There was nobody else quite like the legendary André the Giant. Born André René Roussimoff in 1946 in Coulommiers, Seine-et-Marne, France the hall of fame wrestler and sometimes movie star led an unavoidably-conspicuous life that few of us of standard stature can even imagine living. How this kid born just after WWII in a small town Northern France went from obscurity to literally one of the biggest and most recognizable people in the world is a story that continues to fascinate people long after his untimely death at the young age of 46 in 1993.
Now, the life of André the Giant is being remembered in an upcoming HBO documentary, “André the Giant,” produced in collaboration with HBO Sports, WWE and Bill Simmons Media Group. The documentary is set to debut on HBO on April 10th, just a few days after Wrestlemania 34, some 31 years after André met Hulk Hogan before 93,000 fans in Wrestlemania III.
“Everyone who ever crossed paths with him has an André story—and usually four or five,” Simmons recently told HBO.com. “I’m delighted to join forces with [director] Jason Hehir and WWE so we can capture André’s amazing story once and for all.”
Fortunately for fans around the world, André left a rich collection of video, photographs as well as a lot of myths and colorful stories about his adventures throughout his short life. He wasn’t just a one dimensional character as his movie and wrestling career tended to portray him, but a pretty sensitive guy who dealt rather stoically with a lot of physical difficulties inherent to his condition and the disease which caused his extraordinary size.
In the pages that follow, we share some of those myths, legends and photographs that chronicle his amazing life.
1 André was billed At 7 feet four inches tall and 520 pounds.
André’s actual height is a point of debate. Some say he was only 7 feet tall. His weight varied a lot but he was over 500 pounds during his adulthood. According to Hulk Hogan, “He was never 500 pounds … we weighed him at Detroit airport before WrestleMania III and he was 650 or something. He was big, he’d just had back surgery and he was heavy,” he told Grandland’s Bill Simmons.
What size shoe did Andre the Giant Wear? He wore a 24-26 size shoe.
For comparison’s sake, 7′ 1″ Shaquille O'Neal wears a size 22 shoe.
Andre's cowboy boot.