Louis Jude Ferrigno Sr. (//; born November 9, 1951) is an American actor, fitness trainer, fitness consultant, and retired professional bodybuilder. As a bodybuilder, Ferrigno won an IFBB Mr. America title and two consecutive IFBB Mr. Universe titles, and appeared in the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron. As an actor, he is best known for his title role in the CBS television series The Incredible Hulk and vocally reprising the role in subsequent animated and computer-generated incarnations. He has also appeared in European-produced fantasy-adventures such as Sinbad of the Seven Seas and Hercules, and as himself in the sitcom The King of Queens and the 2009 comedy I Love You, Man.
Louis Jude Ferrigno
November 9, 1951
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Bodybuilder, actor, personal trainer|
(m. 1978; div. 1979)
|Children||3, including Lou Ferrigno Jr.|
Ferrigno was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Victoria and Matt Ferrigno, a police lieutenant. He is of Italian descent. Soon after he was born, Ferrigno says he believes he suffered a series of ear infections and lost 75 to 80% of his hearing, though his condition was not diagnosed until he was three years old. Hearing loss caused Ferrigno to be bullied by peers during his childhood: "They used to call me 'deaf Louie, deaf mute', because of my hearing and because of the way I sounded."
Ferrigno started weight training at age 13, citing body builder and Hercules star Steve Reeves as one of his role models. Because he could not afford to buy weights, he made his own using a broomstick and pails which he partially filled with cement. He was also a fan of the Hercules films that starred Reeves. Ferrigno's other personal heroes as a child were Spider-Man and the Hulk. Ferrigno attended St. Athanasius Grammar School and Brooklyn Technical High School, where he learned metal working.
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||285 lb (129 kg) (1975)|
315 lb (143 kg) (1992)
After graduating from high school in 1969, Ferrigno won his first major title, IFBB Mr. America. Four years later, he won the title IFBB Mr. Universe. Early in his career he lived in Columbus, Ohio and trained with Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 1974, he came in second on his first attempt at the Mr. Olympia competition. He came in third the following year, and his attempt to beat Arnold Schwarzenegger was the subject of the 1977 documentary Pumping Iron. The documentary made Ferrigno famous.
These victories, however, did not provide enough income for him to earn a living. His first paying job was as a $10-an-hour sheet metal worker in a Brooklyn factory, where he worked for three years. He did not enjoy the dangerous work, and left after a friend and co-worker accidentally cut off his own hand.
Following this, Ferrigno left the competition circuit for many years, a period that included a brief stint as a defensive lineman for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League. He had never played football, and was cut after two games. Ferrigno left the world of Canadian football after he broke the legs of a fellow player during a scrimmage.
In the early 1990s, Ferrigno returned to bodybuilding, competing for the 1992 and 1993 Mr. Olympia titles. Finishing 12th and 10th, respectively, he then turned to the 1994 Masters Olympia, where his attempt to beat Robbie Robinson and Boyer Coe was the subject of the 1996 documentary Stand Tall. After this, he retired from competition.
In 1977, Ferrigno was cast as the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk. Despite the fact that they were rarely on camera together, Ferrigno and Bill Bixby – who played the Hulk's "normal" alter ego – became friends; Ferrigno has described Bixby as a "mentor" and "father figure" who took him under his wing. Ferrigno also singles out the instances in which Bixby directed Ferrigno in some episodes as particularly memorable. Ferrigno continued playing the Hulk role until 1981—although the last two episodes were not broadcast until May 1982. Later, he and Bixby co-starred in three The Incredible Hulk TV movies.
Ferrigno played himself during intermittent guest appearances on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens, beginning in 2000 and continuing until the program's conclusion in 2007. He and his wife Carla were depicted as the main characters' next-door neighbors. Because of his role as the title character on The Incredible Hulk, he is often the target of Hulk jokes by Doug and his friends.
He made cameo appearances as a security guard in both the 2003 film Hulk and the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk, in which he also voiced the Hulk. In the latter film, Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) bribes him with a pizza in order to gain entry into a university building. He has continued to voice the Hulk in Marvel Cinematic Universe films, uncredited. He continued to be known as the voice of the Hulk until 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ferrigno himself has been replaced by Mark Ruffalo since the 2012 film The Avengers as the voice of the Hulk.
Ferrigno appeared as himself in the 2009 feature film comedy I Love You, Man.
Ferrigno trained Michael Jackson on and off beginning in the early 1990s, and in 2009, he helped Jackson get into shape for a planned series of concerts in London, which were ultimately cancelled due to Jackson's untimely death.
Ferrigno took part in a Smosh video, titled "I love Lou Ferrigno", in which he is tracked down by one of Smosh's members, Anthony, in Hollywood. The skit ends with Ferrigno knocking Anthony unconscious, in response to Ian's claim that Anthony stole Ferrigno's Butterfinger.
Ferrigno has his own line of fitness equipment called Ferrigno Fitness. In January 2009, he provided equipment to The Price Is Right for use as a One Bid prize, and demonstrated the equipment himself.
In 2010, Ferrigno appeared as himself in an episode of Sonny with a Chance titled "My Two Chads" and as himself in an episode of the fictional series MacKenzie Falls. He also voiced the character Billy the Hero in the animated series Adventure Time.
In November 2010, Ferrigno was sworn in as a member of a Maricopa County, Arizona, volunteer sheriff posse, which also includes actors Steven Seagal and Peter Lupus, in order to help control illegal immigration in the Phoenix Valley area.
Ferrigno was a contestant on season five of the NBC reality television series The Celebrity Apprentice, which premiered in February 2012. He appeared on the program in order to raise money for his charity, the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Ferrigno was Team Unanimous' project manager for the task depicted in the fifth episode, "I'm Going to Mop the Floor With You," which was to create a viral video to promote O-Cedar's ProMist Spray Mop, placing him in competition with actress Tia Carrere, the project manager of the women's team, Forte. In addition to the usual $20,000 awarded to the charity of the project manager of the winning team, O-Cedar pledged an additional $30,000 for that task. Team Unanimous' video—in which Ferrigno appeared dancing while mopping—won the task, winning the $50,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Association. He was fired in episode nine, "Ad Hawk", which involved creating a 60-second commercial for Entertainment.com.
In June 2012, Ferrigno was sworn in as a reserve deputy to the San Luis Obispo County, California, Sheriff's Department. There he completed his level I law enforcement academy, bringing his training up to full peace officer status.
Due to ear infections suffered soon after birth, Ferrigno lost 75 to 80% of his hearing and has been using hearing aids since the age of five. Ferrigno says his hearing loss helped shape his sense of determination in his youth, saying, "I think that if I wasn't hard of hearing I wouldn't be where I am now. Early on, as a youngster it was difficult, but I'm not ashamed to talk about it because many people have misconceptions about hearing loss; like who has hearing loss and what it's like not to hear, so I do talk about it. I think my hearing loss helped create a determination within me to be all that I can be, and gave me a certain strength of character too. Anytime I do a movie or a TV show, I make them aware of my hearing loss at the beginning, and that makes it much easier for all of us to communicate and get the job done."
Ferrigno married Susan Groff in 1978, divorcing a year later. On May 3, 1980, he married psychotherapist Carla Green, who then also began serving as his manager; she later became a personal trainer. They have three children, Shanna, born 1981; Louis, Jr., born 1984; and Brent, born 1990. Shanna has a recurring role as Nurse Janice in Days of Our Lives, and appeared in the NBC series Windfall, as well as the television film Within, and in 2005 she appeared in the E! reality television series, Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive. Louis, Jr. was a linebacker for the University of Southern California Trojans football team. He currently plays a recurring role in the TV series S.W.A.T., airing on CBS.
- 1971: Pro Mr. America – WBBG, Teen 1st
- 1971: Teen Mr. America – AAU, 4th, Most Muscular 5th
- 1972: Pro Mr. America – WBBG, 2nd
- 1972: NABBA Mr. Universe, Tall 2nd
- 1973: IFBB Mr. America, Overall Winner
- 1973: IFBB Mr. Universe, Tall 1st, Overall Winner
- 1974: IFBB Mr. International
- 1974: IFBB Mr. Universe, Tall 1st, Overall Winner
- 1974 Mr. Olympia, Heavyweight 2nd
- 1975 Mr. Olympia, Heavyweight 3rd place
- 1992 Mr. Olympia, 12th
- 1993 Mr. Olympia, 10th
- 1994: Olympia Masters, 2nd
This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (August 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Muscle & Fitness (March 1982, September 1982, March 1983, January 1986, June 1987, July 1988, April 1989, March 1993, March 1994, April 1996)
- Flex (November 1983, August 1985, August 1989, August 1992, October 1992, June 1993, March 1994, November 1994, November 2017)
- Muscle Builder (May 1974, July 1974, April 1977, September 1977, July 1979, March 1980, May 1980)
- Iron Man (July 1973, August 1988, October 1992, November 1994, April 2009)
- Bodybuilding Lifestyle (December 1991, May 1992)
- Muscle Mag International (March 1979, December 1983, November 1994)
- Muscular Development (February 1981, October 1992, April 2009)
- Muscle Training Illustrated (May 1972)
- Natural Bodybuilding (February 1983)
- Strength & Health (November 1983)
|1983||The Seven Magnificent Gladiators||Han|
|1985||The Adventures of Hercules||Hercules||Sequel to Hercules|
|1989||Sinbad of the Seven Seas||Sinbad|
|1989||Liberty & Bash||Bash|
|1993||And God Spoke||Himself|
|1994||Cage II||Billy Thomas|
|2008||The Incredible Hulk||The Hulk||Voice|
|2009||I Love You, Man||Himself|
|2012||The Avengers||The Hulk||Voice collaboration (uncredited)|
|2014||Moms' Night Out||The Hulk||Cameo|
|2015||The Scorpion King: The Lost Throne||Skizurra||Direct-to-video|
|2015||Avengers Grimm||Iron John|
|2015||Avengers: Age of Ultron||The Hulk||Voice collaboration (uncredited)|
|2017||Instant Death||John Bradley||Lead Role|
|2017||Thor: Ragnarok||The Hulk||Voice collaboration (uncredited)|
|1977||The Incredible Hulk||The Hulk||Pilot movie|
|1977||World's Strongest Man||Himself/competitor||4th place|
|1978–82||The Incredible Hulk||The Hulk|
|1980||Mister Rogers' Neighborhood||Himself||2 episodes|
|1983||The Fall Guy||Six||Episode: "Trauma"|
|1983||Trauma Center||John Six||13 episodes|
|1984||Matt Houston||Steve Otto||Episode: "Blood Ties"|
|1985||Night Court||The Klondike Butcher||Episode: "The Battling Bailiff"|
|1985||Amazing Stories||The Hulk||Episode: "Remote Control Man"; uncredited|
|1988||The Incredible Hulk Returns||The Hulk||Movie|
|1989||The Trial of the Incredible Hulk||The Hulk||Movie|
|1990||The Death of the Incredible Hulk||The Hulk||Movie|
|1996||The Incredible Hulk||The Hulk||Voice role|
|2000–07||The King of Queens||Lou Ferrigno||20 episodes|
|2002||Raw Iron: The Making of 'Pumping Iron||Himself||Documentary|
|2004||My Wife and Kids||Big Guy||Episode "Illegal Smile"|
|2004||Reno 911!||Deputy Cletus Senior||Episode: "Department Investigation: Part 2"|
|2010||Chuck||Sofia Stepanova's bodyguard||Episode: "Chuck Versus the Suitcase"|
|2010||Sonny with a Chance||Himself||Episode: "My Two Chads"|
|2010–16||Adventure Time||Billy / Bobby||4 episodes|
|2012||Celebrity Apprentice||Himself||8 episodes (9th fired)|
|2012||Next Great Baker||Guest judge||Episode: "Cake Powers, Activate!"|
|2014||Star Trek Continues||Zaminhon||Web series; episode: "Lolani"|
|2016||We Bare Bears||Paul||Episode: "Yard Sale"|
- Although Ferrigno's official site does not list a year of birth, it says he was 21 when he won the first of two successive Mr. Universe titles, which occurred in 1973 ("History of the Men's World Amateur Championships" Archived July 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, IFBB.com, Accessed January 1, 2007). The results were reported in the July 1973 issue of Muscle magazine ("Lou Ferigno, Mr Universe, 1973" Archived June 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. IFBB.com); see also "History of Mr. Olympia: Lou Ferrigno".
- Jim Schmaltz (February 2004). Matt Ferrigno: 1925-2003. Flex. Accessed August 1, 2008.
- Mabe, Catherine "Lou Ferrigno: Living, Acting and Bodybuilding with Hearing Loss". Disaboom. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- Doughterty, Margot (May 16, 1988). "Green with Indignation, Lou Ferrigno Is Back in Bulk as the Incredible Hulk". People. Vol. 29, No. 19.
- "How Lou Ferrigno Went From Bullied, Skinny Kid To 'Incredible Hulk' (VIDEO)". huffingtonpost.com. January 30, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
- Eury, Michael (Summer 2018). "The Hulk Speaks!: An Interview with Lou Ferrigno". RetroFan. TwoMorrows Publishing (1): 3–8.
- The Incredible Lou.
- Parker, Vernon. "On This Day in History: November 9That Incredible Hulk". Brooklyn Eagle. November 9, 2011
- "ALL ABOUT LOU FERRIGNO". BodybuildingPro.comApril 9, 2013.
- "About" Archived May 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine at LouFerrigno.com (official site)
- "How Pumping Iron Gave Birth to the Incredible Hulk". Arnold Body Building. Archived from the original on December 26, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
- Grech, Ron. "Lou Ferrigno to Hulk up at the Mac" Archived April 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Daily Press. May 2011. Accessed September 19, 2011.
- Inman, David. The TV Encyclopedia. New York: Perigree, 1991. Print.
- Bonnie Siegler. Fame & Fortune: Lou Ferrigno. Accessed August 1, 2008.
- "Lou Ferrigno - Age | Height | Weight | Images | Bio". Greatest Physiques. October 11, 2016. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
- Harvey, Dennis (April 6, 1997). "Stand Tall". Variety. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
- Murphy, Matt. "WWLA: "The Incredible Hulk" Retrospective with Lou Ferrigno". Comic Book Resources. March 16, 2008
- Battle of the Network Stars V, Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford, Richard Hatch, November 18, 1978, retrieved November 9, 2017CS1 maint: others (link)
- "'Battle of the Network Stars': Photos of TV's First Reality Competition". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
- The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1227. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
- Jeff Otto (May 27, 2008). Special Report: "Hulk" Edit Bay Visit. Dark Horizons. Accessed May 27, 2008.
- Smith, Michael David. "Lou Ferrigno: Michael Jackson Was Energetic and Happy in Training". AOL News. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2009.
- "Lou Ferrigno Biography and Bodybuilding Stats". About-Muscle.com.
- Messer, Ron (October 10, 2010). "NY Comic Con: Lou Ferrigno Interview – Opens Up About The Avengers, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, and Chuck". Collider. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
- Collura, Scott (May 8, 2012). "So Ferrigno *Is* in The Avengers". IGN.
- "Exclusive: Lou Ferrigno Says He's Back To Voice the Hulk in Avengers: Age of Ultron". Nuke The Fridge. April 22, 2014. Archived from the original on April 25, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
- "The Avengers: Age Of Ultron To Bring Back Lou Ferrigno As Hulk's Voice". CINEMABLEND. April 22, 2014. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
- Scanlan, Dan (February 14, 2014). "The original 'Hulk' is back in green for Kingsland Star Trek webfilm". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
- "Lou Ferrigno". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- "Lou Ferrigno becomes reserve LA County sheriff's deputy". Associated Press. February 13, 2006. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
- "Lou 'The Hulk' Ferrigno Joins Posse Fighting Illegal Immigration". Fox News. Associated Press. November 18, 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
- "I'm Going to Mop the Floor With You". The Celebrity Apprentice. Season 12. Episode 5. March 18, 2012. NBC. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Ad Hawk". The Celebrity Apprentice. Season 12. Episode 9. April 8, 2012. NBC. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Linn, Sarah (June 15, 2012). "Lou Ferrigno sworn in as reserve deputy for Sheriff's Office". The Tribune.
- Salsman, Tara. "Lou Ferrigno is sworn in as Delaware County's newest Special Deputy". Archived from the original on November 24, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
- "Lou Ferrigno Appointed by President Trump to the President's Council on Sports Fitness and Nutrition". Media One Entertainment. May 9, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- Beck, Doug (January 17, 2005). "Interview with Lou Ferrigno Mr. Universe, and TVs "The Hulk"". Audiology Online. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
- Player Bio: Lou Ferrigno Jr. USCTrojans.cstv.com. Accessed January 1, 2007.
- "Lou Ferrigno Exercises His Right to Threaten to Sue His Brother". TMZ. March 3, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- "Ferrigno files suit over brother's fitness store". Today. Associated Press. March 10, 2006. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- History of Mr. Olympia: Lou Ferrigno. Schwarzenegger.it Accessed January 1, 2007.
- "History of the Men's World Amateur Championships Archived 2012-07-17 at the Wayback Machine". IFBB.com. Accessed January 1, 2007.
- "Tessa Thompson Joins The Marvel Universe In 'Thor: Ragnarok'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
- Crandall, Steve (January 26, 2014). "Star Trek Continues Episode 2 Prepares For Launch". Star Trek Continues. Archived from the original on February 25, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
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