If you’re either a wrestling fan or a dedicated boozer, you have probably heard about Andre the Giant. Born Andre Rene Roussimoff in 1946, France, he became legendary for his drinking accomplishments – including that one time he drank 119 beers in six hours, which incidentally was also one of the few occasions where he passed out … although it wasn’t actually his most intense drinking sessions (see below).
Andre also became legendary as a professional wrestler, as well as a testament to the fact that Wrestlemania events are scripted. Because if they weren’t, Andre would never have been defeated. Not even once. And if you think that is an overstatement, you will surely change your mind by the end of this article.
Actually, maybe these photos will help get things into perspective. The first picture was shot in an occasion where Andre the Giant met with boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who is shown measuring his jaw against Andre’s hand. Notice the worried expression on the heavy-weight’s champion face, contrasting the amusement of Andre.
Top 7 Greatest drinking stories about Andre the Giant:
- Andre was known for his 4-digit bar tabs and 5-digit room service bills; although to his credit, it should be pointed out that he disliked drinking by himself and would frequently get all his friends drunk. Needless to say, no one could quite keep up with him, though.
In a standard 1 hour flight, Andre would drink a good dozen mini-vokdas, to distract himself from the fact he did not feel comfortable in those puny coaches.
He once claimed it took two liters of vodka to start feeling warm and fuzzy inside. He told so to an anesthesiologist who was trying to calculate what it would take to put him under.
In one of his Japanese Tours, he was offered a 16 bottle case of gourmet plum wine. Four hours later, he had just finished gulping down the last bottle. Immediately afterwards, we went into the ring where he fought three matches. There was no apparent effect in his fighting ability.
Once in a hotel bar, Andre ordered a vodka and cranberry juice, which came in a standard low-ball glass. He held it with the tip of his huge fingers, drank it down in a sip, and approved it as a preview. He them told the bartender to mix another one in a beer mug.
While touring in Kansas, he once struck a deal with a bartender who had made the last call and wanted to close the bar: Andre would be allowed to stay in for as long as he kept drinking. To this effect, he ordered 40 vodka tonics and sat the drinking one after another, which he finished doing just before dawn.
One of the few times Andre passed out from drinking, it took 119 beers (12 ounce) in a period of six hours to do the job. That’s one beer every 3 minutes, for six hours straight. And you thought you could drink a lot of beer, right? Just remember Andre was the GIANT, so this doesn’t give us average sized people an excuse to try to dirnk 119 beers. Anyone who drinks anywhere near this amount can find some helpful information at sites like rehabflorida.com
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (Arm wrestling classic match)
Andre is not even trying, if you ask me. If this was not a WWF play, I’m not sure it would take more than a few seconds for Hulk Hogan to lose this arm wrestling match.
Who is standing in the shoulders of Andre the Giant?
Hope is standing in the shoulders of Andre the Giant. Hope that you can overcome adversities, make lemon with life’s lemonades. Hope that you can get by with drinking obscene amounts of liquor without bursting your liver too soon. To this day, Andre the Giant is not only an inspiration to the drunkards of the world, to whom he remains an undisputed king.
His life story is also a good example of someone who persevered over many adversities, and always kept a positive attitude and became one of the best at what he did. His story is one of someone who was known to be remarkably kind and cheerful, and who touched the lives of many people who met him, in a positive way.
You see… just like Maurice tillet (whom you can see in the previous picture), Andre likewise suffered from Acromegaly, a hormonal condition that caused his bones to grow excessively.
Later in his life, this condition would cause him terrible pains in his joints, which would eventually force him to retire from Wrestling. If you’ve only watched videos of Andre wresting in the 80′s and 90′s, you never saw what he was really capable of doing. Here’s a hint:
When he was still in good physical shape, Andre was not only incredibly large and strong, but also remarkably agile. During this time, he was beyond the capacity of any other fighter. There was simply no match for him. Even later in his life when his health condition worsened, his strength was such that no one could quite measure up to him in a real fight. Or even in a drinking competition, for that matter.
In more than a way, Andre the Giant was the largest man to have ever stepped inside a wrestling ring.
The Princes Bride + a few extras
edit: you’ve asked for it, you got it! I noticed by the comments that while the guys seem to remember Andre from his awesomeness in the ring, the lades seem to have fond memories of the Gentle Giant from his role in the movie “The Princess Bride”. As such, I’ve located a couple of pictures meant to take you on a merry stroll down memory lane. Enjoy!
I haven’t watched this movie myself, but I realize it’s dearly cherished by many people. Andre himself is known to have said on several occasions that working on this movie was one of the most satisfying experiences of his career.
Also… while this is slightly unrelated (more like a spin-off), many people know about Andre because his face became the icon of a widespread street art campaign that is often referred to as OBEY! the giant. If you want to know more about it, there’s a detailed article at the Wikipedia, which you may want to check out.