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André the Giant Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (2) | Trade Mark (14) | Trivia (62) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 19 May 1946Grenoble, Isère, France
Date of Death 27 January 1993Paris, France  (heart failure)
Birth NameAndré René Roussimoff
Nicknames The 8th Wonder of the World
The Giant
The Gentle Giant
The French Giant
Québec
Le Géant Ferré
Height 7' (2.13 m)

Mini Bio (2)

André René Roussimoff was born in a small farming community in Grenoble, France to Boris and Marian Rouismoff. His parents and four siblings were all of normal size, but André suffered from acromegaly, a hormonal disorder that results when the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone. As the Giant grew up (very quickly, as he reached the height of 6' 3" by the age of 12) he began to often disagree with his parents. He left home at 14 and obtained a job with a furniture-moving firm and began to play rugby. At 17 he was seen training at a gym by several professional wrestlers. Impressed by his size, they taught him some basic wrestling skills and built a friendship with him. Later, when one of the wrestlers was injured, André stepped in for him. He would wrestle for nearly thirty more years. By his early 20s André had wrestled in Algeria, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, England, Scotland, and most of non-Communist Europe but had not found fame. In 1971 he came to North America under the name Jean Ferre and was mildly popular in Canada. Then he met a New York based booker by the name of Vincent J. McMahon (often incorrectly referred to as "Vince McMahon Sr") who renamed him "Andre the Giant," and billed him as 7' 4" (Andre was really closer to 7'). Soon Andre the Giant became a national sensation and was a much sought after wrestler. In addition he participated in television, movies, and commercials. With his wealth the Giant bought a ranch in Ellerbe, North Carolina where he would live during his rare time off and after he retired from wrestling in 1990. He died while in France after attending his father's funeral. André was cremated and his ashes were spread across his ranch. He is survived by his one daughter.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: J.W. Braun <pepper911@hotmail.com>

When Andre The Giant challenged Hulk Hogan for the WWF World's Heavyweight Wrestling Championship of The World at WrestleMania III in 1987, he hadn't lost a single's match since 1971. His 3,000 plus winning streak was ended when Hogan picked up the 7 foot tall and 500 pound Giant and body slammed him for the pin. Over 94,000 fans viewed this history making match-up, setting an indoor record which still stands today. Andre also defeated Heavyweight Boxing contender Chuck Wepner in a wrestler vs. boxer match on the under-card of the Muhammad Ali/Antonio Inoki challenge match in Japan. The 6 foot 6 inch Wepner was thrown completely out of the ring.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: angelsunchained

Trade Mark (14)

Trademark move: Bearhug
Trademark move: Headbutt
Trademark move: Choke
Trademark move: Big Splash
Trademark move: Elbow Drop
Trademark move: Double Underhook Suplex
Trademark move: Tombstone Piledriver
Trademark move: Big Boot
Trademark move: Knife-Edged Chops
Enormous stature and frame
Towering height
Very deep voice
Known for his real-life gentle demeanor despite his size and wrestling persona
His role as Fezzick in The Princess Bride (1987)

Trivia (62)

Former WWF tag team champion w/ Haku.
Appeared at the first 6 WrestleManias.
WrestleMania (1985) Beat Big John Studd in a bodyslam match.
WrestleMania 2 (1986): Won a WWF/NFL Battle Royal.
WrestleMania III (1987): Lost to Hulk Hogan (event set an indoor attendance record that still stands).
WrestleMania IV (1988): Received bye in Round 1 of tournament, fought to a double DQ with Hulk Hogan in Round 2.
WrestleMania VI (1990): Lost tag team titles with Tonga Fifita (a.k.a. Haku) to Bill Eadie and Barry Darsow (a.k.a. Demolition).
André suffered from acromegaly, in which the body doesn't stop secreting growth hormone.
Professional wrestler
Weighed about 520 lbs
At time of death, was in Paris to attend his father's funeral.
Lost a few inches of height because of a back surgery in the mid-1980s, but still stood about 6' 10" even after his posture was affected.
Conceptual artist Shepard Fairey uses Andre's image in a series of posters and stickers as part of his "Phenomenology" project.
Ranked #3 in the "PWI 500" of the PWI Years (1979-1999) (Pro Wrestling Illustrated 20th Anniversary Special)
Awarded the 1993 PWI Editor's Award.
One of the 100 Greatest Wrestlers of the 20th Century (Inside Wrestling Presents, Summer 2000).
A fan favorite for most of his career, Andre turned "heel" in 1987 in time for his WrestleMania III (1987) match vs. Hulk Hogan. He turned good again after WrestleMania VI (1990), after Bobby Heenan blamed the Giant for losing the WWF Tag Team belts he and Tonga Fifita (a.k.a. Haku) held to Bill Eadie and Barry Darsow (a.k.a. Demolition).
After pinning Hulk Hogan (even though "the Hulkster" clearly had his left shoulder raised) and being awarded the WWF World Championship belt, Andre "surrendered" it immediately to Ted DiBiase (who, in a storyline, was said to have paid Andre to give him the belt, should he win it); DiBiase previously had tried, without success, to either win or purchase Hogan's title.
Andre's 1988 match vs. Hulk Hogan for the WWF World Championship, which he won in controversial fashion, was the 1988 Pro Wrestling Illustrated "Match of the Year." The match, which took place in Indianapolis, was part of the first professional wrestling program to air in prime-time since the mid-'50s.
Andre's most bitter feud began in 1983, against Big John Studd (who claimed he, not Andre, was the true "giant" of wrestling). The feud included a series of bodyslam matches (including one at WrestleMania (1985), where Studd had to pay $10,000 (later, $15,000) to anyone who could bodyslam him.
Made his last WWF appearance in 1991 at Summerslam (1991), as a second to The Bushwhackers in their match against the 'Natural Disasters'.
One of Andre's most memorable feuds was in 1981 vs. Killer Khan. The feud exploded after a May 2 match, wherein Khan (who had cheated throughout the match) broke Andre's knee by leaping on it. Nearly four months later, Andre returned and demanded a rematch vs. Khan ... and got it. He beat Khan so badly the Mongolian superstar had to be carried from the ring on a stretcher. Andre also won a series of "stretcher" matches against Khan in the fall of 1981.
Appeared in WrestleMania VII (1991) in the corner of The Big Bossman when he took on Curt Hennig (aka Mr. Perfect) for the Intercontinental championship.
Contrary to popular belief, Killer Khan didn't break Andre's leg. Andre actually got out of bed one day, and his leg snapped due to his life-threatening illness. He was out for weeks, and the story was that Killer Khan did it, to hype up their feud.
Had a very close friendship with WWE referee Tim White.
Sole survivor of the 1987 WWF Survivor Series main event, which pitted himself, King Kong Bundy, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, George Gray (aka One Man Gang) and "The Natural" Butch Reed against the team of Hulk Hogan, Ken Patera, "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, "The Rock" Don Muraco and 'Scott 'Bam Bam' Bigelow' in an elimination match. He pinned Bigelow to win the match.
Was an expert card player and collector of fine wines.
Was a close friend of Bobby Heenan (aka "The Brain").
Notable title wins include: IWA Tag Titles with Michael Nader; Austral-Asian Tag Titles with Ron Miller; NWA U.S. (Tri-State) Tag Titles with Dusty Rhodes; Florida Tag Titles with Rhodes; WWF Heavyweight Title; WWF Tag Team Titles (with Tonga Fifita, aka Haku).
Washington Redskins head coach George Allen once offered Andre a contract to play professional football.
He would not commonly address people by their names, instead, if he liked someone he would call them "Boss".
It wasn't until he was an adult, on a wrestling tour of Japan, that he went to see doctors to determine the cause of his condition. The Japanese doctors diagnosed the cause as acromegaly, a rare condition in which victims are not expected to live beyond the age of 40. Andre lived to be 46.
Godfather of Bill Eadie's daughter.
Andre was defeated by Jerry Lawler (aka "The King") in a match circa 1975. Lawler had caused Andre to be knocked from the ring, and Andre was unable to answer the ten-count, thus giving rise to the infamous story "The Night Andre the Giant lost to a midget!".
He weighed 530 pounds at the time of his death.
Because of his size, he had a custom built recliner in his home that he always sat in when he was not on the road.
As a child, his next-door neighbor was Samuel Beckett.
Inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2002 (charter class).
Previous Managers: Bobby Heenan, Ted DiBiase, Frank Valois, Lou Albano, KY Wakamatsu, Tim White.
Former World Tag Team champion.
Actually signed all his personal checks, "Andre the Giant".
Andre continued to compete in tag team matches, primarily in Japan and Mexico, until the end of 1992.
WrestleMania V (1989): Lost by DQ to Jake Roberts (aka Jake "The Snake" Roberts).
Billy Crystal was inspired to write the script to the movie My Giant (1998) from having worked with 'Andre The Giant' in the The Princess Bride (1987).
Former NWA Tri-State Tag Team Champion.
Was considered for the role of Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).
Mentioned in the 1974 Guinness Book of World Records as the highest paid wrestler in history, up to that time. He earned $400,000 in one year alone during the early 1970s.
Daughter is Robin Christiansen who was born in 1979. Her mother is Jean Christiansen of the Seattle, Washington area.
Samuel Beckett, his neighbor, used to drive him to school.
In 1965, Andre the Giant received a draft notice for French's peace time army, but was unable to join as there were no shoes big enough, bunks long enough, or trenches deep enough to accommodate him.
NFL legend Ernie Holmes got hot-headed backstage at a WWE taping in 1986. Andre the Giant muttered to him, "You know, you talk too much," and Holmes never said a peep after that. According to two people in the van when it happened (it was a rehearsal for the Battle Royal at Wrestlemania II), Holmes was talking about how tough he was, and Andre got tired of hearing about it.
One time in the early 1980s during an early stint Bad News Brown had with WWE, the wrestlers were all on a bus traveling between shows. A very drunk Andre the Giant was in the back of the bus with Hulk Hogan and company telling racist jokes that Bad News Brown took offense to. Bad News Brown stood up, and yelled for him to shut up, then when he turned around, Andre cursed at him. Bad News Brown had the driver stop the bus, and told Andre to meet him outside. Andre refused, and Hogan, and others tried to soothe the situation. The next day Andre apologized to Bad News Brown. Bad News Brown later admitted he was glad nothing ever happened because he believed Andre could have really hurt him.
In the mid 1970s, while visiting Montréal, André was in a bar drinking when four drunken men came in, recognized him, and started to taunt him. After patiently trying to avoid a confrontation, André finally got fed up and chased the four men out into the parking lot. When the four men got into their car, André simply grabbed the car, turned it over onto its roof with the four men inside, and left.
From Bobby Heenan's book: Andre had a bad habit of never buttoning his shirt in public places. One day, Andre and the Brain were in a small country and western bar, when Andre had refused to button his shirt. A bouncer demanded that Andre button his shirt. Andre remained silent and continued to drink. The manager called the police. The officer that arrived reminded Heenan of Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith Show. "Barney" told Andre to button his shirt. Andre still drank quietly. "Barney" called for backup. "Barney" asked that Andre button his shirt again when several officers came in to backup "Barney." Andre stood up, and "Barney" realized that it was just too hot to be indoors.
Despite his character Fezzik's almost-superhuman strength in The Princess Bride, Andre the Giant's back problems at the time prevented him from actually lifting anything heavy. Robin Wright Penn had to be attached to wires in the scene where Buttercup jumps from the castle window into Fezzik's arms because he couldn't support her himself.
According to author William Goldman, when he was first trying to get The Princess Bride made in the 1970s, a then-unknown Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to play Fezzik, and he was strongly being considered because Goldman could never get his first choice, Andre the Giant to read for the role. By the time the movie was made about twelve years later, Arnold was such a big star they could not afford him, and Andre was cast after all, and the two big men had gone on to become friends.
During the filming of some scenes for The Princess Bride, the weather became markedly cold for Robin Wright Penn. Andre the Giant helped her by placing one of his hands over her head; his hands were so large that one would entirely cover the top of her head, keeping her warm.
Enjoyed playing card games such as cribbage and gin rummy.
Was a fan of Wheel of Fortune (1983).
Is referenced in the Eminem song 'Crack a Bottle'.
WWE Hall of Famer.
When Andre the giant died in France his final wishes to cremated 48 hours after he died could not be meet, Because there wasn't one crematorium in all of France that could accommodate his size.

Personal Quotes (3)

I just don't think it is right, killing innocent girls.
It's not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don't even exercise!
I don't like to speak badly of people...

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