It’s hard to imagine what professional wrestling would even look like today if not for the immense contributions of Andre The Giant. In the lead up to this year’s Wrestlemania, CBS Sports ran an extensive profile on the biggest name in sports entertainment history as fleshed out by some of the people who knew him best. While Andre certainly lived a colorful, interesting life, the piece goes a long way to reveal the man beyond the body slams as he lived outside of the confines of the squared-circle.
Among the more interesting and sometimes sad revelations include:
- The man could drink an ungodly amount of beer—sometimes a full trashcan’s worth—to no effect whatsoever. “Obviously for a man his size, he could drink a lot,” [Million Dollar Man Ted] DiBiase said. “But in all the time I was with Andre, I never saw him slur a word. I never saw him out of control, ever.”
- While he enjoyed spending his hard-earned cash just as much as the next red-blooded American consumer, because of his inability to escape attention while out in public, more often than not, Andre did his shopping from the comfort of his own couch via the QVC network.
- No one was a bigger fan of The Princess Bride than Andre The Giant. He would often force friends and fellow wrestlers to watch it with him several times over.
- Andre knew about his case of acromegaly, the affliction responsible for his own immense size and ultimately short lifespan for decades and consistently refused treatment. According to his friend Jackie McAuley “He said, ‘If this is the size that God wanted me to be, I’m going to be this size.’”
The whole story is available on CBS Sports.