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Postby BlueWater on Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:34 pm


André René Roussimoff (19 May 1946 – 27 January 1993), best known as André the Giant, was a French professional wrestler and actor. His best remembered acting role was that of Fezzik, the giant in the film The Princess Bride.

In the World Wrestling Federation (now known as WWE), Roussimoff was a one-time WWF Champion and a one-time WWF World Tag Team Champion. In 1993, he was the first inductee into the WWF Hall of Fame.


André Roussimoff was born in Grenoble, France to parents of Bulgarian and Polish ancestry. As a child, he very early displayed symptoms of his acromegaly, reaching a height of 6'3" (190.5 cm) and weight of 240 pounds (110 kg) by age 12. Unable to fit on the school bus, he was driven to school by playwright Samuel Beckett, a friend of his father.

At age 18, Roussimoff moved to Paris and was taught the art of professional wrestling by a local promoter who knew there would be money in Roussimoff's future. He trained at night and worked as a mover during the day to pay living expenses.

He made his Japan debut in 1970, billed as "Monster Roussimoff", wrestling for the International Wrestling Enterprise. Wrestling as both a singles and tag team competitor, he quickly won the company's tag team championship alongside Michael Nador. It was during his time in Japan that doctors first informed Roussimoff that he suffered from acromegaly.

Roussimoff next moved to Montreal, Canada, where he became an immediate success, regularly selling out the Montreal Forum. However, promoters eventually ran out of plausible opponents for him and, as the novelty of his size wore off, the gate receipts dwindled. Roussimoff wrestled numerous times in 1972 for Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association (AWA) as a special attraction until Valois appealed to Vince McMahon, Sr., founder of the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) for advice.
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Re: Andre

Postby BlueWater on Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:41 pm

Acting career

André branched out into acting again in the 1970s and 1980s, after a 1967 French boxing movie, making his USA acting debut playing a Sasquatch ("Bigfoot") on the 1970s television series The Six Million Dollar Man. He appeared in other television shows, including The Greatest American Hero, B.J. and the Bear, The Fall Guy and 1990's Zorro.

In his last film, he appeared in a cameo role as a circus giant in the comedy Trading Mom, which was not released until a year after his death.


André the Giant died in his sleep due to congestive heart failure on the night of January 27, 1993, in a Paris hotel room. At the time, he was in Paris to attend the funeral of his father. Roussimoff's body was cremated according to his wishes and his ashes were scattered at his farm in Ellerbe, North Carolina.
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