Jun 25, 2018

Andre the Giant: The Biggest Hands in Hollywood

When thinking of beefcake icons, Andre the Giant (1946-1993) does not immediately come to mind, but take another look at him.

Not bad.

Born Andre Roussimoff in 1946, a Frenchman of Bulgarian and Polish ancestry, Andre was afflicted with gigantism due to hypersecretion of the pituitary gland.  He was already 6'0 tall (1.8 meters) at age 12, and reached a full height of 7'4" (2.2 meters) and a weight of 520 lbs (235 kilograms)

Promoters liked to emphasize his massiveness by posing him with exceptionally small men.

Along with his gigantism came acromegaly, a pituitary disorder which results in the long jaw that some people might find unattractive, plus exceptionally large hands and feet.

Here he's having a beer with a friend.  Imagine those hands on your...well, anything.

When he broke into wrestling in 1966, Andre was billed as a novelty, an immovable wall that opponents couldn't tackle, but soon he displayed talent that far exceeded mere bulk.

 As one of the "good guys" in professional wrestling scenarios, he was undefeated for fifteen years, until "villain" Hulk Hogan finally defeated him at Wrestlemania 3 in 1987.

In the 1970s he began an acting career, with roles in BJ and the Bear, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Greatest American Hero.  He is best known for playing the cuddly sidekick Fezzik in The Princess Bride.

He was especially popular among adolescent boys, who found him an image of their own pubescent struggles with growth spurts and clumsy hands and feet.

Here they are lining up to touch him.

He was a major foodie and a prodigious drinker.  He could drink 16 bottles of wine or 156 beers in one sitting.

Gigantism takes its toll on the circulatory system, the bones, and the joints.  Andre had surgery on his back and knees, and had to wear a brace, but continued to wrestle on occasion -- his last match was in Japan in December 1992.  He died of a heart attack in a Parisian hotel room in January 1993.

With all the photos of Andre with his hands all over men, you're probably wondering if he was gay.

I haven't found any information about any romantic attachments, except for a cryptic story about an estranged daughter.  But since he grabbed at everything life had to offer, I imagine he invited fans of both sexes up to his room.

And no doubt many of them accepted.

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