|Full Name||Louis Jude Ferrigno|
|Birthday||November 9, 1951 (age 72)|
|Birth Place||Brooklyn, New York, USA|
|Spouse||Carla Green (m. 1980–1983)
Susan Groff (m. 1978–1979)
|Children||3, including Louis Ferrigno Jr.|
|Net Worth||$12 million|
Background and Early Life
Louis Ferrigno was born in 1951 in Brooklyn, New York. From a young age, he loved comic books and dreamed of becoming a superhero. However, Lou faced adversity early on. At just 3 years old, he lost 80% of his hearing due to a severe ear infection. Despite this disability, Lou persevered, gaining an interest in bodybuilding at 13 and training under expert Bill Pearl.
Lou exploded onto the bodybuilding scene in the early 1970s, winning his first major title, IFBB Mr. America, in 1973 at just 21 years old. The following year, he made history by defeating Arnold Schwarzenegger for the title of IFBB Mr. Universe. Lou became the youngest ever competitor to secure this top bodybuilding title at just 23 years old. This historic win solidified Lou as a legend in the making.
Acting Career Highlight: Playing the Iconic Incredible Hulk
Though he was working in construction and metal work in the mid-1970s, Lou‘s life changed forever when he was offered the role of a lifetime – the Incredible Hulk. From 1977 to 1982, Lou starred in the beloved CBS television series The Incredible Hulk.
To transform into the character, Lou underwent an intensive daily process. He wore heavy green makeup, prosthetics, contact lenses, and a padded costume to depict the Hulk‘s enormous size. Though Lou spoke all his own lines during filming, his voice was later dubbed by actor Lou Ferrigno in post-production due to its high pitch.
Lou‘s sensitive portrayal of the misunderstood hero made the character beloved by millions. He appeared in all 82 episodes across the show‘s 5 seasons. Lou also returned to the role in the late 1980s and 1990s for several reunion movies.
In 2012 and 2015, Lou delighted moviegoers with funny cameos as Hulk creator Stan Lee‘s security guard in The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Now over 40 years later, Lou remains the definitive on-screen Hulk.
Dominating the Bodybuilding World
Though acting made him a star, Lou never lost his passion for bodybuilding. He continued competing through the 1970s and 80s. The pinnacle of his career came in 1974 when Lou won the prestigious IFBB Mr. Olympia title, besting his mentor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Lou‘s upset victory against Arnold is regarded as one of the greatest moments in bodybuilding history. Though he retired from competitions in the 1980s, Lou remains one of the sport‘s most legendary figures. Even in his 70s, he‘s still dedicated to fitness and health.
Overcoming Disability to Inspire Millions
Lou‘s incredible achievements are made even more impressive by the disabilities he overcame from a young age. Though doctors said he would never speak clearly with 80% hearing loss, Lou proved them wrong through determination.
By strengthening his body, Lou also strengthened his self-confidence and social skills. He has never been ashamed of his disability, candidly discussing it from the beginning of his career. His openness has inspired countless young fans facing their own challenges.
Now in his 70s, Lou continues to inspire people of all ages and abilities to achieve their dreams through perseverance and hard work. He once said:
“If I can help people feel better about themselves, I feel it’s a wonderful opportunity.”
Why We Love Lou Ferrigno
There are endless reasons Lou Ferrigno holds a special place in fans‘ hearts:
- He brought a beloved Marvel superhero to life on TV
- He overcame disability and discrimination to find success
- He has one of the greatest underdog stories in bodybuilding history
- He‘s maintained an active, healthy lifestyle for over 50 years
- He‘s hilarious in self-deprecating comedic roles
- He uses his platform to motivate others struggling with challenges
For over 5 decades, Lou has delighted and inspired millions worldwide with his iconic acting roles, bodybuilding achievements, and triumph over adversity. He is the epitome of determination, perseverance, and living life to the fullest. Lou Ferrigno is a true superhero both on and off the screen.