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Andre the Giant’s Extraordinary Height, Weight and Size in Pictures

Photo Credit: Jeff Goode / Toronto Star via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jeff Goode / Toronto Star via Getty Images

Everyone knows that Andre the Giant was larger than life, but it’s easy to forget just how tall he really was. Andre the Giant displayed signs of gigantism, a disorder that causes the body to produce excessive growth hormones. As a result, Andre the Giant grew to be nearly 7 foot 4 inches tall. Here, we have some photos of Andre the Giant that really put his size into perspective as well as some incredible facts about his life.

1. Fast growing

Andre the Giant (right), age 19, standing beside French wrestler Cheri-Bibi (left). (Photo Credit: Universal/ Getty Images)
Andre the Giant (right), age 19, standing beside French wrestler Cheri-Bibi (left). (Photo Credit: Universal/ Getty Images)

Andre the Giant (whose birth name was André René Roussimoff) was born on May 19, 1946 in Coulommiers, Seine-et-Marne, France. By the age of 12, he was 6 foot 3 inches (191 cm) tall and weighed 200 pounds.

2. Unrecognizable

Andre the Giant at a Fashion Exhibition
Andre the Giant, age 19, at a fashion exhibition. (Photo Credit: Universal/ Getty Images)

At age 14, Andre left home in pursuit of new opportunities. Five years later, at the age of 19, he returned home to see his parents. When he got home, his parents initially did not recognize him because he had physically changed so much since the last time they had seen him.

3. Gigantic appetite

Andre the Giant and Wendy Owinski
Andre the Giant on his Australia tour, circa 1974. Here he is pictured with a woman named Wendy Owinski, who was 5 ft 9 inches tall. (Photo Credit: Fairfax Media Archives/ Getty Images)

It surely takes a lot of food to adequately give energy to an individual who stands over seven feet tall. According to Tim White, who was a former professional wrestling referee and close personal friend of Andre the Giant, the famed wrestler could easily eat up to 12 steaks and 15 lobsters in one sitting. However, according to White, he “didn’t do that often, but if he felt like putting on a show and having some laughs, he would go ahead and do that.”

4. Huge jokester

Andre the Giant meeting Muhammad Ali
Andre the Giant (right) and Muhammad Ali (left) compare hand sizes, March 25, 1976. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

Although Andre the Giant was a danger in the wrestling ring, he had a huge sense of humor when he wasn’t fighting. He was known to play practical jokes on his friends, which often included moving his friends’ cars. At one point, Andre figured out he could move (as in completely relocate) small cars without any sort of assistance. While his friends were inside a bar or restaurant, Andre would move their vehicles without them knowing. He would reverse the direction of the parked car, or even move it into a really tight parking spot, making it difficult for his friends to get out once their evening had wrapped up.

5. Heavy drinker

Andre arriving at the Sydney airport
Andre The Giant arriving in Sydney for a match against “Goliath”, 7’0″ tall and over 500lbs at Flemington Market Pavilion on Friday May 2nd, 1980. (Photo Credit: Antony Matheus Linsen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).

Andre the Giant was known for having an unquenchable thirst — for alcohol! Rob Reiner claimed that Andre drank 20 bottles of wine on a movie set, while Ric Flair claimed that he once drank 106 cans of beer in a night. Andre’s favorite beer was Molson Canadian (pictured here in his hand), and supposedly, he would drink about two cases of it every day.

6. Larger than life

Andre eating dinner
Andre eating dinner (Photo Credit: Unknown author / eBay / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

Andre the Giant’s size was unbelievable. At his biggest, Andre wore size 22 shoes, and his wrist was the equivalent to that of a gorilla. His fingers were so large that a silver dollar coin could easily pass through his rings.

7. Give or take a few inches

Andre and Arnold meeting
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Andre the Giant on the set of “Conan the Destroyer, directed by Richard Fleischer, Mexico City, Mexico, 1983 (Photo Credit: Rolf Konow/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)

Although Andre the Giant was typically described as 7-foot-4 inches, his passport dubbed him just under 7-foot-2 inches. However, in the 1980s, Andre underwent a back surgery which shaved a few inches off his height. After the surgery, Andre the Giant stood around 6-foot-10 inches.

8. A tab nearly as big as he was

Andre carrying Robin Wright on the set of 'The Princess Bride'
Andre carrying Robin Wright on the set of ‘The Princess Bride’ (Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Zayne / MovieStillsDB)

While working on the movie The Princess Bride, Andre would often take the cast out for drinks at the end of the workday. The cast would try to keep up with Andre, which often resulted in massive hangovers on set the following day. By the time The Princess Bride had wrapped up, Andre’s bar tab was nearly $40,000.

9. A not-so-delicate situation

Andrew The Giant wrestling Bull Ramos in 1974
Andre the Giant vs. Bull Ramos during a private match, November 10, 1974. (Photo Credit: Wayne Russell Black/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).

According to former WWF star Brutus Beefcake, Andre once caused quite a commotion on a 14-hour flight from Tokyo to the US. During the long flight, Andre left a lasting impression on his fellow passengers with an unforgettable mid-flight incident.

Beefcake shared the story with Wrestling Shoot Interviews. Allegedly, Andre felt nature calling during the flight. However, he was unable to fit in the airplane’s bathroom so flight attendants gave him a large trash bag and escorted him to the area where they prepare meals, closing the curtains for privacy.

The aircraft was hit by an astonishingly foul odor as Andre relieved himself. Beefcake recalled, “I’ve never heard anything like it. The sounds emanating from there were astonishing. People were gagging, puking, crying, and screaming, while the rest of us were laughing uncontrollably.” Passengers were even falling out of their seats and collapsing onto the floor, according to Beefcake, who said it must have been the “world’s biggest poo.”

The situation became so intense that Beefcake found it difficult to breathe amid the chaos. “I couldn’t breathe. He must have half filled-up a garbage bag full of [waste].”

10. Gone, but not forgotten

Andre the Giant smiles from the ring
Andre the Giant smiles as he walks around in the ring as a guest referee for the match with Rowdy Roddy Piper and Adrian Adonis on January 30, 1987. (Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)

Andre the Giant died in his sleep on January 27, 1993, at the age of 46. His cause of death was congestive heart failure. People diagnosed with acromegaly commonly experience organ deterioration over the span of their lives.

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Andre wanted to be cremated, but crematoriums in Paris could not accommodate his large body. As a result, his body was flown back to the United States to be cremated. His ashes weighed 17 pounds and were scattered on the Roussimoff Family Ranch in Ellerbe, North Carolina. Andre the Giant was the first person to be inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame after his death.

Madeline Hiltz

Madeline Hiltz is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News