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The Legend of Lou Ferigno

Aug 26, 2008
If there ever was a true legend in the sport of body building it would be the legendary Lou Ferigno. In the 1970s, Ferigno was a true rags to riches story as he came from humble origins to worldwide fame as a bodybuilder and then to even greater fame in his endearing portrayal of the titular green monster in the classic television program THE INCREDIBLE HULK. While some may be familiar with Lou and his work, they may not be all that familiar with his background which may prove to be quite interesting even to those who do not follow the sport.

Body Building: The Early Years

Lou Ferigno was born in Brooklyn New York in the 1950s and had the handicap of being deaf. Since attitudes towards the hearing impaired were not exactly progressive during this time period, Lou became somewhat withdrawn and isolated. While in his teens he would discover a new hobby in the form of weightlifting. Lou became enamored with this new hobby to the point of obsession. He would work out everyday and watch his diet religiously. In time, he would set his sights on competing in amateur body building competitions. He entered them and did well enough that he caught the eye of body building mogul Joe Weider who brought Lou into the fold of professional body building competition. Lou did extremely well in this new profession although he alternated his time between competing and working in construction as construction paid far more than professional body building! Lou would then become featured in the classic documentary PUMPING IRON, a documentary that would bring him to the attention of a number of Hollywood producers.

The Incredible Hulk

When former James Bond villain Richard Kiel bombed as the Hulk during the first few days of shooting the pilot for the TV series, Ferigno got the call to play the green goliath. While few believed this series would be a hit, it turned out to be a colossal hit lasting many years on network TV and decades in syndication. Ferigno was now a bona fide worldwide star!

Ferigno no longer competes in body building these days as he is well into his retirement years. He does, however, appear at numerous competitions as a special guest and as a judge. He also signs autographs at comic conventions and meets with all his fans who have followed his career through the years. In terms of pop culture history, Lou Ferigno is a true icon and definitely one of a kind!
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