Quebec’s Flying Frenchman, wrestler Édouard Carpentier, died during the weekend at his home in Montreal. He was 84. Reports say he suffered a heart attack on Oct. 30.
Carpentier dominated the Canadian and particularly the Montreal wrestling scene after emigrating from France in 1956, and was a four-time International Champion (1957-67) and a popular member of the tag teams of the ’70s.
His name was as well known during that period as that of his arch-nemeses, Canadian wrestlers Killer Kowalski and Mad Dog Vachon.
Carpentier dazzled in the ring with his high-flying and acrobatic style, hence his nickname. All those years of slamming down to the mat took a toll and in the past decade, Carpentier suffered a heart attack and many physical ailments due to the rigours of his early career.
Born Édouard Weiczorkiewicz in Roanne, France, July 17, 1926 he reputedly worked with the French Reistance during the Second World War. Trained in physical fitness, he competed as a gymnast for France in the 1958 and 1952 games in London and Helsinki.
He picked up wrestling skills and was lured to Montreal in 1956 where he adopted the stage surname Carpentier after a French boxer.
He once told a reporter that he initially came to Montreal for a three-month contract and stayed.
Carpentier became a Canadian citizen in the 1970s and also helped train up-and-comers to the business. He supplemented his income with work as a stunt man for several movies.
After retiring from wrestling in the 1980s, Carpentier did some play-by-play commentary for the French networks.
Plans for a funeral or service are not known at this time.
Back in the wrestling days of no make-up or costumes,but nonetheless phoney,old Edouard Carpentier was one of the regulars at the Verdun Auditorium ,with names like Killer Kawalski,Mad Dog Vachon, etc etc .......