Hulk Hogan was the most famous "professional" wrestler during the rejuvenation of the "sport" in the 1980s. He first went by the name Terry "the Hulk" Bollea and later dropped his real name altogether. Originally, Hulk Hogan was supposed to be a red-haired Irish wrestler, but in a rare act of good taste and restraint, he became the golden god of Hollywood instead. He appeared in a series of films whose combined box offices (if they have those for video stores and cable outlets) would not total in the multimillions. Hogan was always one of the more quotable wrestlers and he initially maintained an air of goodness and morality, encouraging kids (aka Hulkamaniacs) to "Train, say your prayers, take vitamins, and believe in yourself."
Born in Venice, CA (not Hollywood), on August 11, 1953, Terry Bollea stands 6'8" and is 303 pounds. His most famous bouts include a victory against Andre the Giant in front of 93,000 people at the Pontiac Silverdome and a title match with Mr. T in 1984. Defined by his signature bandanna, bleached blonde mustache, and silly torn T-shirts, Hulk Hogan was a surprising icon. At the peak of his popularity, Hulk Hogan appeared in mainstream films like Gremlins II (supposedly at the request of Steven Spielberg) and Rocky III (where, as Thunderlips, he tossed Sylvester Stallone from the ring) and some lesser-known silver screen (or video) fair like the classics Santa With Muscles, Suburban Commando, and Mr. Nanny. He also released an album called Hulk Rules on which he played bass guitar. The album, credited to Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band rose into the Top Ten on Billboard's children's chart. The fun album is filled with good messages to kids (anti-drug, etc.) and makes a funny novelty record for adults. An animated series called Hulk Hogan Rockin' Wrestlin' aired for an amazing three seasons. Hulk Hogan remained active in wrestling for years but remained under the national radar until former wrestler Jessie Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota in 1998. Hogan, declared (threatened) that he was planning a presidential run in 2000 to Jay Leno on the Tonight Show. To his credit, Terry Bollea has remained dedicated to the Make-a-Wish and Starlight Foundations over the years. ~ JT Griffith