At six foot five and with muscles literally bursting out of his clothes, it’s hard to believe that people used to make fun of Lou Ferrigno, mocking the future Incredible Hulk star as “Deaf Louie.”

Ferrigno, a former Mr. Universe who rose to iconic status as the raging, shirt-shredding star of the TV show The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982), is in Burnaby tonight to share his story of living with significant hearing loss.

“Basically, I tell them that they’re not the only one,” said Ferrigno during a telephone interview yesterday from his home in California.

He said his talk, which includes a question-and-answer session (and photo signing afterwards), aims to motivate and bring inspiration to children and teens with hearing loss and their families.

Ferrigno suffered an ear infection as a toddler and lost 75 to 80 per cent of his hearing.

An avid reader of comic books, Ferrigno said he was fascinated by power and by superheroes, including the Hulk, and credits them as one of the triggers that led to weight training and body building as a teen.

Winning the role of the Hulk and the cult icon status that he has enjoyed for more than three decades has been “great,” he added.

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