During his career, Andr Ren Roussimoff evolved into Andr the Giant by way of being known as Monster Eiffel Tower, Monster Roussimoff, The Butcher, Jean Ferre, among others. Diagnosed with acromegaly, Andrs body produced an abnormal amount of growth hormones, which resulted in his incredible size. As his many names would suggest, Andrs legend soon became even larger than his looming stature. Andr was well known for taking personal feelings into the ring, and especially dominating those whom he did not favor. Andr never tried to tarnish an opponents reputation, or make a fool of him during a match, unless he held a grudge against him. This legend became one synonymous to one of a god. He was unpredictable, all-powerful, and feared by everyone who knew him.
Andrs fame stretched far beyond the borders of the wrestling ring, holding a Guinness World Record for the highest paid wrestler, and also appeared on The Six Million Dollar Man, Conan the Destroyer, Hulk Hogans Rock n Wrestling, and The Princess Bride. Andr was even invited to try out for the Washington Redskins. He was mostly portrayed as a giant or an ancient god, which parallels his reputation in the wrestling world. Andr was an invincible giant with godly powers in the ring.
Aside from his very public life, Andr led a self-destructive lifestyle. He was known to finish absurd amounts of liquor and beer in one sitting, even once saying, It usually takes two liters of vodka just to make me feel warm inside. He was subjected to surgeries and rehab, but his habits never fully left his lifestyle. Eventually, this behavior began to take a toll on his wrestling career. He was soon publicized not only for his invincibility in the ring, but also for his ability to consume alcohol. Whether these stories are accurate or not, Andr had lost his reputation of a clean, moral celebrity. No longer was Andr the Giant seen as invincible, but some of his opponents realized his new weaknesses and were ready to upstage his fame.
WrestleMania III came with a backstory of animosity between Andr and his opponent Hogan. At this point in Andrs career, he was no longer known as the morally sound giant, but now was regarded as a sort of fallen god. Publicized as the biggest match in the history of professional wrestling, Andr had everything to lose, and Hogan had everything to gain. Andr was pinned for Hogans victory, and the world was mesmerized by the fact that Andr had been defeated for the first time in history, however false that headline may have been. The next big match of Andrs career, however, was a match for pure revenge. He challenged Hogan to a televised rematch in 1988, and beat him in a visibly rigged arena. After word got out about this injustice, Andr became known as a cheater, and was forever portrayed as the bad guy in his wrestling matches.
Throughout the latter part of his career, Andr continued his self-destructive behavior, turning to alcohol for relief from his depression. He died at age 46 from a heart attack, but his legacy remained. He was one of the final big wrestlers of the era before television and Internet. His fame was brought about because of the fact that the myths of his size and stories of his wrestling were able to flourish into godly proportions. Wrestling today differs greatly from wrestling of Andrs time, but the legend of this French giant will always be remembered.