A young André the Giant lifting up the front of a car
Before André René Roussimoff (aka, André the Giant) became best known for his wild, out of control hair and mean mug in the world of professional wrassling, he was really quite dapper and dare I say, hot in his pre-WWF days.
André the Giant as “Jean Ferre,” age 18 (billed at a height of 6’10)
Born in Grenoble, France (and neighbor of the great Samuel Beckett) André wrestled under a few other names during his early years. Such as Jean Ferre (or Géant Ferré”) after moving to Paris at the age of seventeen, and later as the “Monster Roussimoff” in the early 70s while tearing up Japan for the IWE (International Wrestling Enterprise). Mr. Roussimoff was quite the looker, no?
André the Giant in the French Riviera, 1967 (age 21)
I suppose his legendary drinking (Modern Drunkard author Richard English claims André‘s bar tab for a month’s stay at the Hyatt in London while filming The Princess Bride came to just over $40,000) and his love of gourmet food was in part to blame for his slide into his better known, much loved self. André was even the proprietor of a short-lived French restaurant in Montreal, although it appears that the main motivation for going into the restaurant trade was so he could sit at the bar and drink all the booze he wanted. Well played, André, Well played.
André the Giant during one of his many trips to Japan as “Jean Ferre”
Like many of you who read DM, I’m a HUGE fan of wrestling and its many heroes. And André the Giant is perhaps the greatest of them all. I hope that you enjoy looking at these images of the super suave Mr. Roussimoff as much as I enjoyed digging them up for you.
I also included footage from one of André‘s film roles in Casse-tête chinois pour le judoka, or Chinese Headache For Judoka from 1967 which features a 21-year-old, incredibly agile André (sporting a “Moe Howard special” bowl cut hairdo) sparring with a room full of unfortunate opponents.
André the Giant at a Paris fashion show, 1966 (age 20)
More “little” André after the jump…