September 25, 2012 11:19 PM   Subscribe

Did Samuel Beckett actually drive Andre the Giant to school?

Various sources on the Internet claim that Samuel Beckett drove Andre the Giant to school: e.g. Wikipedia, Mental Floss, Historical Meet-ups. It's a popular enough story to have spawned a play and a short story.

Most sources trace it back, if they give a source at all, to this anecdote from Cary Elwes from the 2001 special edition of The Princess Bride, where he claims that Andre used to tell the story on the set.

The story's not inherently impossible: Andre was born in Coulomiers, France,* and raised not far away in Ussy-sur-Marne, where Beckett had his country home.

So here's the question: is there any source for this story that predates Cary Elwes' telling on the Princess Bride DVD? Is there, in particular, any direct evidence of Andre or Beckett telling this story?

*as his nephew insists on the French wikipedia talk page.
posted by dd42 to Grab Bag (3 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This writeup suggests that there are no earlier mentions. Krugman's biography of Andre is evasive, but also credits the Princess Bride connection as the original source.
posted by Paragon at 12:04 AM on September 26, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks Paragon. I'll leave the question open in case anyone does find an earlier citation.
posted by dd42 at 5:54 PM on September 26, 2012

Best answer: The anecdote mentions a truck, but I can only find mention of Beckett owning a bicycle, and, from 1963, a grey Citroën 2CV: not only a decidedly small car but one obtained when André had already left school.

Another consideration is that Beckett apparently seldom visited Ussy itself after a dispute with some of the villagers in 1955 over a parcel of land adjoining his property.
posted by misteraitch at 2:04 AM on September 27, 2012

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