Nobody has played the Hulk more often than Lou Ferrigno, and he’s also the only live-action version of the character that wasn’t created inside of a computer. Eric Bana, Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo all got a considerable assist from the effects team, and in the case of the former, it was actually director Ang Lee who suited up in the motion capture leotard for the 2003 blockbuster.
Ferrigno embodied the Marvel Comics superhero for 80 episodes of The Incredible Hulk spread across five seasons that aired between 1977 and 1982, before going on to reprise the role in television films The Incredible Hulk Returns, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk and The Death of the Incredible Hulk in 1988, 1989 and 1990.
After that, he voiced the green rage monster in the 1996 animated series and several video games, while he also made a cameo appearance in Norton’s Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster as a security guard, and did uncredited vocal work in The Avengers, Age of Ultron and Thor: Ragnarok.
The former bodybuilder recently took to social media and lavished praise on… himself, while throwing a little jab in the direction of the modern era’s big screen crimefighters who rely on costumes and CGI to get the job done.
Can’t think of another superhero that isn’t in costume or CGI.
Worked damn hard on my diet and exercise for the Hulk. Wasn’t going to let anyone down. The hulk was my hero as a kid as well 👍🏽#hulkseries #oghulk #nocgiinvolved #dietandexercise #louferrigno #dontmakemeangry pic.twitter.com/ulh3dbx2Qc
— Lou Ferrigno (@LouFerrigno) June 19, 2021
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Of course, the most obvious argument to make is that Ferrigno starred in a relatively low budget TV show four decades ago, whereas today’s crop of stars headline mega budget epics that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to produce. You can’t deny that the 69 year-old was, and still is, an impressive physical specimen, but it wouldn’t be unfair to say that the idea of hiring a musclebound actor for the Hulk and painting them green to share the screen with Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and the gang in the MCU would be preposterous.