In one way or another, we all remember Andre The Giant. For fans of The Princess Bride, he’s better known as Fezzik; for others, he’s the 7-foot-4 wrestling legend of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Many lovingly knew him as “the eighth wonder of the world,” but there’s one person who knew Andre The Giant as “dad.” Now that his daughter, Robin Christensen-Roussimoff, is all grown up, how does she remember her famous dad? Let’s dive into their relationship and where she is now.
Robin Christensen-Roussimoff Is Andre The Giant’s Only Child
Andre The Giant, whose real name was André René Roussimoff, met wrestling publicist, Jean Christensen, in the ‘70s. While the pair had a tumultuous relationship, in 1979, Jean gave birth to their daughter, Robin Christensen-Roussimoff, in France.
Robin was just 14 years old when her father tragically passed away in his sleep from congestive heart failure in 1993. Andre was only 47 when he died. His untimely death was a result of undiagnosed acromegaly and came as a shock to his family and fans alike. While Robin was Andre’s only child, she had very little contact with her father while he was alive. In fact, Robin only saw her father a few times. “I can recall two or three times at arenas,” she said during an interview with CBS Sports. “Unfortunately, other times, they were in court.”
Despite their estranged father/daughter relationship, Robin always knew who her famous father was. “Honestly, the only times that I saw any match was when they were in town and we went to the shows,” Robin explained. “It wasn’t on in the house, mainly because I wasn’t interested and you know, my mom wasn’t part of the industry anymore. She wanted me to form my own opinions on my dad, not what the media sold him as.”
Still, Andre wasn’t a deadbeat dad. According to Andre’s longtime friend Jackie McAuley, Andre was deeply unhappy that his relationship with Robin wasn’t stronger. “It broke his heart,” McAuley explained to CBS Sports. “It absolutely broke his heart that they couldn’t spend more time together.”
Andre’s Busy Work Schedule Kept Them Apart
So, what exactly caused the strain on their relationship? In 2016 in an interview with the Wrestle Zone Radio Podcast, Robin explained that their struggles had a lot to do with Andre’s demanding job. “I was not on the road with my Dad. If anything, he had me as far away from that industry as possible,” she explained. “We, unfortunately, did not have that great of a relationship. Mostly because he was on the road so much. I think it came to like 298 days out of the year in his prime.”
The wrestler’s complicated relationship with Robin’s mother also didn’t help matters. Still, Robin is clear that her dad did the best he could, saying, “He never tried to exclude us in any way. We always had a phone number where we could reach him and that sort of thing.”
Where Andre The Giant’s Daughter Is Today
Despite Robin’s distant relationship with her father while he was alive, she still followed in his footsteps. Robin went on to become a wrestler just like her dad. Since his death, she’s made more attempts to learn about her father. She even worked on the 2018 HBO documentary Andre The Giant about his amazing life.
In the wake of his death, Andre made it clear how important his daughter was to him regardless of their quiet relationship as he left his entire estate to her in his will. Additionally, she still collects her dad’s WWE royalties and owns the rights to his “Andre the Giant” name.
It seems that in their own way, Andre and Robin have made amends with each other after his death. It’s clear that Robin’s exploration of her father’s life after his passing has given her closure, and she’s surely happy to be a part of his lasting legacy.