'Incredible Hulk' legend Lou Ferrigno to become sheriff's deputy in New Mexico

Ben Arnold
Lou Ferrigno (Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Lou Ferrigno, the body building legend who turned green for the 80s TV series of The Incredible Hulk, is to become a sheriff's deputy in New Mexico.

He will be sworn in on Thursday this week, working for the Socorro County sheriff’s department in the Rio Grande Valley, near Albuquerque.

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In an interview on his own website, Ferrigno said that people have assumed that this will be an honorary role, but he will be performing all the roles a new recruit to the force will be expected to.

“This is not a costume,” he said. “This is the real thing because I’ve played sheriff over the years in different films. This I take very seriously and I’m very excited, very proud to be a deputy because my whole life I’ve always wanted to be a sheriff.

Lou Ferrigno as the 'Hulk' and Bill Bixby as David Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk (Credit: CBS via Getty Images)

“People assume it’s just an honorary thing. It isn’t, because I’m certified and I have police powers which I’m very proud of. I went through all the driving, the shooting, the studying and it changed my life and I’m very happy to be a real-life hero, protecting life and property.”

The 68-year-old has previously worked as a volunteer for the Arizona sheriff's department, for a so-called 'posse' targeting illegal immigration created by controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

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He has also spent time as a reserve deputy in California.

New Yorker Ferrigno was a former Mr Universe, famously appearing as the main rival to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1977 documentary Pumping Iron.

He was cast as the Incredible Hulk, opposite Bill Bixby's Bruce Banner, the same year, a role he played in more than 80 TV episodes and five TV movies.

Ferrigno also voiced the Hulk, uncredited, in all the Marvel movies up to Avengers: Age of Ultron.