Lou Ferrigno, US actor and bodybuilder, in a studio portrait issued as publicity for the US television series, 'The Incredible Hulk', USA, circa 1980. The action adventure series, featuring the Marvel Comics character, starred Ferrigno as 'The Hulk'. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
A Kid's Complaint Got Lou Ferrigno Hired And Richard Kiel Fired As The Incredible Hulk
Closely associated with early monster and sci-fi movies, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s The Incredible Hulk is a rage-powered figure, who became one of Marvel’s most popular characters. Although the Hulk has teamed up with other superheroes, the Green Goliath is ultimately a tragic figure, which became the central theme of the popular TV series “The Incredible Hulk.”
The series saw David Banner live on the road and inevitably change into the Hulk to help someone in need. After becoming a recognizable face from his role in “Pumping Iron,” bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno auditioned for the part and later became the hero. The studio had originally cast Richard Kiel, but a young comic fan visiting the set early in production would change its mind.
Ferrigno recalled, “A kid on the set said [Kiel] wasn’t right and he needed to have big muscles like in the comics. I went for the screen test, got painted green, and was asked to show emotion. That came naturally — I knew how Hulk felt — and I got hired.” The actor would go on to play the Hulk for the show’s entire run and would later voice the character in other projects.