André the Giant, born André René Roussimoff, was a French professional wrestler and actor. He was a larger than life character who was also large in bod structure. André the Giant was born on May 19, 1946 in Coulommiers, France and died on January 27, 1993, in Paris, France. Read on to learn about what made André the Giant so unique.
Who Was André The Giant?
André the Giant was like the Goliath of his day. He caused so much excitement when he appeared in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Towering over his contenders, he earned the nickname “Eighth Wonder of the World.” The following are 8 amazing facts about André the Giant:
André’s body size can be attributed to the fact that he was born with acromegaly. This is a disorder that results in bones growing at an accelerated rate. At 12 years old, he was weighing 200 pounds. He was cremated when he died and it was reported that his remains weighed over 17 pounds.
His body size posed unique problems to his life and also led to body pains. His reputation was that of a heavy drinker and a generous friend who would most often pay for the drinks. However, it did seem that he used alcohol as a means of trying to numb the pain. In is early life, he was drafted into the French army but could not stay because he could not fit into the uniforms or inside trenches. While wrestling, flying to other parts was also a challenge because of his size and the extent to which hotels would have to make some changes to accommodate him.
The big question has always been ‘Who was the tallest wrestler?’ and ‘Was André the Giant the tallest one ever?’ He may have been the tallest one in his time but there have been others who towered over his 7’4″ height. Giant Gonzalez, was 7’7″ in height and after his time as an NBA player, he juggled between WCW and WWE.
André had a difficult time fitting into several places due to his big body. He then decided to use it to his advantage and joined wrestling at the age of 18 years. His efforts saw him leave France to join the WWE. So devoted was he to wrestling at WWE that he turned down a contract from the NFL’s Washington Redskins. The WWE maintains that André was an undefeated champion for 15 years but it is said that he had drawn or lost before the most talked loss to Hulk Hogan.
Highest-Paid Wrestler In The World
André made it to the Guinness Book of World Records in 1974 for being the highest-paid wrestler in the world. He earned an annual salary of approximately $400,000. Since he was a big guy, he had to spend on clothing and a lifestyle that would fit him. Everything from furniture to clothing had to be custom-made.
WWE Hall of Fame
André also made a first by being the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, which was established in 1993, after he passed on. Andre The Giant Memorial Trophy was created by the WWE in 2014 when they were promoting the 30th edition of WrestleMania.
The most popular film role that André played was Fezzik, in The Princess Bride. This film was a hit comedy. It is surprising to note that the role was initially meant to be played by Arnold Schwarzeneggar. There are other less-popular and minor roles that he played. He made an appearance in Conan The Barbarian as Dagoth. The popular TV appearances that he made were in The Greatest American Hero and BJ and The Bear. He was the inspiration of the movie My Giant.
André never married but had a daughter Robin Christensen Roussimoff. She was born in 1979. She has not been in the limelight but has maintained a professional relationship with the WWE, especially when it is matters concerning her father’s royalties. She has no qualms about anyone wanting to use Andre’s legacy for projects, provided that they request in good time.
Large Legacy Left
We hope that you enjoyed these 8 amazing facts about André the Giant. This big man lived a big life and left a large legacy. He did make a mark in the world as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”