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HBO Sports will go behind the scenes to separate fact from fiction in Andre the Giant documentary

Kevin Iole
Combat columnist

The myths about the late professional wrestler Andre the Giant have always been outsized. He’s listed as 7-feet-4 on the WWE website, but there has been much speculation that was a significant exaggeration.

Wrestling Observer founder Dave Meltzer, a former Yahoo Sports columnist, has insisted Andre was not as tall as listed, but the Giant’s true height has never been determined. On its website, the WWE has a story with a list of facts and fiction about Andre, including whether he drank 156 beers in one setting.

HBO Sports partnered with the WWE to tackle the life of the real-life super hero, who died in his sleep of congestive heart failure at age 46 on Jan. 27, 1993, with a documentary titled simply, “Andre the Giant.”

It will be released on April 10 at 10 p.m. ET and judging by the trailer, will provide an in-depth look at the life of a man who was born as Andre Rene Roussimoff on May 19, 1946, in Coulommiers, France.

Directed by Jason Hehir, known for his stellar work on several “30 for 30” films on ESPN, the documentary promises to cut through the myths and tell the true story of a man who became known during his career as “The Eighth Wonder of the World.”

“You’ll see a lot,” Peter Nelson, the executive vice president of HBO Sports, told Yahoo Sports. “You’ll see behind the scenes stuff from ‘The Princess Bride.’ You’ll see anecdotes that range from his career, a lot of things that I never knew about where Andre came from back in France, all the way through his career as he was traveling around, even before he became known under the moniker, ‘The Giant.’ It seems fairly obvious, but it came to him fairly late.

“I think aficionados of the sport will learn something from this wrestling doc, but also, it’s the story of a man who at a very young age essentially was told his life was not going to be that long. To a large degree, it’s a human story about how you confront your own mortality to a certain degree. Andre did it in a way that was endearing to the people around him. What Jason found going through the interview process was he is still revered and cherished to this day.”

Wrestlers Hulk Hogan (L) and Andre the Giant (R) pose in the 1980s with future U.S. President Donald Trump. (Russell Turiak/Getty Images)