1. As a bodybuilder, Ferrigno won an IFBB Mr. America title and two consecutive IFBB Mr. Universe titles, and appeared in the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron.
2. As an actor, he is best known for his title role in the CBS television series The Incredible Hulk and vocally reprising the role in subsequent animated and computer-generated incarnations.
3. He has also appeared in European-produced fantasy-adventures such as Sinbad of the Seven Seas and Hercules, and as himself in the sitcom The King of Queens and the 2009 comedy I Love You, Man.
4. Lou Ferrigno was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Victoria and Matt Ferrigno, a police lieutenant. He is of Italian descent.
5. Soon after he was born, Ferrigno says he believes he suffered a series of ear infections and lost 75 to 80% of his hearing, though his condition was not diagnosed until he was three years old.
6. Ferrigno started weight training at age 13, citing body builder and Hercules star Steve Reeves as one of his role models.
7. He was also a fan of the Hercules films that starred Reeves.
8. After graduating from high school in 1969, Ferrigno won his first major titles, IFBB Mr. America and IFBB Mr. Universe, four years later.
9. Early in his career he lived in Columbus and trained with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
10. In 1974, he came in second on his first attempt at the Mr. Olympia competition.
11. He then came third the following year, and his attempt to beat Arnold Schwarzenegger was the subject of the 1975 documentary Pumping Iron.
12. These victories, however, did not provide enough for him to earn a living.
13. His first paying job was as a $10-an-hour sheet metal worker in a Brooklyn factory, where he worked for three years.
14. He did not enjoy the dangerous work, and left after a friend and co-worker accidentally cut off his own hand one day.
15. Following this, Ferrigno left the competition circuit for many years, a period that included a brief stint as a defensive lineman for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League.
16. He had never played football, and was cut after two games.
17. In the early 1990s, Ferrigno returned to bodybuilding, competing for the 1992 and 1993 Mr. Olympia titles.
18. Finishing 12th and 10th, respectively, he then turned to the 1994 Masters Olympia, where his attempt to beat Robbie Robinson and Boyer Coe was the subject of the 1996 documentary Stand Tall.
19. In 1977, Ferrigno was cast as the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk.
20. Ferrigno also singles out the instances in which Bixby directed Ferrigno in some episodes as particularly memorable. Ferrigno continued playing the Hulk role until 1981—although the last two episodes were not broadcast until May 1982.