Jean Christensen: The Woman Behind the Giant
Jean Christensen was a woman who had a remarkable life and a unique relationship with one of the most famous wrestlers of all time, André the Giant. She was a talented seamstress, a passionate photographer, and a devoted mother. She also had to deal with the challenges of being married to a man who suffered from gigantism, a rare condition that caused his body to grow uncontrollably. In this blog post, we will explore the secrets and struggles of Jean Christensen, the woman behind the giant.
Early Life and Career
Jean Christensen was born in 1946 in Seattle, Washington. She grew up in a family of Norwegian immigrants who worked in the fishing industry. She attended Ballard High School, where she was a member of the wrestling team. She was one of the few girls who participated in the sport at the time, and she earned the respect of her male peers and coaches.
After graduating from high school, Jean pursued a career in the music industry. She worked as a stage manager for various bands and artists, such as The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin. She also developed a passion for photography and took pictures of the musicians she worked with.
In 1971, Jean was involved in a near-fatal car accident that left her with serious injuries. She broke her neck, her back, and her pelvis, and she had to undergo several surgeries and physical therapy. She was told that she would never walk again, but she defied the odds and recovered from her ordeal.
Meeting André the Giant
Jean Christensen met André the Giant in the mid-1970s, when he was at the peak of his wrestling career. André, whose real name was André René Roussimoff, was a French professional wrestler and actor who was known for his enormous size and strength. He was billed as “the Eighth Wonder of the World” and stood at 7 feet 4 inches tall and weighed over 500 pounds. He suffered from acromegaly, a condition that caused his body to produce excess growth hormones and resulted in various health problems.
André was touring the world as a wrestling attraction, working for different promotions and territories. He met Jean at a wrestling show in Vancouver, Canada, where she was working as a photographer and a seamstress. She was hired by the promoter to take pictures of the wrestlers and to make costumes for them. She was also a fan of wrestling and admired André’s skills and charisma.
The two hit it off immediately and fell in love. They got married in a private ceremony in Canada, without the knowledge of their families and friends. Jean moved in with André in his ranch in Ellerbe, North Carolina, where he had a custom-made house that accommodated his size. They also traveled together around the world, as Jean continued to work as a photographer and a seamstress for the wrestling industry.
The Challenges of Being Married to a Giant
Jean Christensen and André the Giant had a happy and loving marriage, but they also faced many difficulties and obstacles. One of the main challenges was André’s health condition, which caused him constant pain and discomfort. He had to undergo several surgeries to relieve the pressure on his spine, his heart, and his organs. He also had to cope with the side effects of his medication, such as mood swings, depression, and alcoholism.
Another challenge was André’s busy and demanding schedule, which kept him away from home for long periods of time. He had to wrestle almost every night, sometimes in different countries and continents. He also had to deal with the fame and attention that came with his celebrity status, which often invaded his privacy and personal life. He was constantly harassed by fans, reporters, and promoters, who wanted a piece of him.
Jean was supportive and understanding of André’s career, but she also felt lonely and isolated. She had to sacrifice her own ambitions and interests to follow him around the world. She also had to endure the rumors and gossip that surrounded their relationship, such as André’s alleged affairs and illegitimate children. She was often criticized and judged by the public and the media, who questioned her motives and her appearance.
Having a Daughter
Jean Christensen and André the Giant had one daughter, Robin Christensen Roussimoff, who was born in 1979. Robin inherited her father’s gigantism, and she grew to be 6 feet 2 inches tall and 240 pounds. She also inherited her mother’s artistic talent, and she became a musician and a graphic artist.
Jean and André loved their daughter dearly, but they had a complicated and strained relationship with her. André initially denied that he was Robin’s father, and he refused to take a paternity test. He also did not provide any financial or emotional support for her. He was absent for most of her childhood and adolescence, and he only saw her a few times in her life.
Jean raised Robin as a single mother, and she struggled to make ends meet. She also had to protect her from the curiosity and cruelty of the world, who treated her as a freak and a curiosity. She taught her to be proud and confident of who she was, and to pursue her dreams and passions.
Divorce and Death
Jean Christensen and André the Giant divorced in the late 1970s, after a few years of marriage. The exact reason for their separation is unknown, but it is speculated that it was due to André’s infidelity, alcoholism, and neglect. They remained friends and kept in touch, but they never remarried or reconciled.
André the Giant died in 1993, at the age of 46, from congestive heart failure. He was in Paris, France, to attend his father’s funeral, when he collapsed in his hotel room. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered on his ranch in North Carolina.
Jean Christensen died in 2008, at the age of 62, from unknown causes. She was living in Shoreline, Washington, where she owned and operated a costume shop called André’s Bodacious Babe Costumes. She made clothes for her daughter, her friends, and her clients, who included celebrities and entertainers. She also kept some of André’s personal items, such as his shoes, his ring, and his robe.
Legacy and Influence
Jean Christensen was a woman who had a remarkable impact on the wrestling industry and the entertainment world. She was one of the first female photographers and seamstresses in the business, and she introduced colorful and creative costumes and gears to the wrestlers. She worked with some of the biggest names and legends in the sport, such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Randy Savage. She also captured some of the most iconic and memorable moments and images in wrestling history.
Jean Christensen was also a woman who had a remarkable love story with one of the most famous wrestlers of all time, André the Giant. She was his wife, his partner, and his friend. She supported him, cared for him, and stood by him. She also gave him his only child, his daughter, who carried on his legacy and his genes.
Jean Christensen was a woman who had a remarkable life and a unique personality. She was a talented, passionate, and courageous woman. She was a woman behind the giant, but she was also a giant in her own right.
Trivia and Fun Facts
|Jean Christensen was a high school wrestler
|She was one of the few girls who participated in the sport at the time, and she earned the respect of her male peers and coaches.
|Jean Christensen worked as a stage manager for The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin
|She pursued a career in the music industry after graduating from high school, and she worked with some of the most famous and influential musicians of the 1960s and 1970s.
|Jean Christensen met André the Giant in Vancouver, Canada
|She was working as a photographer and a seamstress at a wrestling show, where she met the French giant who was touring the world as a wrestling attraction.
|Jean Christensen and André the Giant got married in a private ceremony in Canada
|They did not inform their families and friends of their marriage, and they kept it a secret for a long time.
|Jean Christensen and André the Giant had one daughter, Robin Christensen Roussimoff
|Robin inherited her father’s gigantism, and she grew to be 6 feet 2 inches tall and 240 pounds. She also inherited her mother’s artistic talent, and she became a musician and a graphic artist.
|Jean Christensen and André the Giant divorced in the late 1970s
|The exact reason for their separation is unknown, but it is speculated that it was due to André’s infidelity, alcoholism, and neglect.
|Jean Christensen died in 2008, at the age of 62
|She was living in Shoreline, Washington, where she owned and operated a costume shop called André’s Bodacious Babe Costumes. She made clothes for her daughter, her friends, and her clients, who included celebrities and entertainers.