|André the Giant Quick Info|
|Height||7 ft 0¼ in|
|Date of Birth||May 19, 1946|
André the Giant was a true gentle giant. Despite having achieved tremendous success as a wrestler, he remained soft-spoken and humbled by all accounts. It has been revealed by his close friends such as Arnold Schwarzenegger that he never allowed anyone else to pay the bill when they were eating out. In fact, he once lifted and deposited Arnold on top of the car, when he quietly tried to pay the bill.
André René Roussimoff
André the Giant, Géant Ferré, Giant Machine, Jean Ferré, Monster Eiffel Tower, Monster Roussimoff, Québec, Le Géant Ferré
André the Giant was born on May 19, 1946.
Roussimoff passed away on January 27, 1993, in a Paris hotel room at the age of 46. He had died from a congestive heart failure.
Although he was a good student, André the Giant decided to drop out of high school in the 8th grade as he believed education wasn’t of any use for a farm laborer.
Actor and Professional Wrestler
- Father – Boris Roussimoff (Farmer)
- Mother – Mariann Roussimoff
- Siblings – Jacques Roussimoff (Brother). Overall, he had 4 siblings.
7 ft 0¼ in or 214.5 cm
236 kg or 520 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
André the Giant has dated
- Jean Christiansen – In the late seventies, Andre was reported to be in a relationship with the American national, Jean Christiansen. Jean gave birth to their daughter Robin Christiansen in 1979.
Race / Ethnicity
On his father’s side, he had Bulgarian ancestry while on his mother’s side, he was of Polish descent.
- Huge Imposing Body
- Very Deep Voice
In 1987, André the Giant was cast in a TV commercial for Honeycomb Cereal.
Best Known For
- His tremendous size, because of which he was called ‘The 8th Wonder of the World’
- His successful stint with the popular wrestling promotion, WWF. During his time with WWF, he managed to win WWF Tag Team Championship as well as WWF World Heavyweight Champion.
- Being cast in the role of Fezzik, the giant in the comedy fantasy movie, The Princess Bride, which was adapted from William Goldman’s book of similar name
In 1967, he made his theatrical film debut in the French action adventure movie, Casse-tête chinois pour le judoka.
First TV Show
Apart from the broadcast of his wrestling matches, André the Giant made his first TV show appearance in ‘The Secret of Bigfoot’ episode of the crime action TV series, The Six Million Dollar Man in 1976.
- Finishing and Signature Moves
- Scoop Slam
- Elbow Drop
- Butterfly Suplex
- Kneeling Belly-to-Belly Piledriver
- Double Underhook Facebuster
André the Giant Facts
- By the time he turned 12, he was already 6 ft 3 in tall. He also used to weigh 94 kg at that time.
- After dropping out of school, he started working full time on his father’s farm. According to his brother, he used to handle work that could be done by three men.
- He also took an apprenticeship in woodworking. Later, he started working in a factory that manufactured hay balers’ engines.
- However, after he couldn’t find any satisfaction in his occupations, he decided to move to Paris at the age of 17.
- While in Paris, his immense size impressed a local promoter, who believed he had a huge potential. The promoter started training him in professional wrestling.
- In his early days as a wrestler, he used to train in the night and work as a mover in the day to take care of his living expenses.
- In 1966, he met Frank Valois, the Canadian promoter and wrestler. Valois would become his business manager and advisor.
- After having earned fame with his performances in Germany, Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand, he started wrestling in Japan in 1970. He wrestled in the International Wrestling Enterprise under the stage name of Monster Roussimoff.
- It was while wrestling in Japan that he was first informed by the doctors that he was suffering from acromegaly, which is caused by the excessive growth hormones.
- He was introduced to the founder of WWF, Vince McMahon Sr. by his agent Valois. McMahon soon after signed him up and decided to bill him as André the Giant.
- McMahon discouraged him from using maneuvers such as dropkick as he wanted to enhance the perception of his size. He also lent him to other wrestling promotions all over the world so that he won’t be overexposed in any place.
- When he first started feuding with Hulk Hogan, he was actually the hero, while Hogan was the villain. At that time, he was far more popular than Hogan.
- His loss to Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III, where he was body slammed by the American wrestler, helped Hogan establish himself as the next big star in wrestling.
- It has been falsely reported that no one including WWF owner Vince McMahon knew that Andre would lose the match. The truth is that Andre had agreed to lose some time before because of health reasons.
- In 1974, he was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest paid wrestler. He was reported to be earning $400,000 per year in the early 70s.
- He was unofficially considered as the greatest drunk on earth as he once consumed 119 12-US-fluid-ounce beer cans (350ml) in the space of 6 hours. It amounted to the total of over 41 liters of beer.
- In 1989, he was arrested by the sheriff of Linn County, Iowa after he roughed up local television camera crew. He was charged with an assault.
- At the time of his death, he was in Paris to attend his father’s funeral. He had also extended his stay in France so that he could celebrate his mother’s birthday.
- In 2002, he was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Previously, he had been inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1993.
- In 1965, he was to be drafted in French peacetime army. However, he wasn’t able to join as they couldn’t find shoes big enough for him nor could they find suitably sized bunks. In fact, the trenches weren’t big enough to accommodate him.
- He doesn’t have any social media account.
Featured Image by Brandonseigler / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0