Lou Ferrigno Bio
Lou Ferrigno is an icon to the deaf community in that he transcends and links deaf culture to both the film and fitness industries. When he was only three years old, Ferrigno had an ear infection that was not treated properly. The infection resulted in a hearing impairment: Ferrigno lost 80% of his hearing ability. Hearing aids offered some help but still did not relieve his deafness fully. Ferrigno taught himself to read lips to overcome his disability and become able to communicate fluently with other people.
Learning to read lips was not the only task Ferrigno dedicated himself to. Inspired by comic book heroes he desired to be strong and began bodybuilding. He had to discipline himself to keep a routine and he had to be innovative with equipment. He attached cans of cement to a broomstick as a substitute to dumbbells until he could afford his own. His commitment paid off and won him the award or Mr. Universe twice consecutively in 1972 and 1973. He was the youngest person to ever win this award and still holds the Guinness World Record.
Although he made a name for himself as a professional bodybuilder, Ferrigno is best known as an actor. He starred in the television series The Incredible Hulk from 1977 to 1982. He returned to bodybuilding in the 1990s, revealing his simple, but effective regimen. However he has since retired but can boast that he had used his talents as a personal trainer to Mickey Rourke, Chuck Norris and the late Michael Jackson. More about Ferrigno’s health, including his vitamin intake is found in his interview with Life Extension.
Lou Ferrigno maintains an acting career even today. He was a regular guest on the sitcom The King of Queens playing himself, he had a cameo role in the critically acclaimed comedy I Love You Man, and he is also the star of the short film Liberator where he plays a disgruntled superhero trying to win back his life. In both 2008 and 2012 Ferrigno reprised his most famous role, The Hulk, though this time as just a voice actor, in The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers respectively.
In addition to acting, Ferrigno contributes to the betterment of the deaf community through support of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. In 2005 he was interviewed by Healthy Hearing about the foundation and also his experience with hearing aids. He says he wears two and that he recommends the same for people in the deaf community experiencing deafness and hearing loss. Ferrigno is active with many other charities too including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In the interest of the Muscular Dystrophy Association he competed in the 2012 iteration of Celebrity Apprentice along with Adam Carolla, Penn Jillette, George Takei, and others. He also gives motivational speeches at colleges such as Parker University speaking on topics such as deafness, the deaf community, deaf education and overcoming adversity.
You can get more information on Lou Ferrigno including his entire filmography, and purchase Lou Ferrigno-certified products such as t-shirts and books at his official website: LouFerrigno.com.