Who Inherited Andre The Giant's Money After He Died?

If anybody was worthy of the nickname "The Giant," it was Andre Rene Roussimoff. Reaching about 7 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing up to 520 pounds, Andre the Giant was blessed and cursed by his gigantism in equal measures. The hormonal disorder acromegaly made him larger-than-life and granted him fame and fortune — "What God gave me, I use it to make a living," he said in an old interview featured in the HBO documentary "Andre the Giant." "The Princess Bride" co-star Cary Elwes describes on Vanity Fair how such gifts came with a back-breaking cost — literally. Professional wrestling all but ruined Andre's spine.

Rising to prominence in the wrestling world during the 1970s and '80s, Andre was all but done by the early '90s. But despite living in physical agony every day — and developing an Andre-sized alcohol habit, therefore — he kept his schedule busy right up to the very end. At this point, even tag team matches were "torture," as Uproxx says, and he even had to place his hands on his frequent tagging partner Giant Baba's shoulders to steady himself enough to walk.

By the end of his life, Andre the Giant's gifts, willpower, and effort earned him a personal fortune of $10 million in modern money, which might surprise people as less than expected. Some of it he gave to the caretaker of his ranch and the caretaker's wife — two of the people named in his will. The rest of it he gave to his daughter Robin Christensen-Roussimoff, whom he barely knew but wanted to support, even in death.

Father and daughter pulled apart by work

Andre the Giant never intended to have children. Medically, as an article published in the Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders explains, there are a lot of difficulties facing men with acromegaly who want a family. Jean Christensen, the mother of André's daughter Robin, thought Andre was sterile, as she said in a 1990 interview. Christensen's pregnancy came as a shock, and she and Andre's relationship started crumbling shortly after Robin's birth. 

For his part, Andre didn't want to be an absentee father, but his schedule kept him on the road. Robin grew up seeing her father here and there, more as a figure orbiting her life than a daily presence. Her mother, Jean Christensen, wanted to shield her daughter from Andre's celebrity persona. Speaking of her mother to CBS Sports, Robin said, "She [Christensen] wanted me to form my own opinions on my dad, not what the media sold him as." One of Robin's most prominent memories of Andre is when he took her to see "The Princess Bride," but kept his role in the movie a surprise. According to Sports Illustrated, when Robin saw Andre on screen she freaked out and screamed, "That's my dad!"

Andre's friend Jackie McAuley told CBS Sports that Andre's distance from his daughter "broke his heart." Christensen also wanted to keep some distance between herself and Andre, and didn't want to travel with Robin to visit him when he was alone at his North Carolina ranch.

Almost everything went to his daughter

Andre the Giant wound up traveling back to his birth country of France in January 1993 to visit his dying father. He spent January 26 in the tiny village of Molien where he'd grown up, and then traveled back to his hotel in Paris. That night he died in his sleep of congestive heart failure. 

Andre didn't draft an extensive will, but bequeathed everything to three people. He gave an unknown, flat sum of money to the caretaker of his ranch in North Carolina and the caretaker's wife. Every other single thing he had — money, possessions, licensing and name rights, etc. — he gave to his daughter Robin, who was around 14 years old when he died. They hadn't seen each other since she was 10. 

But Robin, it turns out, thinks well of her father and their sparse, but meaningful relationship. She acts as the "steward of his [Andre's] image and reputation," as All That's Interesting puts it. She also not only inherited her father's size — she's 6 feet tall — but went into wrestling herself for awhile. As she said in the 2020 book "The Eighth Wonder of the World: The True Story of André the Giant," "Maybe had he lived longer, I might have had a closer relationship with him. Perhaps he would've attended my graduation, or been proud of my successes. I'll never get to really know who he was as a person."