American bodybuilder, who won such loud titles as “Mr. America” and “Mr. Universe”, Lou Ferrigno consolidated his success also on large and small screens, becoming the star of various American television shows and blockbusters about the adventures of the superhero Hulk. The peak of his popularity came in the 80-90s of the XX century. But now he continues to delight fans of new movie roles.
Childhood and Youth
Louis Jude Ferrigno was born on November 9, 1951, in Brooklyn, New York. Parents – Victoria and Matt Ferrigno. The boy’s father is from Italy, he worked in the local police.
Lou Ferrigno in childhood
Lou’s childhood was overshadowed by the effects of illness at 2 or 3 years old: he lost about 80% of his hearing due to an infectious disease. As a result, the hearing-impaired boy became the subject of ridicule from the local children.
“They called me Deaf Louis and made fun of me in every way,” the bodybuilder recalls.
However, later, having already become famous, Lou would say that hearing loss helped him find his place in life, focusing on his capabilities. Offended by his peers, the boy found consolation in reading. He re-read all the superhero comics (especially impressed by Spiderman and the Hulk), mentally imagining himself in their place.
Lou Ferrigno in his youth
Soon the desire to stand up for himself led him to the gym. And at 13 years old, a teenager to start swinging, inspired by the example of the main character of the film “Hercules”, played by Steve Reeves, is the main icon of the bodybuilders of those times.
Ferrigno graduated from St. Athanasius Gymnasium and Brooklyn Technical School, where he studied metalworking.
The hobby of young Ferrigno bodybuilding was not at all a whim. The guy stubbornly went to his goal and spent all the time in hard training. In 1969, Lou won his first major title, becoming “Mr. America” among juniors.
Bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno
Four years later, in 1973, Lou celebrates the first adult victory – the title “Mr. Universe” and becomes a new bodybuilding star, known for his outstanding physical data as Big Louis.
- Lou Ferrigno height: 6’4
- Lou Ferrigno age: 67
In 1974, Lou takes part in the competition “Mr. Olympia”, but inferior to Arnold Schwarzenegger and takes 2nd place. The following year, the story repeats, only this time Ferrigno gets the 3rd place on the winners’ podium. About this confrontation Arnie and Lou in 1975 even the documentary “Pumping iron” was made.
Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger at the “Mr. Olympia” competition
Despite sporting success, Ferrigno could not earn a comfortable existence. He had to work in his specialty: a man was working on sheet metal at one of the Brooklyn factories. But one day, in front of Lou, his colleague had cut off his arm with a machine tool, and the bodybuilder left the factory and never returned to his profession.
A short episode of his biography is taken up as a career defender of the Argonauts of Toronto football team in the Canadian Football League, but the athlete left the ranks of the legionnaires after a severe leg injury. Ferrigno still briefly returns to bodybuilding in the early 90s, deciding to fight for the title of “Mr. Olympia”, but taking 10th and 12th places in two competitions, leaves the professional sport.
In 1976, Lou Ferrigno was invited to the main role in the TV series The Incredible Hulk based on the Marvel comics. It happened with the filing of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who refused this role, since he had already starred in “Conan Varvara”, but offered the producers the candidacy of Lou – his rival for “Mr. Olympia.”
Lou Ferrigno on The Incredible Hulk
The series appeared on the screens from 1978 to 1982 and brought the latter-day actor incredible popularity. This job made Lou friends with Bill Bixby, who played professor David Bruce Benner, whose alter ego becomes the green-skinned monster Hulk. Ferrigno called Bixby his teacher in the acting profession.
The next works of Lou became the Italian projects: in the film “Hercules” about the adventures of the mythological hero, as well as the fantasy film “The Magnificent Seven Gladiators”, the ex-bodybuilder played the main role.
Lou Ferrigno in the film “Hercules”
A real triumph awaits Ferrigno in the late 80s. He plays Sinbad in the Italian-American adventure tape “Sinbad across Seven Seas”, and also plays in the criminal action film “The Cage”. Hero Lou in this tape is a former officer who went through the war in Vietnam and entered into a duel with the mafia already in a peaceful life.
And finally, in 1988, a new cycle of films about the Hulk begins on television: “The Return of the Incredible Hulk” (1988), “The Court of the Incredible Hulk” (1989), and “The Death of the Incredible Hulk” (1990). Lou Ferrigno took part in all three films and thus finally became firmly established in the status of the most charismatic performer of this role.
Lou Ferrigno in the film “Sinbad beyond the seven seas”
Since 2000, for 7 years, the actor has been playing himself in the sitcom “King of Queens”, which tells about the life of an amusing married couple Dag and Kerry Heffernan. In 2003 and 2008, when the Hollywood screen versions of the Hulk’s adventures with Eric Bana and Edward Norton starred on the big screens, Ferrigno was also invited for the episodic role of the security guard and the Hulk. Despite the appearance of other performers of this role, Lou considers his Hulk the best.
“I was the first to show the muscles of this superhero on the big screen and make it believable. I don’t think that someone else can play the Hulk as I did, ”he confessed in an interview.
Hulk’s “corporate” voice performed by Ferriño is also featured in such Marvel comics as “The Avengers” (2012), “The Avengers: Grimm” (2015), “The Avengers: Era of Altron” (2015), “Top: Ragnarok” “(2017),” The Avengers: War of Infinity “(2018).
Lou Ferrigno on Star Trek
Despite his age, Ferrigno is still in great shape and is removed a lot, although not as often as in his youth. In 2015, in the filmography of Lou appeared the role of the king Skizurra in the adventure tape “King of Scorpions 4: Lost Throne”. In 2017, fans of creativity enjoyed Cameo Lou on the web-series Konmen, and in 2018, in the action movie Enter the Fire.
The personal life of the actor and bodybuilder, too, has developed successfully, like his career. True, not the first time. In 1978, Lou married a woman named Susan Groff. However, a year later, the couple divorced.
Lou Ferrigno and his wife Carla Ferrigno (Green)
Ferrigno’s second wife is a psychotherapist Carla Green, who later became the actor’s manager. Three children were born in this marriage: Shanna (1981), Louis Jr. (1984), and Brent (1990). The eldest daughter also became an actress, and little Lou linked his life with football.
Lou Ferrigno Now
In 2019, Lou Ferrigno will appear in the comedy “Game of Thrones” and the TV series “Can’t Go Home”. Also, the actor is busy working on several new screen projects: “Ring Ring”, “Cranial Sacral” and “Cross 3”.
Lou Ferrigno in 2019
Due to the large employment, the actor is not too active on Instagram, but this gap in his life is filled by fans: they organized the fan pages of their favorite artist in social networks and publish fresh photon news from his life. Lou Ferrigno’s net worth is $6 Million.
- 1978 – The Incredible Hulk
- 1983 – Hercules
- 1983 – “The Glorious Seven Gladiator”
- 1987 – “Warrior of the Desert”
- 1988 – “The Return of the Incredible Hulk”
- 1989 – “The Cell”
- 1998 – “The God Son”
- 2000 – “King of Queens”
- 2009 – “Love you, dude”
- 2015 – “King of Scorpions-4: The Lost Throne”
- 2017 – Conmen