Lou Ferrigno at the Wizard World Comic Con in August (Jeff Schear/FilmMagic)Don't make him angry: The body-builder turned actor most famous for his role as "The Incredible Hulk" turns 60 on November 9. The Brooklyn-born muscleman first appeared on TV as the mad green monster back in 1978, and he's been going strong ever since.
The larger-than-life figure (he's 6-foot-5) first came to notice in the 1977 documentary "Pumping Iron," which follows the Mr. Olympia competition. The quiet, partially hard-of-hearing upstart attempts to unseat the reigning champ: charismatic, outgoing, confident Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ferrigno does not succeed, placing third.
The docudrama did lead to Ferrigno's show-business start on the small screen, and made Ah-nold a star.The bodybuilding king went on to movies and finally into politics as governor of California. Ferrigno became famous playing himself.
The muscular actor could be found in guest appearances as himself on the show "The King of Queens." The "Incredible Hulk" alum also had a cameo as a security guard in Ang Lee's CGI version of "Hulk" in 2003, and played himself in the comedy "I Love You Man." The guy can't get away from that original role: The actor will be voicing the part of the Hulk in the 2012 movie "The Avengers."
Ferrigno knows he's tied to the green fellow because of the fans. He said in an interview at the 2010 New York Comic Con, "Everybody just loves 'The Hulk.' They keep telling me they liked the original series better [than] they all liked the movies [with] the CGI or that kind of stuff." Maybe so, but no actor could match the bodybuilder's workout: At the age of 25, Ferrigno benched-pressed 560 pounds. Even at 50, he was still lifting 400 pounds.
The still-fit sexagenarian even served as Michael Jackson's trainer in the 1990s, as well as for his comeback tour in 2009. And watch for Ferrigno competing for a different kind of victory on next season's "Celebrity Apprentice."
Even at 60, Ferrigno is still hulking out.
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