André the Giant was a staple in the wrestling world for the majority of the 80s. He not only was a huge wrestling star, but he also managed to become a movie star thanks to his role in The Princess Bride.
But how did the "Gentle Giant" get his start in wrestling? Let's see how much you really know about the man who was around for so much of your childhood.
1. Where did it all start?
André the Giant was actually born André René Roussimoff in a small town in France. He had four siblings, but none of them grew as tall as he did. He was born with a rare hormonal disorder called Acromegaly, which causes the pituitary gland to produce excess growth hormones.
André reached a height of 6'3" by the time he was 12-years-old, and he didn't stop growing. When he was 14 he decided to move out of his home and go get a job. At 17, he began training at a gym that just happened to be filled with wrestlers, and after a while he seemed to have found his calling.
2. He was kind of a goofball
Even though his job as a wrestler required him to fight people, he seemed to try to make it a fun experience. He would often wring out the sweat from his singlet onto his opponents faces, and once he purposefully farted on them. Jake "The Snake" Roberts said that André squatted down right over his face and farted. "This went on for like 30 seconds," Roberts said. "Giants fart for extremely long periods of time."
3. He had a lot of medical issues
Because he was so large, André had to deal with a lot of physical pain. In 1986 he had to have a spinal surgery that forced him to take a break from wrestling. When he eventually came back, he had to wear braces under his costume to prevent himself from getting hurt.
4. He didn't actually discover the reason he was so large until he was an adult
He was on a wrestling tour in Japan when he finally decided to see a doctor about the condition where they came up with the diagnosis of acromegaly. The life expectancy of someone with this condition is only 40-years-old, but André lived to 46.
5. He could lift cars
As a prank, André would pick up his friend's cars as a joke and move them into small parking spaces or just turn them in place. He never really lifted weights, his strength was due to his condition. There are rumors that he once flipped the car of some people who were harassing him, but it's hard to know if that's true.