Hulk Hogan BiographyHulk Hogan is an American wrestler, actor, television host, and musician. He has won numerous titles and awards, holding the World Championship title from 1984 to 1991. He's credited with making wrestling incredibly popular in the US. He is also known for roles in the TV series "Thunder in Paradise" (1993) and movies "Mr. Nanny" (1993), "Ultimate Weapon" (1998), and more.
Childhood and YouthHulk Hogan was born on August 11, 1953, as Terry Gene Bollea. His father, Pietro Bollea, was a builder from an Italian background. His mother, Ruth W. Bollea, had Scottish, French, and Panamanian roots, and was a homemaker who taught dance in her spare time.
Terry was born in Augusta, Georgia, but when he was one and a half years old, his family moved to Florida.
At 16, he became fascinated with wrestling: watching it on TV, attending tournaments, and following some of its stars. Billy Graham, a bodybuilder and three-time world wrestling champion, became his primary inspiration.
When his university studies interfered with his music, he decided to leave before graduating. He and his friends then formed a band called Ruckus, which quickly gained popularity in the area where they lived and performed.
Wrestling CareerOnce, while Ruckus was performing at a bar, professional wrestlers Jack and Gerald Brisco visited. They noticed Terry's impressive physique and introduced him to Hiro Matsuda, a Japanese wrestler and trainer. This led to Terry beginning his wrestling training in 1976.
He had his first match in August 1977, a year after training started, facing off against Brian Blair.
This break was short-lived, as Terry returned to wrestling in 1978. He joined the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) in Memphis, earning $800 a week. It was then that he acquired the first part of his famous alias – "Hulk."
This happened during a talk show featuring him and Lou Ferrigno, the bodybuilder and actor. Lou had portrayed Marvel's Hulk character in the 1977 series. The talk show host remarked that Terry looked more like the Hulk than Lou, or even the comic book superhero himself. Hence, the young wrestler got the name.
On November 17, 1979, he had his first match in WWF and secured a win. In 1980, he joined NJPW (New Japan Pro Wrestling), where he became a favorite among Japanese fans. He began touring Japan, facing a diverse range of opponents in the ring.
During the 1980s, Hogan became one of America's most popular wrestlers. He graced magazine covers, had merchandise released in his name, and even starred in the animated series "Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling" (1985-1986), where he voiced his character.
In June 1994, he signed a contract with WCW and won the heavyweight championship that same year. For the next 15 months, he remained WCW's main champion. Hulk lost his title when he was disqualified during a match.
In 2005, the wrestler was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame (formerly WWF), after which he started wrestling for the promotion again.
In 2015, Hulk Hogan signed another contract with WWE. However, due to a racism scandal he was involved in, the company severed ties with him, stopped selling his merchandise, and removed him from the Hall of Fame.
Nevertheless, by 2019, WWE began collaborating with the wrestler again and reinstated him in the Hall of Fame.
Roles in CinemaHulk first appeared on the big screen in 1982 in the movie "Rocky III", starring Sylvester Stallone. Hulk played the role of Stallone's opponent in the ring.
Hogan gained even more fame after the release of the series "Thunder in Paradise" (1993), in which he played the lead role. The show became so popular that it spawned two full-length films: "Thunder in Paradise II" (1994) and "Thunder in Paradise III" (1995).
TelevisionIn the mid-2000s, Hogan created a reality show about his life called "Hogan Knows Best". It was discontinued after four seasons. In 2008, the show spawned a spin-off titled "Brooke Knows Best", which centered around the wrestler's daughter.
Hulk Hogan's Personal LifeHulk met his first wife, Linda Claridge, at a disco in Los Angeles. The couple got married in 1983.
They had two children: a daughter named Brooke born in 1988 and a son named Nick born in 1990.
The divorce was highly publicized and lasted several years. In the end, Hulk agreed to give his ex-wife 70% of his assets, properties worth $3 million, and 40% of his future business earnings.
In September 2023, 70-year-old Hulk tied the knot for the third time. His new bride was 45-year-old yoga instructor Sky Daily.