Gentle Giant Andre Roussimoff Settled in Ellerbe
On January 27, 1993, Andre the Giant, world-famous wrestler and Richmond County resident, died in France.
Born Andre Roussimoff in Grenoble, France in 1946, he suffered from acromegaly, a result of a pituitary disorder that caused his body to over-produce growth hormones. He grew to be giganitic, later billed at 7’4” and 500 pounds. At 17, Andre moved to Paris, where he was discovered by a wresting promoter. He trained and worked hard at the sport. He enjoyed success in several countries and as a variety of personae before moving to the United States.
Here he became “Andre the Giant,” an immovable force who debuted at Madison Square Garden in 1973. He grew to be a fan favorite and one of the most recognized wrestlers in the business. Andre took advantage of his size when he branched out into acting in the 1970s. He appeared in several television shows, including The Six Million Dollar Man, B. J. and the Bear and The Fall Guy. His most celebrated role, and his personal favorite, was as Fezzik in the 1987 hit movie The Princess Bride.
Andre retired to a ranch in Ellerbe in the south central part of the state, where he enjoyed a peaceful life. His ashes were scattered there after his death.
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