The Truth About Andre The Giant's Daughter

As Biography tells us, literal giant of the wrestling industry Andre "the Giant" Roussimoff never married. However, he did have a daughter. As CBS Sports reports, Robin Christensen-Roussimoff is Andre's only child. Her mother, Jean, was also involved in the wrestling business and met the Giant sometime around 1972 or 1973. Robin was born a few years later, but unfortunately, the father and daughter never managed to develop much of a bond. Andre's relationship with Jean was strained, to say the least, so Robin only remembers seeing her father a total of five times. Two or three of them were in the wrestling ring. The others were in court.

The two were ultimately unable to form a proper father-daughter relationship, which was reportedly one of Andre's greatest regrets, as he truly loved his daughter. Not that he didn't make an attempt to connect with her. He was wary of meeting Robin in public and subjecting her to giant dad-related gawking, so he tried multiple times to get her to visit his ranch in North Carolina. Unfortunately, this never came to pass, because Robin was quite young at the time and didn't want to make the trip without her mother, and her mother and Andre weren't on good enough terms for Jean to tag along.

Robin Christensen-Roussimoff on her father

Though that may come across as though Christensen-Roussimoff's mother actively tried to prevent her from seeing her father, she says that her mom merely encouraged her to form a picture of her father on her own, without buying into the media hype about Andre the Giant. Jean never attempted to stop their daughter from seeing Andre — Christensen-Roussimoff was merely too young to brave venturing out without her mother, so she vetoed such ideas herself. 

Christensen-Roussimoff nevertheless kept in contact with Andre, mostly over the phone. The last of their conversations was in December 1992. Andre the Giant died shortly afterwards, and though Christensen-Roussimoff didn't attend either of his two memorial services, she did keep her father close to heart. As she grew into adulthood, she started trying to uncover more and more information about Andre from his old wrestler colleagues, which was incredibly difficult due to the fact that she comes from outside the industry, and from his "Princess Bride" co-stars, which was significantly easier. In fact, as of 2015, the movie's star, Cary Elwes, still kept in regular touch with her due to their shared connection with Andre.

These days, as Mandatory and 411 Mania tell us, Christensen-Roussimoff is cool enough with her father and his legacy to appear on the occasional wrestling-themed podcast to discuss their relationship, and to speak at New York City Comic-Con about him.

Telling her father's story on film

In 2018, Robin Christensen-Roussimoff appeared in an HBO Sports documentary on her father titled "Andre the Giant," though a review in Quartz remarked that her screen-time was "brief" and no information on her mother was shared. While Rotten Tomatoes posted a positive critical and audience consensus on the HBO doc, Quartz editor Oliver Staley felt the film didn't investigate the wrestler's dangerous profession and untimely death in as meaningful a way as co-producer Bill Simmons' incisive "30 For 30" sports series. Still, Christensen-Roussimoff is committed enough to telling her father's story that she has agreed to consult on and issue the rights to a biopic about Andre the Giant, as reported by Variety.

In an interview with ThePostGame about the HBO film, Christensen-Roussimoff said, "For me, the persona [of Andre the Giant] never really touched me. When I saw him, he was dad, because I saw him behind the ring." Despite her limited contact with him, she added, "He was truly the gentle giant. I never felt any fear around him whatsoever. He really was just a cheerful person."

How Robin learned about her father's death

Robin Christensen-Roussimoff and her mother Jean were so removed from Andre the Giant's life that they missed the phone call informing them of his death, only learning through a message on the answering machine (via CBS Sports). While her mother was in tears, Christensen-Roussimoff was filled with complicated emotions. "I promptly left the house and went to my best friend's house at that time," she told CBS Sports, "and probably didn't come home for five or six hours."

Fortunately for Christensen-Roussimoff, her father left a trust to her that ensured the license for his name and likeness would be in her control and that she would receive royalty checks for any of his future appearances. She also appears to be the voice of authority on his portrayal in film, as shown by her giving the green light on a future biopic (per Variety). Over the years, she's managed to retrieve many items that once belonged to her father, especially gear from his wrestling days, which has allowed her to reconnect with Andre's memory in a way. Though, according to CBS Sports, she has a relatively distant relationship with the WWE organization.