Andre the Giant

Active - 1975 - 1993  |   Born - Jun 19, 1946 in Grenoble, France  |   Died - Jan 27, 1993   |   Genres - Sports & Recreation [nf]

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Discovered in his late teens, André René Roussimoff made an international name for himself as professional wrestler André the Giant. Suffering from a condition that perpetuated the secretion of a growth hormone, André turned his 7' 4" frame and over 500-pound body weight into a considerable asset, and he soon became one of the most famous and successful performers in the profession. Benefiting from the sport's increased media exposure on TV and film, André's wrestling exploits with the World Wrestling Federation were recorded in numerous WWF documentaries throughout the 1980s, including the first six Wrestlemanias. Appearing sporadically in fiction films as well, André was best known for his performance as Fezzik, the mellow giant who becomes enmeshed in Cary Elwes' quest to reclaim Robin Wright's heart from the evil prince in Rob Reiner's popular comic fairy tale The Princess Bride (1987). André's last film appearance was in the low-budget comedy Trading Mom (1994); he died from a heart attack while in France to attend his father's funeral in 1993.

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Factsheet

  • Suffered from acromegaly, a disease that causes parts of the body to continue growing throughout a person's life due to an overabundance of growth hormones.
  • Before rising to fame, wrestled in Montreal under the name Jean Ferre and in Japan as Monster Roussimoff.
  • Pro wrestling promoter Vince McMahon recommended his "The Giant" moniker.
  • Made his acting debut on an episode of the Six Million Dollar Man.
  • Best-known role was gentle giant Fezzik in the fairytale comedy The Princess Bride (1987).
  • Helped set an attendance record for WrestleMania III, in which he became the "heel" who lost to up-and-coming star Hulk Hogan.
  • Became the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame shortly after his death.