Friday, September 5, 2008

Sandy Allen - A Tall Tale?

I was saddened to hear that Sandy Allen died a few days ago; she was only a few months older than I am. She has the distinction of being in the Guiness Book of World's Records as the World's Tallest Woman; she topped out at 7'7'. (I guess for someone that tall, it is a miracle she made it into her 50s. The World's Tallest Man ever, Robert Pershing Wadlow, never got to celebrate his 21st birthday.)

Ms. Allen appeared in Fellini's 'Casanova' with Donald Sutherland. Her part was originally written for a cold, uncaring character, but when she showed up on the set, she impressed everyone so much with the sweetness of her personality that they rewrote the part. I'll remember her fondly for her sense of humor; she liked to wear a t-shirt that read 'LIFE IS SHORT- I'M NOT.'
There's one other Sandy Allen story that I think is priceless. There is a young man in the Ukraine with a seriously overactive pituitary gland. He grew to a reported height of 8 feet 4 inches and was on the verge of dying. Suddenly, his pituitary gland shut down. A BBC news crew interviewed him, and he said that he thought that God must be punishing him for being so tall/ or by being tall. (Sorry, folks, my Ukrainian isn't all that good.) Anyhow, Sandy Allen sent him a computer disc, telling, no, that isn't God's punishment on you, that's just the way it is. (People, please refrain from saying 'that was mighty big of her.')

RIP Sandy Allen

1 comment:

Rita said...

Thanks for your nice post on Sandy -- she was my friend for 31 years and a remarkable woman. A scholarship fund in her name has been established, and to donate to the fund, readers can go to, click on "funds" and then Sandy's name. Or, you can make a tax-deductible donation by mail. Send it to: Blue River Foundation, 54 W. Broadway St., Suite 1, Shelbyville, IN 46176. Put "Sandy Allen Fund" in the memo line.

My new book, "World's Tallest Woman: The Giantess of Shelbyville High," will be out in November.
Rita Rose