Few giants have the acclaim that Andre the Giant had in his lifetime. Granted, he’s the only one to play Fezzik in the 1987 cult classic The Princess Bride. Andre also enjoyed fame in the WWE Hall of Fame and, as USA Today reports, for being able to drink copious amounts of beer in one sitting. He was huge, he was funny, and he was one of the most lovable giant teddy bears in the world.
Andre had always been humongous. He didn’t get that way by drinking his milk and eating his vegetables as a kid, either. He was predisposed to become a behemoth — he had a condition known as acromegaly. A tumor rested on his pituitary gland, causing the gland to produce loads of human growth hormone. The result was Andre the Giant growing to 6′ 4″ and 240 lbs by the time he was 12 years old, says Villages News, topping out at 7′ 4″ and 520 lbs in adulthood. But Andre didn’t always view his size the same way his fans did.
He didn't always enjoy being so big
Sure, Andre the Giant’s size was one of the primary factors that made his career successful. He couldn’t have made the same name for himself with his personality alone, even though he was a well-loved guy. But there are two sides to every giant. One that the public sees — the face that makes them famous — and another deep inside. For Andre, this other side wanted to experience being a normal-sized man.
“I would give much money to be able to spend one day per week as a man of regular size,” Andre once said in an interview for Sports Illustrated. “I would shop, and I would go to the cinema, and drive around in a sports car and walk down Fifth Avenue and stare at the other people for a change.” And, that’s the thing. To most, Andre was a spectacle, an attraction, “the eighth wonder of the world.” Not everyone looked at Andre like he was a star. Some people gawked. Others were reasonably intimidated by the giant’s form. And children — well …
“Often, when I go to the homes of people who have small children, the children will run from me even though they have seen me on television. I understand why they do this, but it is a sad feeling for me, even so,” he told Sports Illustrated.
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