|Lou Ferrigno Quick Info|
|Height||6 ft 3.5 in|
|Date of Birth||November 9, 1951|
Lou Ferrigno is an American actor, retired bodybuilder, personal trainer, and author, best known as the runner up to Arnold Schwarzenegger at the IFBB Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition in 1974, and winning 3rd place in the IFBB Mr. Olympia 1975. Lou’s efforts to win were the subject of the documentary movie Pumping Iron (1977) that made him well-known to a worldwide audience. After taking a break that he used to dedicate to acting in TV series The Incredible Hulk (1977-1982), Trauma Center (1983), as well as movies Hercules (1983), The Adventures of Hercules (1985), All’s Fair (1989), Sinbad of the Seven Seas (1989), and Cage (1989), Lou came back to competing in bodybuilding in the early 1990s.
However, he only reached the 12th spot at the IFBB Mr. Olympia 1992 and 10th at IFBB Mr. Olympia 1993. Disappointed, Lou appeared in competition for the IFBB Masters Olympia 1994, which was depicted in a documentary titled Stand Tall (1996). After losing to Robbie Robinson, he officially retired from competing in bodybuilding. Lou then borrowed his voice to The Hulk in the animated TV series The Incredible Hulk (1996-1997), and then went on to appear in TV series The King of Queens (2000-2007), and Con Man (2017), and movies Hulk (2003), Instant Death (2017), and Enter the Fire (2018). Lou Ferrigno has amassed a large social media fanbase consisting of more than 3 million followers on Facebook, more than 200k followers on Instagram, and more than 100k followers on Twitter.
Louis Jude Ferrigno
Lou, Louie, Big Louie, Hulk
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
Los Angeles, California, United States
Lou Ferrigno attended St. Athanasius Grammar School in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States. He later got enrolled in Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States, from which he graduated in 1969.
Actor, Retired Bodybuilder, Personal Trainer, Author
- Father – Matt Ferrigno (Police Lieutenant)
- Mother – Victoria Ferrigno
- Siblings – Andy Ferrigno (Brother)
- Others – Louis Ferrigno (Paternal Grandfather), Antoinette Accarino (Paternal Grandmother)
Lou Ferrigno is represented by –
- Celebrity Consultants (Talent Agent Commercial) in Encino, California, United States
- Carla Ferrigno Management (Manager) in Los Angeles, California, United States
- Kind Management (Manager) in Los Angeles, California, United States
- Pafundi Law Firm (Legal Representative) in Beverly Hills, California, United States
6 ft 3.5 in or 192 cm
- 129 kg or 284.5 lbs (1975)
- 143 kg or 315 lbs (1992)
- 115 kg or 253.5 (Post-Active Career)
Girlfriend / Spouse
Lou Ferrigno has dated –
- Susan Groff (1978-1979) – He married Susan Groff on May 27, 1978, but they got divorced only a year later.
- Carla Green (1980-Present) – On May 3, 1980, he got married to a psychotherapist, who then became his manager and later a personal trainer, Carla Green. They have 3 children together – daughter Shanna Ferrigno (b. 1981), who later became an actress, son Louis Jr. Ferrigno (b. November 10, 1984), who was a football player turned actor in 2013, and another son, Brent Ferrigno (b. 1990).
Race / Ethnicity
He is of Italian descent.
Due to advancing age, his hair has shown signs of ‘Salt and Pepper’ color.
- Towering, muscular physique
- Bushy eyebrows
- Vocal slur
His body measurements around 1975 might have been –
- Chest – 59 in or 150 cm
- Arms – 22.5 in or 57 cm
- Waist – 34 in or 86.5 cm
- Thighs – 29 in or 73.5 cm
- Neck – 19 in or 48 cm
Lou Ferrigno has endorsed his own brands Ferrigno Fitness and FerrignoFIT.
Lou Ferrigno has appeared in commercials such as –
- Print ads for Joe Weider’s Dynamic Muscle Builder drink (1991)
- Longhorn Steakhouse (January 2006)
- Butterfinger (2010)
- O-Cedar’s ProMist Spray Mop (2012)
- Entertainment.com (2012)
Best Known For
- Being a professional bodybuilder from 1969 to 1977 and 1990 to 1995, IFBB Mr. Olympia runner-up in 1974, 3rd place in IFBB Mr. Olympia 1975, and winning the title IFBB Mr. Universe title 1973 and 1974 consecutively, as well as 4th place in the World’s Strongest Man 1977 competition
- His roles in TV series such as The Incredible Hulk (1977-1982), Trauma Center (1983), Black Scorpion (2001), The King of Queens (2000-2007), Con Man (2017), The Grindhouse Radio (2018), The Adventures of Velvet Prozak (2018), and voice acting in the animated TV series The Incredible Hulk (1996-1997), and Adventure Time (2010-2016)
- Starring in movies such as Hercules (1983), The Adventures of Hercules (1985), All’s Fair (1989), Cage (1989), Cage II (1994), The Godson (1998), Hulk (2003), Moms’ Night Out (2014), Instant Death (2017), and Enter the Fire (2018)
Lou Ferrigno made his theatrical film debut as Hercules in the adventure-fantasy film, Hercules in 1983.
First TV Show
Lou Ferrigno made his first TV show appearance as a contestant in an episode of the sport series ABC’s Wide World of Sports on April 11, 1976.
Lou Ferrigno followed a 3-day split routine both during competition and in the off-season. He trained each muscle group 2 times per week due to his superior genetics and the aid of necessary drugs used by all bodybuilders. Lou did 4-5 sets of 6-10 repetitions per exercise and worked out every day except on Sunday. His typical workout routine was as follows –
- Monday – Chest and Back
- Tuesday – Shoulder and Arms
- Wednesday – Legs
- Thursday – Chest and Back
- Friday – Shoulder and Arms
- Saturday – Legs
- Sunday – Rest and Recovery
As for diet, he ate calorie-dense food, and as much protein as possible from sources such as fish, red beef, steaks, chicken, and eggs. When dieting down for a bodybuilding show, he would follow a simple, 5-times a day diet plan with around 3500 calories, adjusted for his towering height and muscular body. It looked like this:
- Meal 1 – Oatmeal, fruit, milk
- Meal 2 – Chicken, vegetables, and rice
- Meal 3 – Mashed or baked potato, lean steak, vegetables
- Meal 4 – Rice, fish, vegetables
- Meal 5 – Eggs, vegetables
After his competition days were over, Lou never backed down from his health and fitness habits, and all of his 3 children were taught early, and are very athletic and interested in fitness. Lou still grows his own fruit, does a lot of cardio inside and outside the gym such as riding a bike, and gets a massage and even tried cupping to aid muscle recovery.
Lou Ferrigno Favorite Things
Lou Ferrigno Facts
- As a child, Lou suffered from an ear infection that resulted in permanent but partial hearing loss.
- He claimed that hearing loss was the driving force in his life to achieve success. His father was very negative about his chances to make it in life, and Lou was bullied in school for his “disability.”
- Lou began lifting weights at the age of 13, inspired by his idol, bodybuilder Steve Reeves, who was known for the lead roles in movies Hercules (1958), and Hercules Unchained (1959).
- At the age of 15, Lou helped his father tar the roof throughout the summer so he could earn enough money to buy a Weider Preacher Curler Bench and 100 lbs of weights in order to train regularly.
- Lou and his family adopt pets in order to save them from careless owners, abuse, negligence, and ultimately being put down at the vets’ office. In April 2019, one of his dogs named Mia passed away.
- Lou made his professional bodybuilding debut at the NABBA Mr. Universe competition in 1972.
- He won his 1st major bodybuilding title of IFBB Mr. America right after he graduated high school in 1969.
- When he won the title of IFBB Mr. Universe in 1974, Lou was 20 years old, and the youngest bodybuilder to achieve that feat.
- Both of his parents appeared in the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron (1977).
- Lou created his own brand of fitness equipment named Ferrigno Fitness.
- He was forced to work a $10-an-hour job as a sheet metal worker in Brooklyn, New York because bodybuilding wasn’t a lucrative job at that time. He quit out of fear after one of his friends cut off his own hand on the job.
- Lou’s acting mentor was Bill Bixby. He appeared alongside him in The Hulk franchise of movies.
- After the release of the last TV movie titled The Death of the Incredible Hulk (1990), more movies were already planned. The death of Bill Bixby from cancer rendered those plans impossible, and also crushed Lou as he was a shadow of himself in those last days.
- Lou’s favorite episode of the TV series The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982) was titled King of the Beach, in which he played both The Hulk and a bodybuilder.
- He was fighting for the role of The Hulk with Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it ultimately went to Lou because he was taller and fit the description of the character better.
- Lou escaped certain death thanks to fortunate circumstances in October 1981. He was invited to be a personal guest by the President of Egypt and sit right next to him, but he canceled Lou’s invite at the last minute. The president was later assassinated along with 12 other people, and the killer revealed that he initially planned the killing spree for the exact event Lou was supposed to attend.
- In 2003, he wrote an autobiography titled My Incredible Life As The Hulk. In it, he said that he had no profits off The Hulk merchandise, as no such deals existed in contracts at the time, and he lost out on royalties throughout the years.
- He appeared in the music video for Michael Jackson‘s song Liberian Girl (1989).
- Lou was Michael Jackson’s personal trainer and prepared him physically for the tours in 2008 and 2009. Unfortunately, his untimely death cut both of their plans short.
- In 2006, he was sworn as a Los Angeles County, California Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy Level II, honoring his father’s profession.
- His co-star and on-screen matchup in the movie Hercules (1983), Sybil Danning, had a massive crush on him.
- In 2012, Lou announced that after a lifetime of being dependent on a hearing aid apparatus, he underwent a revolutionary surgery of implanting a special device under the skin, and got back his natural hearing ability.
- At the same time he announced the surgery was performed, during season 5 of the reality-TV series The Celebrity Apprentice (2012), he also collected $50k prize money for his charity – Muscular Dystrophy Association.
- Lou has appeared on the covers of well-known magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Muscle Builder, Iron Man, Bodybuilding Lifestyle, Muscle Mag International, Muscular Development, Muscle Training, Natural Bodybuilding, and Strength & Health.
- Lou was forced to file a suit against his brother Andy on 2 occasions due to the dispute over rights to use the name Ferrigno for business ventures.
- President Donald Trump appointed him as a member of the United States Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition in May 2018.
- In May 2019, Lou announced that he became a personal trainer for Mark Cuban, a well-known entrepreneur, and businessman, worth $4 billion as of February 2019.
- Visit his official websites @ louferrigno.com, ferrignofit.com.
- Follow him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Featured Image by Roger Chang / Flickr / CC BY-2.0