The Tragic Real-Life Story Of Andre The Giant

The Tragic Real-Life Story Of Andre The Giant


Back in the ’80s, the World Wrestling Federation
– now known as World Wrestling Entertainment – was a grab-tastic slam-stravaganza crammed
with classic characters and legendary storylines – and Andre the Giant was the Atlas holding
it all up. The 500-plus-pound Andre dwarfed even the
most enormous of his fellow athletes. According to Sports Illustrated, one of his
hands could engulf a 12-ounce beer can, and his wrists were thicker than most men’s ankles. The Giant dominated wrestling for decades,
but he also battled perpetually gained body mass and debilitating health problems. Meanwhile, the strain of fame destroyed him
mentally. Here’s the tragic real-life story of Andre
the Giant. “He is said to be the largest, and highest
paid, and best known wrestler in the entire world […] Please welcome Andre the Giant.” Biggest in the business By every measure, Andre the Giant was a whole
lot of man. Besides size, he possessed unfathomable strength
and a voice deeper than the ocean. “I’m not supernatural, I’m just myself.” Born Andre Roussimoff on a farm in the French
Alps in 1946, Andre grew to be 7-foot-4, according to the WWE, though he was likely closer to
6-foot-11. Andre never lifted weights, yet acquaintances
alleged he could lift trees and overpower thousand-pound cows. For fun he would occasionally wedge his friends’
cars in between buildings. Hitting the big time Andre left home at age 14 and dove into wrestling
at 16. By the ’70s he was the most renowned wrestler
on Earth, according to the Los Angeles Times. Then in 1973 the father of current WWE owner
Vince McMahon branded him Andre the Giant. Sports Illustrated’s Terry Todd, who traveled
with Andre, observed, “Going through a revolving door, he [had to]
bend and take tiny shuffling steps to make the door revolve.” He bent himself like a contortionist to fit
in taxis, and hotel bathrooms left him no room to bathe. Andre wasn’t just larger than life; he was
larger than daily life. The Eighth Wonder Though the WWF dubbed him the “Eighth Wonder
of the World,” the world orbited Andre like a planet. The giant revealed in one interview, “I would give much money to be able to spend
one day per week as a man of regular size.” Acromegaly, the cause of his size, gave him
an unusual visage. And made him the perfect target for bullying. Hall-of-Famer Bret Hart witnessed grannies
“curse [Andre] out” for declining to sign autographs. And “Mean” Gene Okerlund said the giant “would
cry” because of all the teasing he endured. Andre eventually found refuge in the QVC channel. Per CBS Sports, it allowed him to shop without
“attracting unwanted audiences.” Raising the bar tab According to coworkers, Andre’s liver swam
in an ocean of booze. USA Today reported that ex-wrestler Gerald
Brisco claimed the giant downed six bottles of wine before matches. And Modern Drunkard Magazine reported he racked
up a $40,000 hotel bar tab while filming The Princess Bride. In an interview with David Letterman, Andre
admitted, “Is it true that you in one sitting drank
117 beers?” “Yes.” But as CBS Sports revealed, “Andre was living in pain.” Years of wrestling and arduous travel ravaged
his body and his disorder caused his bones and joints to thicken, inflicting further
stress. Pharmaceutical solutions existed, but he refused
to take them. The Princess Bride As filming for The Princess Bride began, Andre
transformed into the lovable Fezzik. William Goldman, who authored both the screenplay
and the book that inspired it, told CNN it was the only casting choice he specifically
envisioned while writing the script. “It’s not my fault I’m the biggest and the
strongest. I don’t even exercise.” Andre was so good in the role it seemed inconceivable
that he wasn’t already a Hollywood heavyweight. No Small Parts reported Andre had previously
played monsters, but The Princess Bride emphasized his humanity and allowed his personality to
shine. Co-star Cary Elwes – who played Wesley – called
him “a real gentle giant” who “would give you the shirt off his back.” A titan’s twilight During his incredible career Andre battled
many beasts. He knocked out the great Gorilla Monsoon,
nearly flattened Harley Race, and defeated Hulk Hogan. But the giant’s biggest opponent was time. At age 23 Andre learned he could die by age
40, according to friend Jackie McCauley. She told CBS Sports that Japanese doctors
offered to operate on him before time ran out, but the giant declined. Twenty years later Andre’s knees were buckling,
and he was becoming entombed in his body. As the Los Angeles Times detailed, by the
early ’90s, he was immobile. Once a titan who carried the wrestling world,
Andre now needed others to do the heavy lifting. Wrestlemania in the sky In January 1993 Andre returned to France to
attend his father’s funeral. And on January 27th, the giant’s gentle heart
stopped beating. He was 46. The Los Angeles Times reported Andre wanted
to be cremated and for his ashes to be spread over his North Carolina ranch. But no crematorium in France could handle
a man of his magnitude. So best friends Jackie McCauley and Frenchy
Bernard flew his body to the States, where it was reduced to 17 pounds of ashes, according
to Bleacher Report. “When you got one true friend like him, that’s
all you need in this world. A true friend.” Andre named three people in his will: Jackie,
Frenchy, and his daughter Robin. He signed it not as Andre but as “A. Roussimoff,”
a man who caught everyone’s eye, but who few people really saw. Thanks for watching! Click the Grunge icon to subscribe to our
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40 Replies to “The Tragic Real-Life Story Of Andre The Giant”

  1. what u expect he is suffering from what we called Acromegaly which is tumour in the pituitary gland producing a lot of growth hormones making u grows bigger and bigger , but u will unfortunately suffer from heart attack , diabetes and hypertension and u will die younger than expected , so I'm not surprised that this giant dies young

  2. Am I the only one that noticed he only used the word inconceivable while talking about The Princess Bride😂

  3. In 1977 andre the giant came in to pinkys broiler and was in the bar he broke the bar stool and a pitcher of Heineken was his single beer. I will never forget that.

  4. First time I saw him was as Bigfoot in six million dollar man, he made a good Bigfoot, although I have never met either

  5. Saw him in Modesto California 1975 wrestling with Rocky Johnson – Moon dog mean- Peter maviea – Pat Paterson was in 2nd row the guy was huge . RIP

  6. Andre the Giant is the greatest giant in wrestling history. He might be dead, but he's alive in me and he's alive in my heart. His spirit is in me always. RIP Andre the Giant. May the Lord bless you. May the Lord keep you. May the Lord lift His divine countenance upon you and bring you peace, Andre the Giant. Amen.

  7. How the hell did I never realized Westley was played by the same dude who played Lawrence Gordon from Saw 🤦

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