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The FHQ

Actor Appreciation

Lou Ferrigno: The Hulk

From bodybuilder to actor, this Brooklyn native has had an interesting career on the screen since his debut back in 1977. Lou Ferrigno is most well known for being the first actor to portray the Hulk in live action, as well as Hercules and Sinbad. In honour of his 45 years in acting & his appearances at our FAN EXPO shows, let’s take some time and appreciate some of Lou's roles over the years.

Fun Facts

  • Early in his career, Lou trained with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Ferrigno and Bill Bixby, who played the Hulk's "normal" alter ego, became friends on the set of The Incredible Hulk, even though they were rarely on camera together.
  • Lou worked as a sheet metal worker in Brooklyn during his early bodybuilding career.
  • Lou is a volunteer Sheriff’s deputy.

Bodybuilding Awards

  • 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

Movie Highlights

Bet you didn't know Lou was in I Love You, Man. Well, he was. Let's look at some of his other iconic movie appearances.

Pumping Iron

Lou Ferrigno is in a gym with wooden walls and various weights around him. He is raising his arms in a flexing position. He is shirtless and wearing red gym shorts.

This 1977 American docudrama is about the world of professional bodybuilding. It focuses on the 1975 IFBB Mr. Universe and 1975 Mr. Olympia competitions and centres on the competition between Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Hercules

Lou Ferrigno is standing next to a brunette lady. She has her hands on his chest (he has no shirt on). She has a lot of rings on her finger and the gold bands on her arms. She is wearing gold and blue armor. Behind them is a stone wall.

Hercules is a 1983 science-fantasy-adventure film based on Greek mythology and the tales of Hercules. Lou Ferrigno stars as the title character of Hercules and has to battle the wizard King Minos, who is trying to take over the world.

Sinbad of the Seven Seas

In a room with decorative tiles and arches, Lou is shirtless and is holding a sword, looking off to the right.

The 1989 film, Sinbad of the Seven Seas, follows the adventures of the fictional Mariner, Sinbad as he has to recover the five magical stones to free the city of Basra from the evil spell cast by a wizard and he must battle magical creatures in order to save the world. Though it did not see success, it is a cult favorite and, in an interview, Lou Ferrigno stated that Sinbad of the Seven Seas was one of his favorite films he ever made. 

I Love You, Man

Outside of a restaurant, Lou Ferrigno, wearing a maroon shirt and black pants, is sitting at a table of food with another guy with a black jacket and blue shirt. Jason Segel is pointing at Lou angerly with Paul Rudd, holding the leash of his dog, behind Jason.

Lou Ferrigno played himself in the 2009 film, I Love You, Man. In his main scene, he is out to lunch and when the situation quickly escalates, Jason Segel's character is put in a sleeper hold by Lou.

Avengers Grimm

A bald Lou Ferrigno is painted silver and is wearing a brown reddish plaid shirt. There are blurred trees in the background.

This 2015 film is a mockbuster of the Marvel Studios superhero film Avengers: Age of Ultron and the ABC TV series Once Upon a Time. Lou Ferrigno plays Iron John, a local gang leader who is based on the Brothers Grimm fairytale by the same name.

Ring Ring

In a bare room and an open door, Lou Ferrigno is in the center in a white shirt, brown pants and suspenders as he has his arms around two guys. The one on the left is wearing a button up stripped shirt and the one on the right is wearng a blue shirt, a cross necklace and earbuds in one ear.

Lou Ferrigno plays Mr. Daniels in the 2019 action thriller Ring Ring, directed by Adam Marino and starring Kirby Bliss Blanton & Malcom Goodwin.

TV Show Highlights

From Adventure Time to The Incredible Hulk, let's look at some of the highlights of Lou Ferrigno's TV appearances.

The Incredible Hulk

Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk. He is green and flexing. He is very angry. Behind him is a lampost, a telephone wire and some buildings. Hulk Smash!

Lou Ferrigno originated the role of the Hulk in the 1977 TV series. This is his most iconic role. On November 4, 1977, the series' two-hour pilot movie, establishing the Hulk's origins, aired. Due to an accident that altered his cells, Dr. Banner transforms into the Hulk whenever he is angry or under a large amount of stress. In the series, Dr. Banner is a widowed physician and scientist, presumed dead, travels across America under aliases and helps those in need.

Mister Rogers Neighborhood

Three men in a black and white photo. Bill Bixby, in a button up shirt, is on the left, Mister Rogers, in his iconic tie and vest is in the middle and Lou Ferrigno, in his hulk costume with no shirt on, is standing on the right.

Appearing on Mister Rogers Neighborhood in 1980, Mister Rogers talks to Lou Ferrigno as he is on set for The Incredible Hulk TV series. Mister Rogers talks to Lou Ferrigno about the the make-up that makes him look like the Hulk, what he does to calm down when he is angry and about Lou's hearing loss due to an ear infection he had when he was a child.

Trauma Center

Black and white image of Lou Ferrigno smiling at the camera, wearing a white paramedic uniform with a patch on his sleeves.

Lou Ferrigno plays paramedic John Six in the TV series Trauma Center. Debuting in 1983, the series is about the staff at Medstar Trauma Center, a special unit of the fictional McKee Hospital in Los Angeles County who dealt with numerous life-threatening medical incidents in each episode 

Night Court

Lou is shirtless and is held by the bald security guard. Off screen is a little old woman trying to hit Lou.

In an episode of Night Court (1985), Lou Ferrigno plays a wrestler, The Klondike Butcher, who was assaulted by an old lady in the ring with a metal chair.

Kings of Queens

Lou Ferrigno is standing in a doorway peaking in. He has on a blue polo shirt and jeans. In the right side of the frame is a bit of a wall mirror and a lamp. Behind Lou and to the left is a wall full of pictures and photos.

In Kings of Queens (2000-2007), Lou Ferrigno plays himself from seasons 3-9. He and his real life wife, Carla, are the Heffernans' next-door neighbour's and everyone in the neighbourhood are fascinated by Lou, which gets on his nerves because he does not like people telling him Hulk jokes and references. Fun fact: Lou's character suffers from a video game addiction in the series. Maybe he was playing the Hulk video game?

Adventure Time

Standing on a mountain with lightening coming down from a sky full of orange, yellow, and purple clouds, Billy, with a red beard and hair, is holding a sword with a skull on the hilt above his head. He have a metal glove hand, no shirt, brown pants with straps on the lower legs, two arm bands and a blue jewel for a nose.

Lou voiced the character Billy, a legendary hero in the Land of Ooo from the animated TV show Adventure Time. Billy is idolized by Finn and Jake, however, by the time the two meet him, Billy no longer believes that violent heroism is the solution in stopping evil. It is just an endless cycle, so what's the point? Finn and Jake are able to convince Billy that fighting evil is a good and not futile cause, gaining Billy's admiration and friendship.