Monday, November 1, 2010

Flying Frenchman Down for the Count-----Edouard Carpentier dead @ 84

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.

          With his compact size and broad physique – 5 foot 10 inches and 220 pounds – plus his penchant of adding backflips and somersaults to his performance, Carpentier had the crowd eating out of his hand.

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 .......


john allison said...

Ah yes. I remember them well. Alan Leashman and I would go to them Forum together on a Wednesday night and watch all of them. Including the Togo brothers. Alan would get tickets from The Star. The regular tickets were $2.00. But we only had to pay the tax, which was 10 cents....

Les if you get to talk to Allen. Ask him if he remembers the both of us being thrown out of the Forum by The Canadians General Manager, Sam Pollack.

Les F said...

Now I will have to hear that story Winston , I will see what I can find out, I did give you his email years ago didn't I ? or maybe it was Sharon when she wanted to talk to Alan about her Dad who also was a photographer for the Montreal Star.
Cheers !! HF&RV
ps: Alan gave me some neat old photographs he took of some hockey games way back when,..he knew I was a Habs fan & so gave me some big photos B&W , that I'm sure the Star may have 'sponsored' by way of donating dark room time,as well as film,and everything else..........hahahaha hf&rv

john allison said...

Les. I thought you had given me his address, but I sure can't remember if you did. Also I cannot find it anywhere in my emails. If you still have it I would appreciate it.

Diane Roberts said...

Memory must be fading as I don't remember Carpentier. I do remember Killer Kowalski though. He used to hang out occasionally in Rawdon and come to our place for a bbq....Diane

Les F said...

.a few of them also used to frequent the 'Ville Marie Pub' on St Catherine St...near Dunn's ( I think)
Cheers !! HF&RV