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André the Giant

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Birthday: May 19, 1946

Birthplace: Molien, France

A French-born pro wrestler-turned-pop cultural phenomenon, André the Giant suffered from acromegaly, which caused him to grow to seven feet tall and more than 500 pounds. Nicknamed "The Eighth Wonder of the World," the awe-inspiring André became a sports entertainment superstar when he joined the World Wrestling Federation (then known as the WWF). Buoyed by his massive size as well as his sweet nature, André became a fan favorite whose defeat by Hulk Hogan at "WrestleMania III" (1987) was considered by many to be the ultimate wrestling event of the era. His innate likability translated to screen roles, and he appeared with several other pro wrestlers in Cyndi Lauper's music video for "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" but he shone brightest as the kindly giant Fezzik in "The Princess Bride" (1987). He died of heart failure on Jan. 27, 1993 in Paris, France, but lived on as the inaugural inductee into the WWF Hall of Fame as well as the inspiration for Billy Crystal's "My Giant" (1998) and Shepard Fairey's "André the Giant Has a Posse"/"OBEY" iconic image. Retaining a place of affection in the hearts of a certain generation who grew up idolizing him, André the Giant left behind a legacy that was as much a testament to his enormous stature as well as his enormous charisma.



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