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Legend Of Friendship Between Samuel Beckett And Andre The Giant Has Been Debunked

Legend Of Friendship Between Samuel Beckett And Andre The Giant Has Been Debunked

One of the most popular legends about Andre The Giant - especially among Irish fans - is that the professional wrestling icon was friends with Irish literary great Samuel Beckett.

The two were said to developed the relationship in the French town of Moliens when the future WWF champion was around 12-years-old. So large was Andre, he could not take the bus to school. Instead, Beckett - who had Andre's father working on his house - drove the unusually large young man in his flatbed truck.

Andre, whose real name is Andre Roussimoff, and Beckett were also supposed to have bonded over their mutual love of cricket.

Despite the renown of the story, it does not feature in HBO's new Andre The Giant documentary. That's because the legend is mostly untrue.

Speaking to Business Insider, the documentary's director, Jason Hehir, told of how Andre's brother debunked the story.

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It is true that both Beckett and Andre's childhood home are close - a few hundred yards, in fact - and that Andre got the odd lift from Beckett but that's where the accuracy ends.

"The reality is there was no bus to school in that town," said Hehir.

There was a 2-kilometer walk from Andre's house into the center of town, where the schoolhouse was, and all the kids in the village took that walk to and from school every day.

Andre's father had no hand in helping to build Samuel Beckett's house. Beckett had a truck, and if he passed the kids, he would stop and let them hop into the flatbed of his truck and he would drive them to or from school. But it wasn't singular to Andre, and he had no special relationship with Andre any more than he did with any other child in that area.

Andre's brother laughed at us when we told him what the legend is.

It seems Andre himself was responsible for the embellishment of the story - as he was for much of the mythology surrounding him. In a DVD extra for the film The Princess Bride, Andre's co-star, Cary Elwes, relayed how he heard the story.

PJ Browne
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