Louis Jude “Lou” Ferrigno is an American actor, fitness trainer, fitness consultant and retired professional bodybuilder. He is a bodybuilding legend and one of the top bodybuilders of the “golden era”. You might know Lou from movies like “The Hulk” or “Pumping Iron”, but we’re sure you don’t know these facts about him:
HE WAS MR. UNIVERSE AND MR. AMERICA DURING THE SAME YEAR (1973)
About four years after finishing high school, Lou won first place in the IFBB’s Mr. Universe and Mr. America bodybuilding competition. He won Mr.Universe again in the taller category in 1974, after which he competed in the Mr.Olympia. There he won second place and third place the next year. The cult classic bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron portrayed Lou’s pursuit in trying to beat his main rival Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1975.
WITHOUT HAVING ANY EXPERIENCE HE PLAYED TWO MATCHES IN THE CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE
After Mr.Olympia he could not support himself by bodybuilding alone, so he started working in a sheet metal factory. After some time, he was offered a defensive lineman position for the Toronto Argonauts. However, there was a catch – he had never actually played football. But, with his frame, he thought “why not?”. He was cut after only two games and never participated in game action. He said he had had a great time but that he hadn’t liked the hitting.
HE WON FOURTH PLACE IN THE INAUGURAL WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN COMPETITION IN 1977
What is now the world-renown “The World’s Strongest Men” competition and a staple on late-night programs on ESPN, was originally meant to air on CBS, starting in 1977. Ferrigno won fourth place from eight total, and even bent a metal bar on his head.
HE PLAYED TUG OF WAR BILLY CRYSTAL, DICK VAN PATTEN AND SCOTT BAIO
In the 70s there was a show called “Battle of the Network Stars” and it was one of the most entertaining pieces of television. Actors formed teams and competed in a tug of war. Lou was pitted against Chachi. He didn’t break much sweat to pull the rope out of Van Patten, Baio and Crystal.
HE WAS MICHAEL JACKSON’s PERSONAL TRAINER
Starting in the early 1990s, Lou was the personal trainer of Michael Jackson and put him through a workout regimen. He would help him again in 2009, preparing him for a concert tour in London, which unfortunately never happened due to MJ’s untimely death.
HE PROVIDES THE VOICE FOR THE HULK IN THE LATEST MARVEL MOVIES
While Mark Ruffalo and Ed Norton have done a brilliant job portraying The Hulk in his human form, nobody can replace the original Hulk’s roar. Lou has voiced the character in The Incredible Hulk (2008) and also in the next two blockbusters The Avengers.
HE IS A VOLUNTEER IN AN IMMIGRATION PATROL WITH STEVEN SEAGAL
Lou is actually a sworn-in deputy for several police departments scattered around the US, like Delaware County, Ohio; San Luis Obispo, California and Los Angeles. In November 2010, he became a member of the sheriff’s department in Maricopa County, Arizona, to watch over the US-Mexican border in the Phoenix area. Aikido master and action hero movie star Steven Seagal is also a member of the immigration patrol.
HE HAS RECENTLY PAINTED HIS BODY GREEN ONCE MORE FOR A FAN-MADE STAR TREK FILM.
The online series Star Trek Continues made by fans follows the journeys of Captain Kirk and his crew and is filled with props and sets from the original series that are surprisingly and beautifully recreated. He starred in the episode named “Lolani”, and those who are deeply knowledgeable about Star Trek canon might think he is a slave trader from Orion.