André the Giant is a wrestling legend and French actor. In the World Wrestling Federation he was a one-time WWF World Heavyweight Champion and a one-time WWF Tag Team Champion with Haku, while in 1993 he was the first inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
His immense size, a result of his acromegaly, led him to be nicknamed The Eighth Wonder of the World. In addition to wrestling, he has participated in a few films and his most famous appearance is in the role of Fezzik, the giant in the film The Princess Bride.
His career took a turn in 1987 when, during an episode of the Piper's Pit program, he turned his back on his friend Hulk Hogan, throwing him a challenge for the WrestleMania III edition. Behind all this, as expected, was manager Bobby Heenan, who managed to convince André that Hogan continued their friendship only out of fear that André might one day defeat him and thus take the WWF title from him. WrestleMania III was an event, in which Hogan did the impossible: he lifted the massive André with a body slam and then pinned him, immediately after hitting him with his famous Legdrop. The match, held at the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit, Michigan, was attended by 93,173 spectators, plus several million spectators around the world.
In 1974 Washington Redskins head coach George Allen offered André the Giant a pro contract as a football player, but he turned it down to stay in the wrestling business. André is listed in the 1974 Guinness Book of World Records as the highest-paid wrestler in history, earning $400,000 a year in the early 1970s.
André died in his sleep at 18:20 on January 28, 1993, struck down by cardiac arrest, in a Parisian hotel, at the age of 46. He had returned to France a few days ago following the disappearance of his father, who died 13 days earlier. He was known to colleagues and friends outside the ring as the gentle giant for his jovial character and generosity, and his death was greeted with amazement and emotion.