André René Roussimoff simply known as Andre The Giant (May 19, 1946 – January 27, 1993), will forever live in our memories. The Frenchman who pursued his career as a professional wrestler and actor, will be remembered mostly by fans who loved WWF [now WWE] in the 90s.
The Giant most famously feuded with Hulk Hogan, culminating at WrestleMania III, and his best-remembered film role was that of Fezzik, the giant in The Princess Bride.
Image: File Photo
His monstrous size was a result of gigantism [Andre’s body never stopped growing until he passed on to the after life] caused by excess growth hormone, which later resulted in acromegaly [a disease that results in an over abundance of growth hormones]. It also led to him being called “The Eighth Wonder of the World”.
In 2014, he was described as the ninth tallest professional wrestler in history.
Among other historical achievements, in 1993, Andre became the inaugural inductee into WWE Hall of Fame.
Image: File Photo
Enough said on history, let’s peek into some odd facts in the life of this dreaded giant.
According to an article from The Richest, this might be the oddest of all. There was a man in Andre’s life named Samuel Beckett who’s arguably the most influential writers of all time. “He was a poet, and a playwright who was so well respected that he won the Nobel Prize.”
Samuel wrote Waiting for Godot and at a point in his life, built a little cottage in Andre’s home town to get away from the hustle and bustle of Paris. One of the people that helped build the cottage was Andre the Giant’s father.
Andre, 12 years old at that time, was already too big for the school bus. He weighed 240 pounds and was well over 6 feet tall.
Reports confirm The Giant’s dad was too poor for a car and even if he had one, Andre still might have been too big. So Nobel prize winner Beckett used to give Andre a ride to school in the back of his truck. Imagine catching a sight of this hefty-looking man in school uniform, taking a ride to school at the back of a truck.
Image shows The Giant in action.
He once drank a total of 156 beers at once. One would rather think this is unbelievable, but Andre did it. He was a respectable drinker who only staggered after drinking a ton.
According to a record, “When Hulk Hogan toured Japan with Andre, the giant would drink tall boys like water on the bus. He would crush the can in his hand (that’s his hand in the photo), and throw it at Hogan. Whenever the bus stopped, Hogan had to buy Andre as many cases of beer as he could carry back onto the bus. So Hogan was his beer wench.” 156 cans of beer in one sitting is literally enough to kill a whole family, and it’s strongly advised that no one should try it at home.
Andre also drank 16 bottles of wine in just 4 hours.
Right there in Japan, Andre was said to have used bathtubs as toilet. He probably wouldn’t fit into small toilet rooms and of course, a toilet seat wouldn’t have been anything less than too small. The best he could do when there’s no bathtub? Spread some newspapers for action.
This guy was a real life giant. Not just something we stare at, in Hollywood movies.
Andre sadly passed away early, at the age of just 46. He died of heart failure. Most people and animals that are abnormally large don’t live all that long, medical experts say.
However, The Giant kept making history even after death.
Andre was cremated and his ashes weighed an amazing 17 pounds.
I feel bad writing this in past tense about a beloved giant, someone who brought joy to many of us who were just kids at the time he reigned as a WWE legend–he’s still a legend. There was always this awesomeness about the man that sets him apart from other wrestlers.
There’s no doubt that Andre The Giant was larger than life, and it’s reassuring that he’s in a better place right now.
He kept it all in perspective before his death, and died a happy man.
Andre said: “I have had good fortune. I am grateful for my life. If I were to die tomorrow, I know I have eaten more good food, drunk more beer and fine wine, had more friends and seen more of the world than most men ever will.”