Born in France on the 19th of May 1946, André René Roussimoff grew up in a tiny agricultural village in Coulommiers. It is said that his early life was apparently quiet and uneventful in the rustic French countryside. There was, however, one big issue that made André unique within his community; he was born with a disorder known as acromegaly whose primary symptom caused the overstimulation of bone growth due to the anterior pituitary gland’s excessive production of the human growth hormone. By the time André was 12, he was already standing at 6.3 feet and weighed over 200 pounds!
By the time he was 18, André had grown far too big for his little village and decided to use his disorder to his advantage. While on the cusp of adulthood, André decided to hit the road and begin traveling Europe while taking part in the growing regional wrestling circuit, adopting the now-famous stage name André the Giant. Inside the ring, even at such a young age, André proved himself to be a spectacle to behold.
His accolades eventually reached the ears of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) who in 1973 would open a contract with André. He would quickly become and remain the WWF’s main attraction over the course of the following two decades, competing in hundreds of matches during this time. André would even go so far as to feature in 13 pay-per-view fights as well, an astonishingly high amount of screentime for a wrestler during this point in time.
From his very first performance, André made sure to let the world know that he was an absolute force to be reckoned with. Using the gift of strength given to him by his gigantism, Andre managed to turn his disorder into a superpower that catapulted his career to the moon. “André the Giant” would soon become and remain a household name among WWE fans as he remained undisputed and undefeated for fifteen years in a row
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is now commonly considered to be the most successful TV personality whose background is in WWE. But long before The Rock’s time and before we could play online bingo for real money, André the giant held this position fiercely in the 70s when he appeared as a guest on a myriad of talk shows and TV series. André often found himself using his abnormal size and height to his benefit in the realm of TV, such as when he played Bigfoot in The Six Million Dollar Man. In 1987, André played what is now considered to be his most famous role in The Princess Bride.
Standing at seven feet, four inches and weighing in at well over 500 pounds, the syndicated WWE superstar André the Giant was larger than life both in fame and in physical form. After he died in 1993, he was gone but never forgotten by his millions of fans all across the globe. To this day, the life and legend of André the Giant is appreciated and celebrated.