Throwback Thursday: Andre the Giant
Andre Rene Roussimoff was a giant, not only in stature but in character and in the sincerity that he showed towards his friends and colleagues. For over twenty years he headlined and sold out professional wrestling venues and stadiums; entertaining millions of people with his freakish size and strength. But Andre wasn’t a freak; he was a colossal man, no doubt, but while he dealt with many of the same demons that men and women of average size deal with everyday, in the back of Andre’s mind was the knowledge that living with acromegaly would shorten his life and that he would be lucky to make it past 40. That is one hell of a thing to be told, especially for a man as powerful as Andre.
It is fitting then that for Andre’s most well-known role he played the lovable giant named Fezzik in Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride. Andre was a huge hit on set, of course, but director Reiner couldn’t help but get mad at Andre every time cast mates Mandy Patinkin and Carey Elwes showed up to set still inebriated after a night on the town with the big man. After the month-long stay in London for the film, Andre collected up his belongings and headed back to his ranch in North Carolina, but not before he settled his $40,000 bar bill first!
This is Andre holding a beer can.
When asked what his favorite thing about making the film The Princess Bride was, Andrew replied “Nobody looks at me.” For a man whose entire life revolved around people watching him in the ring and staring at the man whose size both frightened and amazed them on the streets, all Andre really wanted was to feel normal for once in his life, rest in Peace big guy.
Ali was fascinated with the size of Andre’s hands.