.
…”She has gone home to die, my Toulon: The mos’ beautiful destroyer in the world. She was the only love for me, the homely man. My heart, it is broken.” “The Angel” put his head down, somewhat ashamed. “That’s ok”, Promoter Sam Price managed to say. “Let yourself go” "Yes, monsieur," acknowledged the man whom Nature cheated. He reached a hand as big as a plate toward a napkin, and wiped his eyes. . ."Have anybody in this place go to sea?" he continued in labored English, I had nothing else to do in France many years ago I was not desirable in my province because 1 did not look right Only my mother—she is 69, nnd my uncle who is older—gave me their company. The children of my boyhood called me, Le Singe which means' the monkey. 1 am sad too much, so I go to the seaport, and try to make my life over on the water where other men don't care what you are. "On many ships I served, including the battleship 'Richelieu', but at last, when my old France commissioned the newest and most, beautiful destroyer in the world, the Toulon, I am selected to have part of the deck and the gun as a petty officer. "No man argues with me, and the crew was maybe frightened of my face which never smiles. But they do not know that I would never hurt anyone, unless one tries to destroy me, then I defend myself in the ways I know. "The great British navy envied the Toulon. Oh my, such firing power for a destroyer. How straight we shoot, even in the rolling sea! We learn the pitch, the dip, the rise, whether firing in a gale or blazing away in little ground swells. We are proud. We are given the finest destroyer in the fleet, and we swear to fit ourselves to a ship that was perfection itself. "Why I leave my beloved 'Toulon' I cannot say. I cannot comprehend. I had so much of the navy, maybe I was tired as would a man who has soup every day and wants just something else. Anyway, my enlistment expired when we were in Singapore before the war. I had been known everywhere the 'Toulon' docked, because of my face maybe. I was two days in Singapore as a civilian when I was offered great monies to wrestle, and I accept the best offer. I went to Europe by way of India, wrestling all men, all colors, all sizes in what we of old Paris would call the circus. "I returned to Paris in time, and received much publicity. In France, wrestling is different than in America. Straight wrestling, it is, when two big men go to the matt and stay there, matching strength and holds. It was popular, I beat everybody, great farmers from Normandy, a strong man from Lille, a terrible stevedore from Marseilles, and I get much publicity. "Some pictures of me were with Georges Carpentier. He had an expensive restaurant on the finest street in Paris, the Champs Elysees. And I appeared on the stage, doing nothing, with Maurice Chevalier. I firmly believe that the stories we see about Carpentier and Chevalier 'going over to the Germans' is propaganda. I know those men. They are Frenchmen. I think that the propaganda is trying to make Americans believe that these men who were popular with Americans are now turning their backs on their friends, but I am not able to believe this. What I am trying to tell, is this: You are American; you will always be American. Nothing can change you. Ah, they are the same, only with different name—Frenchmen. They will always be Frenchmen, and while there is one Frenchman, there will be a France. "More than once, I have chances to come to America, but I loved Paris too much. Soon, naturally, my money get scarce and one day I accepted an offer to come to America at last. I left for the States just four months before the war smashed Europe and turned it upside down. 'I am very unhappy then. I begin to I think about my 'Toulon' and I worry. How can my sweetheart go places far from home without her Maurice Tillet? " I learn to read English, most of all because I want to see every newspaper with news, maybe, of my 'Toulon.' I feel crazy, like mother who has her baby stolen away. I curse the day when I leave her; when I go to wrestle, for I know that I nm*mostly strong and do not have much ability. Therefore I am not a wrestler. I am a sailor. France at war without me? I worry that my shipmates believe that I have abandoned my France. When I try to enter the U. S. Navy, I am told 'No.' I would not understand complicated orders, I would he curiosity at fleet stations. I do not look smart, but I am. So 1 am told, 'No. Maybe later, Maurice. Ah, monsieur journalist and my brother wrestling men, I know I appear to be what you call damnphool, but my heart is broken, broken. There is an old saying that 'A Frenchman can be happy about everything, but sad only for love, and now I realize some smarter man thus describe the Frenchmen well. The Angel's voice rose in its eerie huskiness: "A few weeks ago, my 'Toulon' died in her cradle. Better she was to be touched with the fire by loyal Frenchmen, with the other ships that were sabotaged in the harbor that day, than to curl her beautiful wake under a swastika flag! She is gone, she is sunk, never to fire or to fight again. It was her way to die, to help the victory in the end. "The only thing 1 have ever loved, and the only lady ever love me, is dead...my Toulon.'" And that was when five men around a booth saw honest tears run down the choking throat of the ugliest man in the world. He was then, more than ever before in his life . . . the angel.
Ogden Standard Examiner August 13, 1943 -
Did you ever see a bad dream walking? I did. It was Maurice Tillet walking into the office asking, "Who wrote that piece about me?'' he asked in that inhuman voice that sounds as if he had been rooting for the Dodgers through a double header. That was just after his appearance here a couple of weeks ago. The boss pointed us out, trying to look small behind the typewriter, hunting for a space between the keys to crawl in. "That was a good piece," said M. Tillet, coming over to our hideout, "You see? He's a judge of literary style. Maurice has been around he knows that writers often will poke a little gentle fun at a sports figure. He knows it's good business. Son of a French school teacher, he disclosed himself as a man of many tongues. He rolled off statements in French, Russian, Lithuanian, Bulgarian and English. His grammar may or may not have been proper in four of those languages—we couldn't tell —but we managed to detect a few English words through the veil of French accent. His mother, the school teacher, was in France when the Germans moved south of the boarder in 1940. He believes she is still alive, but he doesn't know where. M. Tillet served a hitch in the French navy, in the submarine service, a branch, by the way, where they can't use dumb bunnies. He was wrestling for that navy just for the fun of it when a promoter spotted him…. He obtained an honorable discharge from the service…. As it turned out, he was only kidding to us about our writing. What he really wanted to say was that he was coming back for a return engagement.
Lowell Sun November 12, 1943 -
….Hollywood is preparing a movie that will give "The Angel" an opportunity to perform for the films in a story with a prehistoric theme. His strength is enormous. His appearance is frightening….
Oakland Tribune August 12, 1943 -
Almost illegible, however the reporter interviewed Maurice the man for who he was.
Basics – Maurice has a keen sense of humor, and intellect, and attractive girlfriend who escaped France to London and may someday become Mrs. Tillet. He took a picture from his pocket of his girlfriend and said, “Nice eh?” He said he goes to movies three times a week in order to learn English. Reads English and French books loving to browse book stores and picked up a few RARE French volumes. Says he has a nice library in SanFrancisco, but a much better one at his home in Rheims France, should the Germans have not seized or destroyed it. He was asked if his facial or body distortions gave him a complex. He said, “Since I was a little boy old enough to know what it was about I have been the object of curiosity. Long ago I accepted my appearance for what it was. “No I do not have an inferiority complex. I have not let my looks – how you say it? – down.” He shrugged his shoulders expressively and grinned. The article went on to say he disdains all liquor except High Wines. He said his Grandmother at age 82, could sip a glass of unidentified wine and could tell from what year and district of France it came from. His mother is in Rheims but there has been no word from her since early 1940’s. He said he graduated from Talouse University a full fleged attourney. Was in the Navy for 6 years achieving Petty Officer. Was a crack rugby player once playing in an all French Rugby team in 1926 where he got to meet and shake the hand of King George V. He conscientiously likes people and if, after the war, he retires to a place in France he wants to be relatively near the big city.
Reno Evening Gazette December 22, 1943 -
Maurice Tillett, the "French Angel," Looses Teeth, Wants to Sue Promoter
Every boxer or wrestler who plies his trade in this state must be licensed and being licensed automatically contributes a mite to the welfare fund.,,, In return the association guarantees him medical attention and other assistance, such as a loan or dental attention..
PLAYED ROUGH - The largest dental bill of the year was paid for Maurice Tillet, the wrestler known as the French Angel. . . . It seems he had a flock of his chewers kicked out by Ted Cox in a match in Stockton. . . . The Angel was highly annoyed over the incident and he was all for tearing Joe Malcewicz, San Francisco promoter who acts as booking agent for various other clubs, limb from lirnb . . . he blamed Malcewicz for the loss of his teeth for booking him with Cox, who, he claims, should have a gorilla for a playmate. . . .
Arizona Republic - Phoenix, Arizona - Saturday. April 29. 1944
Wrestler Injured - MOLINE. 111., Apr. 28 Wrestler Maurice Tillet, known as "The Angel", was treated today for a head injury suffered last night in a bout with Don Koch of Platteville, Wis. Tillet landed on his head when thrown over Koch's shoulder and was unconscious more than 30 minutes.
Lowell Sun December 4, 1944 -
He was discovered by an American promoter outside a Paris movie house a few years ago. his job at the time being to frighten children away from the premises when they congregated in too large numbers so as to impede the regular customers entering the place….. is surprisingly a rather cultured person, with knowledge of French literature and poetry that isn't quoted for ballyhoo or publicity purposes. His favorite authors are Marcel Prouit and Alexandra Dumas.
Hammond Times July 26, 1945 -
“ANGEL” Forgets heavenly manner - Fights Sherman outside ring -
Portland. Oregon. - Skeptics began to think today that some of the dislike shown by rival wrestlers in the ring may have a basis in fact after all. "The Angel," otherwise known as Maurice Tiller, appeared in Portland municipal court, after police had untangled him and another bone-bender, Benny Sherman. They were putting on an unscheduled match without benefit of canvas or referee on the steps of the Civic auditorium, where "the Angel" was
to appear. Tillet and Sherman both were charged with disorderly conduct. The charge against "the Angel" was continued tantamount to dismissal. Sherman said he will plead guilty. 'Tillet's manager, Karl Pojello, claimed that Sherman tried to get even for a defeat he suffered at "the Angel's hands at St. Etienne, France, in 1934..
Centralia Daily Chronicle September 13, 1945 -
~Women wrestlers and "freaks," such as bewhiskered 600-pounders performing in other parts of the country, are now barred from showing in Washington state. The state athletic commission handed down the ruling Tuesday, but decided to permit Maurice (the Angel) Tillet to complete his present Northwest contracts before being placed on the out-of-bounds list.
Sandusky Register Star News April 20, 1946 –
Wrestling comes into its own in the income department. Maurice "The Angel" Tillet, according to a Chicago sportswriter who should know, is. top man on the nation's sports payroll.
Evening Independent May 10, 1947 -
THE ANGEI/S ANIMAL-LIKE FACE IS HIS FORTUNE -
Not every man's face is his fortune, but the Angel's is….. The Angel's real name is Maurice Tillet. He. was nicknamed "The Angel" by his mother who called him that from childhood.….. The Angel was a wrestler, too. but at the time he only knew the Greco-Roman style. Pojello realized that the Angel's face was his fortune and then brought him to the United States…Today, after seven years in the United States, the Angel has piled up a nice nest egg. According to Pojello, the Angel has made $100.000 and has his money stored away in banks in England,
Canada and the United States….His biggest purse was $6,000 for a match in White City stadium, London, where a crowd of 46,000 turned out to jeer and cheer him….He now works on a percentage basis, generally getting up to 25 percent of the gate, He continues to draw big crowds wherever he appears……. The Angel spends most of his time in his hotel rooms for, to wander around the streets might cause a riot or cause women to faint. He reads a lot and now can speak good English. He became a United Stales citizen recently and makes his home in Chicago. Unmarried (he says the girls would want to marry him "only for my money") he has one close relative living. His mother lives, in a $25,000 home at Rheims, France. It is the Angel's, wish to return there soon to visit her., During the war he made many benefit appearances. A devout Catholic, he goes to mass every Sunday. He stands 5 feet 9 inches tall and he weighs 276 pounds.
Fitchburg Sentinel May 12, 1944 -
Although hardly a pleasant personage at which to gaze, the "Angel" has plenty of wrestling skill and haspicked up the catch-as-catch can style of grappling in vogue here, although more proficient in the European style. Loss of the title has not made the mat monstrosity any better-natured, with the result that he has become another of the mat "meanies" in his comeback.
India-Burma Theater Roundup Vol. III No. 24. / Reg. No. L5015 Delhi, / Thursday , February 22, 1945.
Check it out for yourself here or just read on below- http://home.comcast.net/~cbi-theater-5/roundup/roundup022245.html
Roundup Experts Pick Best In Pulchritude (BEAUTY).
The Roundup promised to bring you this week a list of the 10 most beautiful women and the 10 most handsome men as picked by our own India-Burma experts. It might be recalled that a sculptor and a sculptress, whose names escape us at the moment gave their selections last week, with a list of reasons such as he looks like "Hermes by Praxiteles," etc., far into the night.
Cpl. Ted Sally, known to the boys in the back room as "The Mustache," selects the women.
Sally, just back from sketching the Mars Task Force and the first convoy to China, worked with Paramount Studios in Hollywood before he became a lucky G.I.
Here are his selections, with the reasons appended. Sally confesses he knows nothing about Hermes by Praxiteles, but he does know a good looking dame when he sees one.
Ingrid Bergman - "What a face, what a profile, ah, whatta figger." (The Roundup is not responsible for Sally's spelling.)
Linda Darnell - "She's built like a house of bricks."
Maria Montez - "She must have something. Did you ever see the way the Indian baksheesh wallahs flock to the cinema when she's squirming on the screen?"
Ingrid Bergman - "She's worth a repeat in any league."
Esther Williams - "You don't need a reason for picking this dish. Besides, she can swim."
Rita Hayworth - "Ah, that lucky Orson Welles."
Sona Osata - "So petite to the eye she'd give any 4-F 20-20 vision."
Jane Russell - "Grrr"
Lois Sally - "My wife. Hell, fellows, I expect to go home some day, comes rotation some day. And to her, not Bergman or Hedy."
As for the men's list we decided it would be unfair to hold one American gal over here to a choice of only 10 males what with all the brass they have at their finger tips.
So we polled six Yankee gals, with the proviso beforehand that they could not nominate any of their favorite brass. Ah, comes demobilization.
So here's the composite list. The gals prefer to remain anonymous. But they want it to be known that they can assign just as scientific reasons as the sculptress who gave her best 10 last week.
Lord Louis Mountbatten - "Jack Armstrong's only rival."
Clark Gable - "Whose ears have the vigorous cut-down appeal of birds-on-the-wing."
Charles Boyer - "Has that certain something known as "Je ne sais quoi," (Roundup's French expert has boomeranged to the States for a 30-day deal, so you'll have to figure it out yourself!)
Cordell Hull - "Whose cornerstone appearance puts him in solid."
Tyrone Power - "The eyes have it."
Marshal Tito - "Good geological formation."
Anthony Eden - "He dude it."
Len Chaney -"For that mysterious charm of the unknown."
Sad Sack - "For his winsomeness."
Maurice Tillet, the French Angel - "Massive masculinity."
Well, as the second looey who landed in India told his MP's, "This is it."
Long Beach Independent December 8, 1947 -
Maurice (The French Angel) Tillet, recently had an audience with the Pope, first wrestler ever granted this honor...
Twin Falls Times News December 24, 1947 –
Back From FranceWhy it's old Maurice Tillet, wrestling's "Angel"—a gent that YOSS thought had taken to his armchair and slippers long ago. But there he Is—all smiles that he's back in America from his native France and ready for a new wrestling campaign. And soon you'll probably see him all harnessed up and pulling freight trains around to demonstrate his prodigious strength……
Long Beach Press Telegram January 21, 1948 -
Maurice (The Angel) -Tillet, after a tour of Europe a v|sit with-his 75-year-old mother in
Rheims and an audience with the Pope in Rome, is back in his adopted land of the U.S. and playing his wrestling trade…..
OFFICIAL FITE PROGRAM, 'THE KNOCKOUT' MAY 29, 1948 VOL. 22
FRENCH ANGEL – He RUINED GINO GARIBALDI LAST WEEK.
THE ANGEL WILL COLLIDE WITH CLEVER KIMAN KUDO WED. NITE AT THE OLYMPIC.
French Angel Coming to Hollywood Legion Stadium May 31 – Dick Trout, Who Sails the Seas, Will Wrestle in the Film Arena on June 7 – Danny McShain Issues Challenge to All the Jr. Heavyweight Champions – Leroy McGuirk Is American Title-Holder and Gorilla Ramos Is World Boss.
By DEAN SNYDER –
Maurice Till, The French Angel, also known as the Skull and the Nightmare, has ten fingers and ten toes. Outside of that he is as physically different from other humans as a wrong gable. That he was discovered in a French village means little. He could have sailed down from Mars on a run-away rocket or something if Mars has such things. It won’t be long now, scientists say, until our own rockets will be jetted around the heavens of the universe to see what goes on in our sisterly planets. When I was a kid in the corn fields of Kansas I went out one night to see what all the noise was about in the corral. Up in the sky there was a fiery ship sailing across the heavens and there was strange men aboard the unspeakable craft. The Angel might have been just arriving. That was a long time before Zeppelins and airplanes and rockets. Some of the neighbors saw the same phenomenal monster. It could have been a meteor or a comet, but there was a crew aboard. One farmer, who called himself a scientist because he looked in a telescope when a student at Manhattan Agriculture College, said we were all crazy. But since seeing the French Angel in person I’m Still convinced that Mars beat us to the punch by landing men here in the gay nineties while scientists of 1948 are only beginning to talkabout rocketing men to other planets. The Angel is made of bone and meat like any other man, but the way it’s thrown together indicates that no particular plan was followed. If you think all this makes the Skull unhappy you are wrong. He enjoys life from rim to brim.
The Angel has a few cousins running around. There’s the Swedish Angel – in fact two of them. One is Ollie Swensen and the other is Thor Johnson. Primo Carnera of Italy came close to being an Angel, himself. Anyway, all the Angels are good wrestlers and great attractions because people like to see something different once in a while. So don’t miss the boat. When a man has a bank roll he can bend elbows in any kind of company. Dick Trout, the son of Neptune, is returning to Hollywood after a tour of the country. He was one of the first sailors to visit the ill-fated Wake Island. Dick went into the place before the Japs ever heard of it to survey it as a U.S. Outpost. There wasn’t a tree or blade of grass on the Island. It was surrounded by millions of sharks. The sailor used to shoot a couple of them. The other sharks would smell the blood and start eating each other. Clever Jackie Nichols, new world’s light heavy weight champion, is open to defend his title against any suitable challenger. Danny McShain has issued a bid to wrestler Gorilla Ramos for the junior heavyweight belt. And Leo Wallick, who is really one of the best wrestlers ever to appear in the flicker capital, is heading this way again. There’s one thing about the light-heavyweight and the junior heavyweight title-holders. They don’t go into deep freeze once they get hold of the belt. That’s one of the reasons the crowns in these weight classes change so often.
Zanesville Times Recorder pg13 March 28 1949 -
NOTE - This is after 9 years in the country.
Tremendous interest is evidenced in Zanesvllle and the surrounding territory as Wednesday night's wrestling show draws near. The big attraction in the star studded show is Maurice Tillet, known the world over as the French Angel. The human freak is making his first appearance here….The tremendous drawing power of The Angel Is shown by the fact that last Thursday he packed in 11.000 fans in Buffalo, N. Y….He has wrestled In every country in the world and has had more than 2.000 matches. At 44 years of age. The Angel's bank book is swelling to capacity and he admits that his association with Manager Pogello has been a lucrative one for both parties. He is a former rugby player and played on the All-French team for two years. For all his lack of facial beauty, Tillet is a smart character. His achievements include completion of a college course which gave him a lawyers degree, which he plans to use completely when his grappling days are over. …..
Harrisburg Daily Register August 1, 195 -
The Angel, that colorful wrestling figure who won the $10.000 diamond studded championship belt and the wrestling championship against Steve Casey in May 1940 who has always possessed the exagerated frightening features that he now has.
Morning Herald January 14, 1952 -
Promoter Phil Zacko has lined tip a great card and fans who have not had the opportunity to see a man who combines combines brute Strength along with science to pin his man. In Maurice Tillet, although not very pretty to look at is reported to have one of the most perfect bodies in the world and has more than a thousand holds. That may sound far fetched but in the many matches that the French Angel has appeared in he has picked up something different from the operations of his opponents and has improved upon them.
Lebanon Daily News January 24, 1952 -
Mr. America Pins French Angel At Indoor Mat Show
The top attraction of the night pitted the French Angel, Maurice Tillet, of Paris, France, against Gene Stanlee, otherwise known as "Mr. America." The Angel, who is grotesque in appearance, failed to scare "Mr. America" and the young blond adonis pinned his opponent in 12:34. The opening bout got the fans in motion, in fact there was a near-riot as several spectators tried to clambor in the ring to trade punches with the performers. Only the quick work of a local gendarme prevented somebody from getting mauled….
DEL TROCADERO AL PASAPOGA: Historias de Mujeres Buenas
By Oscar Yanes
The following was done by myself utilizing a local Spanish teacher, google translate, and a little common sense. Any failures in translation are my own. The story is an amazing one and I wish I could validate all these details in Venezuela myself.
"The spirit of the black man with the white soul complicated Carolinas life."
Starting with Page 265…
… at 4:45 in the morning, first there was heard a rumor, and later the entire crowd, as a charging sea of people ran towards the center of a church. Thousands of people wanted to enter and were in the adjacent streets, and everywhere cries were heard.
They are trampling the boys. Fire!! The main alter burns. The priest, Carillo, saw the faithful desperately trying to reach the exit, however unable to. The crowd, from the outside, was pushing in, as the crowd inside was trying to get out.
The majority of the children fell and were trampled. Father Carrillo, from the pulpit had to hold onto the railing in order not to fall. He could hardly be heard as he was saying oh my god, oh my god, the people are running over the bodies of women and children. Amable Rodriguez Torres, a detective, saw when a candle reached the blanket of a lady and a gentleman who shouted - fire, fire.
Manuel Sosa, age 13, alter-boy of Santa Teresa, saved 7 children.
The largest number of those who were killed was children of 5 and 6 years old. 113 were taken to the emergency room, and Trauma Center on the outskirts of Solas. 22 children, 22 women, and one man died, who was trying to save an infant. My child, my child, yelled the poor woman who dropped her child 6 months, while trying to escape. A man dropped to the floor trying to save the child was trampled to death along with the child.
...Oh My God!
What has happened with this holy week asked the anguished people.
Twenty-four hours after the tragedy of Santa Teresa, in the procession of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church of San Francisco, the fainting of a woman caused a riot. The priest raised the chalice and lifted it so that all could see:
….God is with us! God is with us!, repeated the crowd and nothing happened.
In all beaches in the country increased the number of drowned rose;
a bus went over a cliff, down the side of a guard rail, and twelve people died;
a four engine plane, flying from San Juan Puerto Rico to New York crashed in Atlantic waters outside the of San Juan bay, with sixty nine passengers.
The child Eugenio Andres Mendoza, son of Eugenio Mendoza, was drowned in Jamaica.
The jewels of the Virgin of Coromoto, that had disappeared, were returned. Father Carrillo did not explain how they returned to the church, but rather said that the person who stole it, did so to temporarily take them away for safekeeping.
…..All those who died in Santa Teresa were lowly and the total number that died came to forty-nine
Oscar Ibarra told the fighter Maurice Tillet, who had just arrived in Venezuela to appear in the New Circus. (NOTE to reader – Oscar Ibarra is a sports promoter in Caracas Venezuela).
Tillet was called, ‘The Angel’, and was a unique man in the world, because according to science, had the same anatomical structure of a being who populated the earth thirty thousand years ago. The Neanderthal.
The Angel never tired of repeating his story to journalist;
“When I went to America for the first time, scientists went crazy. I was told, after many tests, that I was identical to that of Neanderthal Man. I doubted them a little, but everyone agreed it was true. I lost count of the tests they did to me.
… How much did you earn / charge them for this?
… I did not charge because I like history.
I have been examined in fourteen universities. They have taken measurements of my skull. --- It is approximately 25 centimeters long; the size of a tabloid page and have x-rayed my bones. They are twice those of the strongest man.
......The Angel was very interested in what he was told of the tragedy of Santa Teresa and went to speak to the Father Carrillo to see if he could help with anything.
It is difficult for that in the world to be a being as ugly as Maurice Tillet. His huge head covered with a sailor’s hat that was especially tailored for him.
The dark glasses he wears are larger than those of General Mac Arthur and over his clothing, whether it be cold or hot weather, he wears a very wide rain jacket that almost dragging on the ground, to hide bent legs, and has a chest that goes forward, as pushed by his gigantic head……
….He has no neck. His jaws hit his thorax. When he walks, he sways from left to right, like a gorilla or like a drunken sailor.
He prefers not to not go out, and spends long hours in the rooms of hotels, reading, and staying hidden. He personally met Jean Paul Sarte, but says existentialism hurts his heart.
When the Angel entered the sacristy of the church of Santa Teresa and took his cap off, the lady at the desk attending squealed.
He smiled and lowered his head. He was accustomed to the shock he produced.
---- Is the priest here? The Angel spoke correctly in Spanish.
---- For whom should I say?
---- Maurice Tillet, the wrestler, who also called The Angel.
The lady disappeared and soon returned with the priest Carrillo, who said:
---- Please sit.
Maurice, then took off his raincoat and glasses.
The woman could not contain herself, put her hands to her face, and went inside….
.....Pardon her ... - said the priest.
- I'm used to it Father. I'm the ugliest man in the world; I am a prehistoric man and this makes me a lot of money. I'm so ugly that I sold my body for a hundred thousand dollars. But I like children. I maintain, in Versalles, a foundation for underprivileged children.
I want to give money to help the poor mothers here who lost their children. I will not deliver them money directly, and need you do that. I do not want anyone to think that this is publicity. I don’t want the attention for this. I'm accustomed to being alone.
- While The Angel spoke, a girl named Carolina Ramirez G., from the (Catholic Action) hidden in the neighboring office, heard everything, and carefully looked from that spot to The Angel; Carolina was moved, hearing how this man, with his head down, as if confessing a sin, wanted to help others and how he even showed embarrassment in wanting to help…..
….Carolina pitied the man, but also steadied herself, because THE ANGEL disgusted her. He made her want to vomit.
- Forgive me, Lord, forgive me !!! --- she muttered while looking a picture of a sacred heart of Jesus and crossed herself.
-- Carolina!!!! --- Shouted the priest Carrillo.
- I'm coming, Father. She grabbed a notepad and a pencil and came to them.
- I present to you, our friend, Maurice Tillet. --The girl barely raised her head and extended her hand to THE ANGEL. He pretended not to notice.
Father Carrillo asked Carolina if she would agree to take THE ANGEL to visit kindergarten that the church maintained in the Valley as it was the judgment of the priest that it was one of the works that needed the most help.
….... The priest added, as it is convenient, they should also go to the Trauma center where there were children with fractures, who were victims of the riot.
The Angel was hired for two weeks by Oscar Ibarra’s company and invited Carolina to its first presentation.
.... I cannot go alone, she advised.
.... Oscar suggested that she should have someone accompany her. You can take your mom, your sister ... The Angel showed indifference to the rudeness of the girl protests.
... Carolina was the eldest of three sisters, and told her mother she was assisting Father Carrillo in collaborating with the wrestler to achieve an economic aid to the victims of the tragedy.
She explained that Maurice was awful, perhaps the ugliest man in the world and she did not dare to go to wrestling, because she had the feeling, that after the show he was going to invite somewhere; maybe to eat…..
... It's terrible ... Carolina was saying, what one feels when walking with that man, the look of surprise people on the street, and the scorn and mockery of women.
... Carolina's mom had read all the stories in the newspapers about the fighter.
.... It is true that has so much money, she ask Carolina?
.... Carolina It is true and gives the impression that they did not have to spend it.
.... That man what he needs, said Senora Ramirez, is a good woman.
In addition, I read that he has sold his body to American university for a hundred thousand dollars. A man who sells his body, and doctors buy it, is because he will not live long. Scientists are not idiots and will not pay a fortune for a skeleton for use in the year two thousand.
... Jesus, mother !! protested Carolina .. Maurice, what he gives off, is shame.
…..... So help him, her mother said mischievously, what are you waiting for?
What your telling me is this monster is in love with you. He is a rich and good person. He deserves to get married. It’s worth it to get married and to live with him for four or five years, maybe less, and likely he will die and you will have plenty of money. Do not be stupid. Invite him and introduce him to me. Furthermore I think it would be a sign of bad manners not go to see him fight to see him. Maybe he will dedicate the fight to you, her mother said, laughing….
The Angel was very happy that night.
After the match, both Carolina and her mother accepted his invitation to go to roof garden.
The audience applauded sympathetically when the masters of ceremonies announced him. Here among us, that living phenomenon, the being called THE ANGEL. The fighter was then obligated to remove his cap, his black glasses, and leave the table to greet the public.
More than one woman screamed in horror, others laughed, and there was one that, accompanied by a man, approached the table for an autograph. After Tillet signed said, “Well, now all I need is an autograph from bride of Frankenstein and held out the pen with notepad to Carolina.”
Carolina hesitated, but Maurice gently squeezed her arm and watched with sad eyes, as if imploring, as begging: Please Carolina, sign, say nothing; this is like wrestling, it is a farce.
Carolina, smiled and signed. THE ANGEL, smiled and ordered a bottle of champagne.
How odd it is that that you have not married? Carolina's mother asked very cheerfully, as he raised her glass and offered, for you.
… It is not easy, senora, he answered. I understand that I inspire horror and even disgust. In all my life, the only woman who had nice words for me was my mother. They call me THE ANGEL because she called me, my little angel, he recalled with bitterness.
Were you born that way? She asked. But mama !! Protested Carolina, distressed.
He took her hand, grateful. She made no move to remove it. Yes, I was born so. Later, when I was about seven years old, my head began to grow larger….
.....Mauricio, she said, please talk about something happier. He smiled and squeezed her hand tenderly again when he heard her call him Mauricio, instead of Maurice.
The Angel began to visit the house of Carolina in San Agustin del Norte. In the beginning it was a scandal in the neighborhood when they saw him arriving, but after a time the kids got used to it and greeted him as if he were anyone from the neighborhood ….
....Angelito, show me a trick !! They would shout very loudly
Tillet, with Franciscan patience, took off his sailor's cap; everyone in the neighborhood applauded.
The wrestler explained to the boy loudly, so that others might hear:
... Put the two hands here, on my neck; Squeeze hard, much harder. Do not be afraid. Try to choke me with both hands !! And then, as if by magic, he began to smoke by the ears. Everyone started to laugh and applause was heard in the neighborhood, as people came out to street to see the spectacle of THE ANGEL…
“Do not be fooled, warned the boys. Look at how he does it.
And then he pulled out of his pockets, small sacks containing small capsules that caused smoke. He put one in each ear.
Carolina had no problems with being the girlfriend of the Angel as was good for San Agustin and El Conde.
The problem presented itself when the two went out to Anatole, a Mi Vaca y yo, al Plaza. One night, Carolina came home crying and told her Mom it was horrible what happened on the roof garden; I've never been so embarrassed.
We were dancing, calmly, when drunks began to mess with us. One of them said to Maurice:
... Hey, Angel, how much does that woman charge to sleep with you? Mauricio gave a blow to that man that it was a miracle it did not kill him. He went crazy and started breaking chairs and tables. We were taken to the police and he was kept prisoner. I had to get a free car home.
The scandal made the girlfriend of the Angel famous.
Reporters began to pursue Carolina: When will you marry?
A survey went out to the women of San Agustin, where the question was, The Angel: Would you marry the ugliest man in the world? That was that question, with a three column photo of the fighter. ….. Fifteen women were interviewed and all agreed not for all the gold in the world would they marry him. There was one that said that there cannot be love between this beast and a woman. There were perverted women who would, at best, marry him for the money.
That story of the angel and the girl is going to end badly, remember what I tell you. My grandmother Rosalia told me.
At the best the same will happen as the story of “The Black that had the white Soul”, thought Mercedes. I saw the movie, but I have not read the book.
I remember, everyone despised the black man because he was ugly, and he falls in love with a girl who accepts Moreno requirements because of hunger and to save her father.
That’s it, you have a good memory, Carmen Aido .. Mercedes confirmed. But the most terrible on the novel by Alberto Insua is the drama of the poor girl: she admires the black man, for his white soul, but cannot get over the physiological repugnance that comes over her from his appearance, as he looked like a monkey. And his smell ….
…. Surely he smells like cohi, interrupted Carmen Aido. Mercedes laughed and continued and kept on singing the story of Pedro Valdez or Peter Wald, who was the stage name of the black man that had the white soul.
Emma, as the poor girl's name was, whom Peter falls in love. She was terrified of the black man when he saw her, she began to tremble and fainted. The black man offered her the chance to make it big star of music hall and save the father. The father of Emma was a failure, and never accomplishing anything in the theater and now the black man of white soul, would convert him into a business man with allot of money.
Without wishing to speak ill of anyone, Carmen Aida said, something similar is going to happen to Carolina.
She now is doing something in the La Gordo corner at Raul and Fortul house and goes with the girls, Carolina’s two sisters, shopping in Curazao! They tell me that the other night at the Nuevo Circo (New Circus) the angel appeared with a red robe, very luxurious, that was embroidered on the back a rose and a cloud ... How sweet ... whisper Carmen Aida, taunting ... You know who gave him that robe??? Of course I know, silly.
That's the talk of San Agustin: Carolina’s mom bought it for him in Curacao. Oh Lord!! For a robe, how much it would go to go out with that poor man, for all the money in the world. Remember When Mercedes finished speaking, Carmen Aida observed;
Hey girl, it seems like the angel is not ever going to go further than Venezuela. He came for two weeks and it has been a month and a half. When he arrived, the information in the newspapers about the scandal in the roof gardens, it was said that he had cancelled all his contracts in the world. He was taking a month off and he is resting, and they say he is resting enough as he is, with all his weekend taking Carolina with her mother to Higuerote.
Now the Angel, Mercedes continued, he can be given the luxury of breaking contracts as he makes millions not for the way in which he fights, like Primo Carnera, but rather for his grotesqueness and for that big head and chest breaking forward.
Haven’t you noticed that hump above his stomach, and the back of his neck that looks like crocodile?
I don’t know if you remember the Hunchback of Paris, well Quasimoto, in the film is Clark Gable as compared to the Angel. Esmeralda the gypsy, our lady of Paris, hit the lottery compared to our poor Carolina.
Poor dear, said Mercedes. She is not the same little girl anymore with those dresses that are selling at the Plaza Miranda. Now she purchases clothing in at the company Francesca. The other day she was fox fur in the shop alaska, not a fake fur, but rather a real fox.
AND that woman will be so crazy as to go out to the wrestling match in that skin, asked Carmen Aido. Well good, in Holywood, Mercedes said, all the biggest stars, including Ava Gardner, Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Kim Novak all go to boxing in their finest furs. That is how they dress in boxing, the same as they would when they go out to the Metropolitan Opera house.
The angel’s representative ran all the newspapers that they not publish about the private outings of the fighter. He had been resting in Venezuela.
The boys of the gardens in the valley were very happy since now at school for underprivileged children they had a good park with a giant slide, see-saw, and a spinner, outside. However the angel was always really sad. He was always cordial and decent, but almost never played with the kids anymore. He carried his pockets full of candy. When the children would press Maurice to show them a trick he limited himself to throwing out candies.
Sometimes The Angel would arrive home and Carolina would be alone. The mother and the two sisters would be out shopping, downtown, en el centro, por Las Gradillas, la esquina de Sociedad, o de Torre a Madrices, where a pair of nylons costs an eye out of your head.
One early night, at around 8pm, they heard yells coming in Carolina’s house.
That's very bad indeed!!!, said her mother. You cannot do that! What will Mauricio say?
You do not give it? It is that I cannot!!! I cannot!! It is beyond my strength!!! Begged Carolina, I cannot, Mom, please. Let us quiet!!
Then the voice of The Angel was heard, broken by emotion: It is better to say goodbye, never again to be seen. Moments later the fighter appeared in the door to the street, putting on his fishermans hat, and wiping his eyes with a handkerchief.
Angel, Angel, A Trick a trick, yelled a little boy. He did not respond. Maurice only acknowledging him with a waive. Carolina left the house, disheveled, and looking and looking in all directions. The Angel, having already gone around the corner, and she was dressed in slippers and poorly dressed, began to yell:
-- Mauricio!!! Mauricio!!!
Maurice Tillet, The Neanderthal man, did not respond.
Days after Mercedes, said to Carmen Aido, it seems that here it did not occur the same as it did in the Black Man with the White Soul, because here the girl tells the black man, be a good man and I will promise to be your wife, however Peter dies.
The Angel left Venezuela never again did there appear to be news again in the sports page. Maybe he retired.
Carolina changed her life. She never returned to the Catholic Action, nor did she go to the Church of Santa Teresa.
Days later the Angel departed without saying goodbye, he did not fight in the new circus, before taking the plane, Carolina parked a Lincoln, at the door of his house. She arrived herself, driving. The angel had taught her to drive in an early morning on the Avenues El Paraiso and La Paz.
The people started to look badly upon the girl in St. Augustine and El Conde. Her boyfriends lasted very little amounts of time.
Carolina’s mother was very happy, but who knows why. The house was made larger, and now each sister had their own room.
Why would it be that Carolina her boyfriends don’t last her, asked Carmen Aido to Mercedes.
Because there is always someone who comes to gossip and telling something that he should not.
Between us, Carmen Aido, do you believe that Lincoln was given free to her?"
I really do not like this ending to the story, however it is how it ends.
In all truth, and what I understand regarding Maurice, it is more likely he gave her the car out of respect for her making her own decision, and coming to him in friendship, to explaining herself.
Every report of him shows him to be a man of principle and high moral character. I suspect that he respected her decision and was simply happy to have the friendship and emotional support of a young lady of character.
Sheboygan Press November 4, 1952 -
French Angel Wrestles At Playdium Tonight
He supports 19 or 20 French war orphans and has the reputation of being an intelligent man for all his appearance.
Suburbanite Economist August 11, 1954 -
MAT STAR Maurice Tillet, 72C W. Garfield blvd , was reported Monday to be much improved. He was taken to Holy Cross hospital last week with a respiratory ailment, believed to be pneumonia. Known professionally as "The Angel," in wrestling, Tillet has been ill since July 2nd.
The French Angel made his American debut on Jan. 24, 1940 at Boston Garden. Bowser�s average crowd of 2,500 increase to 7,000 and Tillet and Italian wrestler Luigi Bacigaiupi put on a great show. The highlight of the night was the incredulous murmur that gathered momentum as the Angel walked to the ring. As the Angel stripped to become a misshapen specimen of manhood, women were said to have fainted. Tillet leered over the gathering and performed a growl worthy of Boris Koloff. Bacigaiupi was crushed in 7 mins and The Angel became a sensation. Word spread like wildfire (Newsreel clips of the first match were shown thru out North America in movie theaters) and the French giant became wrestling most talked about attraction coast to coast.
Over the next 4 months Tillet defeated Rudy, Emil, Joe & Ernie Dusek, Joe Cox, Frank Sexton, Gino Garibaldi, Frank Judson, Tor Johnson, Leo Numa, Gus Sonnenberg, Danno O� Mahoney, Ivan Rasputin, Bobby Managoff, and Wild Bill Longson, without losing a fall. He toured NYC, Montreal, Philadelphia, Toronto, Buffalo, St. Louis, and Chicago. He drew everywhere.
The push then got bigger. On May 13, 1940 The French Angel defeated Steve Casey via DQ (Casey punched referee Gus Sonnenberg) for the AWA World Title in Boston. This was the same Title that Lou Thesz lost to Casey in 1938. Tillet then beat Casey clean on May 27. Paul Bowser and pro wrestling had made there freak World Champion.
The Angel remained unbeaten over the next 19 months as he toured North America. Some of the greatest wrestlers of all time fell before him: Ed �Strangler� Lewis, Yvon Roberts, Joe Savoldi, Ed Don George, Dean Detton, Leo �Whiskers� Savage, Man Mountain Dean, Ray Villmer, Hans Steinke, Pantaleon Manlapig, Sammy Stein and Bill Longson (5 times).
Then on Jan. 19, 1942 he lost a match. In a match at Portland, MA, he was drop-kicked (or kicked) in the face as he laid on the matt by Steve Casey and was unable to return for the second fall. Casey (who was serving in the army at the time) claimed the AWA World Title but referee Fred Bruno ruled he didn’t have the Authority to declare a new champion. (Sounded like the truth.) This was never recognized as a title change and it really didn’t matter because Casey was defeated by Tillet 3 days later in Toronto and on Feb. 8 in a rematch in Portland, MA. During his reign as AWA champion Tillet beat Casey 8 times.
Angel continued to defeat some of the greatest wrestlers of all time during 1942. That year he beat Ed Strangler Lewis 5 times and beat Lou Thesz in Buffalo on April 24.
On March 20, it’s believed that he won the Montreal World Title when he defeated Yvon Robert in Canada. He then held two major World Titles.
Perhaps the freak show was getting old because Bowser had The Angel drop the AWA Title back to Steve Casey on May 13, 1942 in Boston. Tillet would also lose two rematches to Casey in Boston in 42. Tillet lost the Montreal World (if he had it) back to Yvon Roberts on June 25, 1942.
Around this time, Jack Pfeffer, the true master of the freak show, got a hold of the Angel gimmick and before long was promoting a stable of bald headed angels. The first seemed to be The Swedish Angel (Phil Olaffson). Tillet record shows four victories over The Swedish Angel in 1942. Other Angels that followed were Super Swedish (Tor Johnson), Polish (Wladislaw Tulin), Russian (Tony Angelo), Canadian (Jack Rush), Czech (Stan Pinto), Irish (Clive Welsh), Golden (Jack Falk), Black (Gil Guerrero) and a Lady Angel (Jean Noble). In Oct. 1945, Jack Peffer sued Tillet for $30,000, claiming the original Angel had hit him in the face. He won the suit but was awarded only $250.
After losing both titles Tillet continued to be protected, he had more wins over greats like Ray Steele, Sandor Szabo, Wladislaw Talun, Whipper Watson, Earl Mc Cready, Chief Little Wolf, but he stopped being unbeatable. On Aug. 1, 1944, he had his last major victory in defeating Steve Casey at San Francisco for his old AWA World Title, but he dropped the belt back to Casey two weeks later via two straight falls. He did other jobs for Casey that year and also got beat by Dean Detton.
In Jan. 1945, The Angel defeated Dutch Rohde who would later change his name to Buddy Rogers. Around July of 45, he had a series of 4 matches with a soldier named Lou Thesz stationed in Tacoma, WA. Tillet won the first, lost the second and then had two draws with Thesz before leaving town.
After his The French Angel became a name to put over the new stars. He lost to the new AWA champ Frank Sexton many times, Whipper Watson, and even traveled to Europe to put over Bert Assirati three times. On June 2, 1948, Tillet put over wrestlings newest gimmick, Gorgeous George, at The Olympic Auditorium in front of a sold out 10,400. He also lost big matches to Buddy Rogers, Bronko Nagurski, Verne Gagne, and Antonio Rocca.
The French Angels last match, Feb. 14, 1953, was a loss to Bert Assirati in the same place it started; Singapore. On Sept. 4, 1954, Maurice Tillet (age 51) died from heart disease; 13 hours after his friend and manager, Karl Pojello, had died from lung cancer. The legend is that he died from grieving.
(Above is Yohe again---CM)
May 12, 1952 Manitowoc, WI - (New Opera House) -Maurice Tillet won 2 straight falls over Bob Massey. Attendance was no more than 100. (CrusherBolo)
The following came from J Michael Kenyon Sept. 14th 2015:
(Hard Boiled) Haggerty (aka Don Sparrow) later told Scott Teal:
“I got my real start with Karl Pojello, who managed Maurice Tillet, the French Angel. Karl said, ‘You move like a bird,’ so he changed my name to Don Sparrow. Maurice was a hell of a guy. He was a very educated man. He had a degree and I think he was a lawyer or something. He looked fu****’ stupid, but he was very, very educated. One of his proudest possessions was a picture of him and the Pope that he carried in his wrestling bag. When we’d travel around, Maurice would drive the car. If he wasn’t wearing his hat, we’d stop at a light, and people would do double takes. I thought, ‘What a gimmick!’ At that time, I had a little hair around the edges, so I said, ‘Maurice, one of these days, I’m going to shave my head.’ And that’s one of the best decisions I ever made. In fact, there were only a few people with shaved heads at that time. Even later, when I got into the movies, there were only four or five people with shaved heads. Now I can go for an interview and there must be a hundred.”
The Legends of Wrestling: "Classy" Freddie Blassie: Listen, You Pencil Neck ... By Classy Freddie Blassie, Keith Elliot Greenberg -