Meet tallest ever WWE star Jorge Gonzalez, the 7ft7 former NBA basketball star who had bizarre cameo in Baywatch

JORGE GONZALEZ has the honor of being officially the WWE's tallest ever star.

The Argentinian colossus was an incredible 7ft7in tall and even looked down on world renowned wrestler Andre the Giant.




Gonzalez was born in El Colorado, Argentina in 1966 and by the time he was 14 years old was already a strapping 6ft9.

His immense size was due to gigantism, a condition which is usually caused by over-production of growth hormone.

Having immense height and long levers gave him the perfect advantage on the basketball court, where the teenage Jorge thrived.

He rose through the ranks at local side Hindu Club de Resistencia, before eventually turning out for the international team in 1985.

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Gonzalez showed immense promise during this period and caught the keen eye of the Atlanta Hawks.

They swooped for their man in the 1988 NBA Draft, taking Gonzalez in the third round and making him the first ever Argentine to feature in the league.

His basketball dream fell apart shortly after though with the demands of the game proving too much on his huge frame, crippling his knees.

Ravaged by injury, Gonzalez was forced to retire and made the brave decision to swap playing ball for the wrestling ring.

Hawks owner Ted Turner owned a stake in World Championship Wrestling and championed his former Draft pick, making the transition seemless.

Gonzalez was a popular fans favorite from the off, debuting as 'El Gigante' to a thrilled pay-per-view audience – and claiming he was 8ft in height.

He had significant beef with legendary fighter Ric Flair before making the leap over to WWF in 1993.

That was a significant year for Gonzalez, whose celebrity grew to such an extent that he had a bizarre cameo in the biggest TV show of the era – Baywatch.

He played the role of pelican-loving Manny the Giant in a single episode, befriending Hobie and winning all the strongman games at a carnival.

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Gonzalez's character carved pelican models out of driftwood and falls off the pier in a dramatic ending.

But his immense size means the usual Baywatch rescue is pointless – as he can simply stand up in the sea.

During his time on WWF saw Gonzalez morph into a fully-fledged superstar, even if his wrestling was a little on the goofy side.

Billed as 'Giant Gonzalez', he grew out his beard and donned a bodysuit covered in fake hair.

With his debut at Wrestlemania IX, he became the tallest wrestler in WWE history.

And he's best remembered for his iconic unofficial debut, where he tossed The Undertaker out of the Royal Rumble despite not being a participant.

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Injuries and ill health cut short Gonzalez's wrestling career and he left WWF in October 1993, just several months after signing his contract.

After spells with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and WAR, he hung up his hairy bodysuit and returned home to Argentina.

Gonzalez spent his later years living on a ranch as he managed the many ailments and health issues he'd picked up during his hectic life.

He was forced to use a wheelchair from 2009, with the Argentine Basketball Federation helping to pay his medical bills.

Gonzalez passed away in 2010 from complications relating to diabetes, aged just 44 and leaving behind his wife and daughter.

But he remains a giant figure among wrestling fans, in more ways than one.


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