André the Giant gave all of himself to entertain the world despite being born with acromegaly, a condition that kept his body growing uncontrollably. Even when his massive body size was beginning to take its toll, causing unbearable strains in his joints and bones, the legendary wrestler smiled through his illness and disability. Folks have since grown curious to find out a thing or two about André the giant’s family and life away from his accomplishments as a professional wrestler, as the gentle French giant proved that he had a truly larger than life personality. Here’s all you should know about his marriage and lineage.
Who was André the Giant Married To?
Growing up, André was just a country boy who craved a normal life. He was dubbed a ladies man in his younger days until his heart was eventually stolen by a woman named Jean Christensen, a former high school wrestler who later worked as a stage manager in the music industry.
Jean later ventured into the wrestling business as a photographer and seamstress following a near-fatal car accident that left her with serious injuries. It was during this time that the famous wrestler who was at the height of his career in the mid-1970s met his future wife. André the Giant quickly fell for Jean and they got married in a private ceremony in Canada.
Jean Christensen’s passion for sewing and costume designs made her return to the classrooms later to study fashion design, marketing, as well as manufacturing techniques. After learning to sew properly, she made clothes for her huge famous husband and also introduced colorful gears to the wrestling industry.
The Reason for their Divorce Remains a Mystery
After a few years together, André the Giant’s dream of raising a big family with Jean came to a crashing end in the late 1970s. The pair called it quits without giving any reason for their divorce, thus creating a mystery around the circumstances that led to their separation.
While Andre’s career subsequently moved on to greater heights, his seamstress ex-wife dissociated herself from the wrestling business although she never really got over her ex-husband. This was evident through the fact that she joined the WWE and other industry stakeholders to honor the legendary wrestler’s legacy after he passed away.
She would then go on to open a costume shop in her name and that of her late ex-husband as she also kept some of his personal items for herself. This includes the French giant’s size 28E shoes. Christensen continued to make wears for big names in the entertainment industry from her André’s Bodacious Babe Costumes shop in Shoreline until she passed away in 2008.
Did They Have Any Children?
André the Giant and his wife Jean Christensen were able to add just one member to the family before they called it quits. They welcomed a daughter named Robin Christensen in 1979.
The gentle giant’s profession took a toll on his parental responsibilities and Robin grew up rarely seeing her father. In fact, their relationship was so poor that Robin reportedly saw her famous father only about five times before his untimely demise. While the 6 feet tall Robin was a bit more willing to discuss André in her early life, she now consciously avoids the subject and is more media evasive these days.
His Only Child Became the Sole Benefactor of his Estate
Besides the fixed sum André willed to the caretaker of his ranch and ex-wife, his daughter Robin became the sole benefactor of the wrestler’s estate following his death. Robin was disconnected from the wrestling world and did not know much about her famous father while he was alive. She was only able to learn more about him later on from some of his acquaintances in wrestling and Hollywood whom she contacted after his death. One person who particularly helped her out was her father’s co-star in Princess Bride, Chris Sarandon.
Though André the Giant’s daughter tries to shy away from his fame, she now officially represents him in any posthumous dealings. While maintaining a very professional relationship with WWE, Robin Christensen remains the key permit for licensing, books, documentaries, movies, promotions, royalties, or any other project surrounding André’s legacy.
Andre’s daughter who reportedly resides in Seattle admits that the wrestler’s stardom came with some high prices. According to her, it has caused her some issues in her relationships. With her now mostly maintaining a low profile, it is unclear if Robin has since been able to find love.
André the Giant’s Family was Rocked by Controversies Surrounding Robin’s Paternity
André the Giant’s wife, who died in 2008, was faced with the unpalatable task of convincing the famed wrestler that he was really the father of their only child. After she had Robin, her husband didn’t initially accept that he was the father. His reason for questioning Robin’s paternity was that acromegaly could make people unable to father children; thus, one would be right to consider the birth of his daughter something close to a miracle.
According to Robin, her earliest memory of her dad was while they were undergoing a paternity test at a doctor’s clinic. That meeting was succeeded by court appearances to discuss payments for child support after the tests proved beyond doubt that she was indeed the wrestler’s daughter.
Andre’s career path kept him on the move for a better part of his life. This greatly affected his relationship with his daughter, who claimed that she only got to see him a few times when their town hosted events for the then World Wrestling Federation.
Robin Never Lived with her Father
Robin was just ten years old when an opportunity to go on a visit at her dad’s ranch presented itself. However, the young lady was so intimidated by the idea that she had to turn the request down. Her reasons were that she felt frightened at the idea of staying in strange surroundings with a man she hardly knew, even though he was her dad. Besides, she was also discouraged by the fact that she would be going without her mother.
The last conversation between Robin and her estranged dad was in 1992, during Christmas. A few weeks later, shortly after he attended his father’s funeral in France, the famous wrestler died in his sleep on the 23rd of January 1993 at a hotel room in Paris. His death was said to be as a result of congestive heart failure.
It took almost a month before André the Giant’s family in America learned about his death from his lawyer who left a message on their answering machine. Though Robin and André didn’t have the best of a father-daughter relationship, Robin was deeply touched by the news and couldn’t bring herself to participate in the two memorial services organized for her dad.