Trivia Minute May 19, 2015

Episode 80: Andre the Giant

by Marcus Michelson
"Andre in the late '80s" by John McKeon - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Andre_in_the_late_%2780s.jpg#/media/File:Andre_in_the_late_%2780s.jpg
Andre the Giant in the late 1980s. (Photo by John McKeon via Wikimedia Commons)

Today marks the 69th anniversary of the birth of Andre Rene Russimoff, better known as Andre the Giant.

Here are a few things you may not have known about him:

One: He was born in Grenoble, France, and was raised in a small village near Paris. One of his neighbors was Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, who would give him rides to school in his truck. According to the website, TheMaryJane.com, Andre said the two would talk mostly about the sport of cricket.
Two: Andre’s large size was caused by acromegaly, a pituitary gland condition that results in the production of excess growth hormones in adolescence.  By the age of 12, Andre was 6-foot-3 and weighed 240 pounds. He would grow to be 7-foot-4 and 520 pounds.

Three: Andre began his professional wrestling career in 1963, eventually making his World Wide Wrestling Federation debut in 1973. He would become one of the most popular good guy or babyfaces in the organization’s history. In 1987 he made what is called a heel-turn, changing to a bad guy involved in a rivalry with Hulk Hogan. That rivalry culminated with Hogan’s victory over Andre at Wrestlemania III.

Four: Andre made several television guest appearances in the 1970s and 1980s before landing his most memorable role as Fezzik in “The Princess Bride” in 1987. His last role was in the movie “Trading Mom” which was released one year after he died in 1993.

Our question: Andre the Giant was the inspiration for what movie starring Billy Crystal?

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