Learn About New York Native Lou Ferrigno


Louis Jude Ferrigno Sr., an Italian American actor, and former professional bodybuilder was born on November 9, 1951. Ferrigno competed in bodybuilding and won the IFBB Mr. America and Mr. Universe titles twice in a row. 

He also starred in the documentary Pumping Iron. He is best known as an actor for playing the title character in the CBS television series The Incredible Hulk and voice-acting the part in subsequent animated and computer-generated iterations. In addition, he played himself in the sitcom The King of Queens and the 2009 comedy I Love You, Man. He has also starred in European-made fantasy adventures like Hercules, Sinbad of the Seven Seas, and Sinbad of the Seven Seas. Find out more about the most exciting upcoming movies in 2022.

Lou Ferrigno’s Early Life

In Brooklyn, New York, on November 9, 1951, Lou Ferrigno was born. He is the child of Victoria and Matty Ferrigno. Despite having a white ethnic background, he is an American citizen. Lou suffered from an ear infection shortly after birth, which caused him to lose between 75 and 80 percent of his hearing. He has needed hearing aids since he was five years old.

Ferrigno began lifting weights at 13, citing Steve Reeves, a bodybuilder and Hercules actor, as one of his role models. He created his weights out of a broomstick and pails that he partially filled with cement because he could not afford to buy weights. He also enjoyed the Hercules movies with Keanu Reeves. Ferrigno studied metalworking at Brooklyn Technical High School and St. Athanasius Grammar School.

Lou attended St. Athanasius Grammar School before transferring to Brooklyn Technical High School, where he studied metalworking. In the year 1969, he earns his diploma. Lou won the IFBB Mr. America and Mr. Universe titles while still in high school. Lou participated in several documentaries about the sport and amassed several victories.

Lou’s Personal Life

In his lifetime, Lou Ferrigno has been married twice. First, in 1978, Susan Groff and he was united in marriage. But after only a year of marriage, they decided to call it quits on their relationship. Following that, Lou met Carla Green, a therapist. Carla went on to work as a personal trainer.

The couple began dating, and after a protracted courtship, they were married in May 1980. Three children, a daughter named Shanna Ferrigno, two sons named Brent Ferrigno and Louis Ferrigno Jr., and one daughter were born to the couple. He is happily married and resides in Brooklyn with his family right now.

Ferrigno’s Bodybuilding Career

Ferrigno won IFBB Mr. America in 1969, the same year he received his high school diploma. He received the IFBB Mr. Universe title four years later. He trained with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Columbus, Ohio, early in his career while living there. In his first attempt at the Mr. Olympia competition in 1974, he finished in second place. The following year, he finished third, and the 1977 film Pumping Iron chronicled his attempt to defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ferrigno rose to fame thanks to the documentary. Nevertheless, he was unable to make a living from these victories. He worked for three years as a sheet metal worker for $10 per hour in a Brooklyn factory as his first paid position. He left the job after a friend and coworker accidentally severed his hand because he did not enjoy the hazardous work.

After that, Ferrigno spent many years away from competition, except for a brief period when he played defensive line for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League. He was released after two games despite never having played football. After breaking a teammate’s legs during a scrimmage, Ferrigno quit Canadian football. Ferrigno’s height during the competition was almost 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m). In 1975, he weighed 268 lb., 130 kg. And in 1992, he weighed 315 lb., 142 kg.

In 1977, Ferrigno participated in the inaugural World’s Strongest Man competition and placed fourth out of eight competitors. Ferrigno made a comeback to bodybuilding in the early 1990s, competing for the Mr. Olympia titles in 1992 and 1993. After placing 12th and 10th, respectively, he moved on to the 1994 Masters Olympia, where the 1996 film Stand Tall focused on his attempt to defeat Boyer Coe and Robbie Robinson. After that, he stopped competing.

Lou’s Acting Career

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Ferrigno played the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk in 1977. Bill Bixby, who portrayed the Hulk’s regular alter ego, and Lou Ferrigno became friends despite having little time on camera together. According to Ferrigno, Bixby served as a mentor and a father figure who adopted him. Additionally, Ferrigno highlights as particularly memorable the times when Bixby directed Ferrigno in some episodes. Although the final two episodes weren’t aired until May 1982, Ferrigno continued to portray the Hulk character until 1981. He later appeared alongside Bixby in three episodes of The Incredible Hulk.

Ferrigno made appearances in Battle of the Network Stars in November 1978 and once more in May 1979. In the science fiction adventure movie Hercules in 1983, he played the title role. His performance received mixed to unfavorable reviews. Ferrigno played the part of John Six in the brief-lived medical drama Trauma Center in 1983.

From 2000 until the show’s end in 2007, Ferrigno made sporadic guest appearances on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens in which he played himself. He and his wife Carla were portrayed as the next-door neighbors of the main characters. Doug and his friends frequently make Hulk jokes about him because he plays the title character on The Incredible Hulk.

He voiced the Hulk and made cameo appearances as a security guard in the Hulk films from 2003 and The Incredible Hulk in 2008 which was considered to be one of the most anticipated action movies in New York. Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) in the latter movie uses a pizza bribe to get into a university building. The Hulk was later uncredited and voiced by him in additional Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Up until the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015, he was recognized as the Hulk’s voice. In later movies, Mark Ruffalo has taken Ferrigno’s place as the Hulk’s voice actor.

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