PARIS — Professional wrestling legend Andre Rene Roussimoff, known to fans as Andre the Giant, has died of an apparent heart attack.
The 7-foot-4, 520-pound wrestler went to France two weeks ago to attend his father's funeral on the outskirts of Paris. He visited his family on Wednesday, then returned to his hotel room where he died, said longtime friend Frenchie Bernard.
"He was lying in his bed when they found him," Bernard said. "He just went to sleep and never woke up."
The exact time of his death was not immediately known.
Roussimoff, who was 46, lived on a 200-acre property in Ellerbe, N.C. He was born with acromegaly, a disorder marked by progressive enlargement of the head, face, hands, feet and chest because of excessive secretion of growth hormones.
In addition to wrestling, Roussimoff appeared in the Rob Reiner-produced film "The Princess Bride" in 1989.
"He was always doing charity and sending flowers to people for any occasion," said Bernard, who managed Roussimoff's home and ranch. "People used to stare at him all the time, but he got over it fast and just lived his life."