Sometimes, mythical creatures are real. We have no proof for the existence of elves or fairies, but for a good chunk of the 20th century, a giant walked this earth. We’re talking about Andre the Giant, the highest paid wrestling superstar of the ‘70s and ‘80s. This titan of a man stood 7 foot 4 inches tall, weighing in at over 500 pounds. Despite this massive frame, Andre had the face of a baby and one of the most sincere smiles which helped him win his way into the hearts of wrestling fans worldwide. Given that he has been called the world’s most famous professional wrestler, there’s bound to be some rad Andre the Giant tattoos.
Andre Rene Roussimoff was born on May 19, 1946 in Coulommiers, France. He displayed signs of gigantism at an early age. By the time he was 12 years old he was a tower 6 foot three inches and weighed just over two hundred pounds.
Eventually, Andre reached a size that rendered him to big to fit on the school bus, so his neighbor offered to give him rides to school. That neighbor happened to be Nobel Prize winning playwright Samuel Beckett, in one of history’s more fun coincidences. Despite possessing one of the finest minds in the world, Andre claims that he and the Waiting For Godot author only ever really talked about cricket.
Assuming he would spend his life as a laborer, Andre dropped out of school after the eight grade, despite showing a keen talent for mathematics. He spent the next several years working on his father’s farm before moving to Paris at the age of 17. Here he began to learn the ropes of pro wrestling after a local promoter took an interest in his size.
He then moved across the Atlantic to Montreal, where he practically found fame overnight. Wrestling audiences couldn’t get enough of the giant. He caught the attention of WWF head Vince McMahon, who christened him Andre the Giant and placed him in front of the largest crowds of his career. And as they say, the rest was history.
Andre enjoyed a long and prosperous career in the WWF where he rose to worldwide stardom. The capstone of his career came in 1987 when he wrestled Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania III to the largest indoor audience attracted by a sporting event in all of history. Many wrestling historians consider this to be the pinnacle of the ‘80s wrestling boom, with Andre playing a large part towards this end.
Outside the ring, Andre enjoyed a modest acting career. His most famous role is that of Fezzik in The Princess Bride, but he had some other amazing roles. He played bigfoot in a two-part episode of the Six Million Dollar Man, showed up in Conan the Destroyer, and even landed a part in the music video for Cyndi Lauper’s "Goonies R Good Enough."
The towering entertainer has also been referred to as the “greatest drunk on earth,” due to his ability to consume mind boggling amounts of alcohol. Many of his wrestling contemporaries have stories of watching Andre consume well over one hundred beers in a sitting. We could easily write an entire article devoted to Andre’s feats of drinking, but thankfully someone else already did.
There have been countless tributes to the giant throughout the years. People have written songs about him. There’s even a play about his time with Beckett. But the most recognizable of all tributes to Andre came undoubtedly from Shepard Fairey in 1989 when he created the iconic Andre the Giant has a posse stickers. For over two decades this simple image has kept Andre’s flame burning in a unique way unenjoyed by any other actor or professional wrestler.
Andre the Giant sadly left this world in 1993, leaving a giant-sized hole in the hearts of wrestling fans everywhere. It is in recognition of his beautiful life that we have pinned down these Andre the Giant tattoos. Enjoy them as you fondly remember the most famous professional wrestler to ever walk the earth.