“The giant Ferré” by Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hébert: the life of an extraordinary wrestler

Indispensable figures in the world of professional wrestling, Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hébert offer an imposing work on the story of a legendary wrestler who has marked the imagination of thousands of fans over the years: The giant Ferré. Telling anecdotes about his childhood, career and life, the authors show the man behind the legend.

Many anecdotes and crazy stories have been told about André Roussimoff, nicknamed the giant Ferré. This imposing Frenchman, measuring 7 feet 4 inches and weighing over 400 pounds, triumphed in the WWF and marked the world of wrestling.

Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hébert looked at his life, from his birth in 1946 to his untimely death in 1993. They make the distinction between myths and reality, about this man with an extraordinary destiny, who was in love from Quebec and there were several friends.

Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hébert

Photo courtesy, Martine Doyon

Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hébert

Rare sickness

André Roussimoff suffered from a rare disease, acromegaly, which deformed his body and seriously compromised his health. He died at the age of 46, but enjoyed glory during his lifetime.

A few years ago, Pat Laprade contributed to a documentary on the giant Ferré, shot for HBO, then translated and broadcast on Canal D. He was able to go to France to meet members of the giant’s family. The idea of ​​continuing research and writing a book with Bertrand Hébert has gained ground … and it is now done, in English and French versions.

“It’s been two years of work,” said Pat Laprade in an interview. I returned to France to meet the family again. I had other contacts because of the documentary, so we called those people back. Obviously, former wrestlers who had known the giant in Quebec, we put them to work.

“Everyone was happy to tell us about the giant because he was remarkable. If you were a wrestler and you were from Quebec, you instantly became friends with the giant. These are friendships that lasted and these people wanted to pay tribute to him. They had a lot to say. ”

The authors wanted to offer even more information than what was in the TV documentary. “We can talk about different subjects, in much more detail. There has never been a book on the giant, even in English, with so much detail on the different facets, both of the wrestler and of the man. “

His humanity

Pat Laprade explains that they tried to make his story more human and there are many anecdotes about it. “People knew the version of André’s giant … but the man was much more reserved. We talked less about it. His brother told me that he had been involved in an accident in France when he started his wrestling career. He struck a motorcyclist who died instantly. The giant was in shock. ”

The giant also had a career outside the ring. “In the 1970s, there was no more famous wrestler than the giant Ferré. He was the only one in the United States who managed to make talk shows like Johnny Carson. He had a film career: he played Bigfoot in The Man of Six Million and he starred in The Golden Button Princess in the 1980s. He had a career that transcended the world of wrestling. ”

  • Pat Laprade is a well-known figure in professional wrestling, both as an author and commentator for WWE at TVA Sports, and associate producer for the documentary André the Giant on HBO.
  • It is considered THE reference in the history of wrestling in Quebec.
  • Bertrand Hébert has been involved in professional wrestling for 25 years.
  • He co-wrote with Pat Laprade several works on this universe.

EXTRACT

In the newspapers, the statistics between the two adversaries were emphasized: height, weight, age and much more. The Giant was announced at his classic 7 feet 4 inches and 402 pounds, while the “Mormon Giant” was announced at 6 feet 7 inches and 305 pounds. It was more than enough to make people want to watch this game. With all the scale given to the evening, the price of tickets has been increased. At the previous show at the Forum in April, general admission tickets cost two dollars, and reserved seats ranged from three to five dollars. For Combat du Siècle, the cost of general admission increased to three dollars, and the places reserved increased to five, eight and ten dollars, almost double the price in effect a few weeks ago! ”

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