Celebrity Birthday of the Day – May 19

RED 0313P37-andre1.jpgAndre Roussimoff, better known as Andre the Giant, was afflicted with acromegaly, which led to him growing to extreme size and weight as a very young age. By age 12 he was already 6’3 and weighed 240 pounds, and was so big that couldn’t even fit on the school bus. Roussimoff was spotted by a Paris wrestling promoter when he moved to the city at age 17, and was soon training as a professional wrestler. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Andre the Giant wrestled in matches all over the world, and often promoters would have difficulty finding suitable opponents for him due to his immense size. He was a one-time WWF Champion and one-time WWF World Tag Team Champion, and was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1993, following his retirement from wrestling. Andre the Giant also did a small amount of acting in film and television, most notably in an uncredited role in Conan the Destroyer and as Fezzik in The Pricess Bride. He died in 1993 due to congestive heart failure at the age of 46, but his legacy lives on to this day – not only in The Princess Bride, but also as the inspiration for street artist Shepard Fairey’s OBEY brand icon.

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