Andre the Giant, the legendary pro wrestler and Princess Bride star, made a career out of his colossal stature. And tales of the larger-than-life Frenchman, who died in 1993, keep springing up—in particular, tales of his incredible drinking habits.
“Andre used to ask me to get him six bottles of Mateus wine and ice them down,” former wrestlerGerald Brisco told the Tampa Bay Times. “He would drink those before we went to the ring and no one could tell.”
In the Times interview, which was published this week, Brisco also dropped this new bit:
“One night in Sarasota, Andre is traveling with us. So we pull over and get two cases of tall boys. By the time we get from Sarasota to the Tahitian Inn on Dale Mabry, the two cases were bone dry.”
The newly unearthed stories of Andre’s gargantuan drinking habits drove admirers to dig up past tales of his feats. Fox Sports has the most solid collection, and here are three of the most unbelievable bits:
102 beers in 45 minutes
Hulk Hogan, Andre’s old drinking buddy, to CBS:
“So I drive over the airport and I met him at the Delta Crown Lounge. By the time we sat down we had about 45 minutes before he had to walk to the next gate. He drank 108 12-ounce beers.”
12 bottles of wine in three hours
Again, Hogan to CBS:
“I bought a case of Pouilly-Fuissé wine — 12 bottles of this very powerful, powerful, strong, white French wine … All of a sudden we left the hotel about 8 in the morning for an eight hour bus ride. About three hours later he shakes the seat. He says, ‘Boss. Bossss. I need pit stop.’ Three hours on a bus he drank 12 bottles of wine.”
His favorite drink: 40-ounce pitchers of mixed booze
From an interview Princess Bride co-star Cary Elwes in Vanity Fair:
“According to Elwes, the famed wrestler preferred something stiffer, specifically, ‘The American,’ a concoction that consisted of 40 ounces of various liquors poured into a pitcher.
“Elwes said that Andre would drink several of these in a single sitting. ‘I’ve never tasted airplane fuel,’ Elwes said, ‘But I imagine it’s very close to what that must taste like.'”
Elwes told Vanity Fair that Andre didn’t drink because he was an alcoholic, but rather to numb physical pain. The wrestler stood 7-foot-4 and weighed more than 500 pounds, the magazine noted, and Elwes said his massive weight—and the chairs wrestlers smashed against his back—took a toll.
“(His) doctor didn’t know what kind of pain medication to give him because of his size,” Elwes said, “so the only way that he could deal with the pain was to drink alcohol.”