Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Incredible Hulk Actors You Might Not Know Passed Away

It is common pop culture knowledge that Mark Ruffalo is not the first actor to step into the Hulk's ragged, purple shorts. It is perhaps less common for fans to know that the filmography for the Jolly Green Giant's angry little cousin stretches even further back than Edward Norton and yes, even further back than Eric Bana. After all, Lou Ferrigno had to get his fame from somewhere. Otherwise, why all the cameos?

Between the Marvel Cinematic Universe, stand-alone films, a live-action television series, and dozens of animated features, the performance industry has a storied past with Jack Kirby and Stan Lee's cranky creation. With such a long history too, it's unfortunately true that a number of the actors who have lent their talents to the Marvel character have since passed away. Here are some of the "Incredible Hulk" actors that you might not know are no longer with us.

Bill Bixby (Dr. David Bruce Banner)

Born in 1934 in San Francisco, California, Bill Bixby didn't start out as an actor but rather a member of the Marine Corps, from which he was honorably discharged in 1957 (via Find a Grave). From there, he made his way into modeling in Detroit, which led him to work in theater, which then led to the film industry.

He portrayed Dr. David Bruce Banner, a grief-stricken scientist whose experiments lead to the creation of the Hulk, in the 1978 live-action televised series "The Incredible Hulk." Unlike other superheroes, the Hulk is not a controllable force, but rather a dangerous, angry entity made of sheer, unstoppable strength. Bixby portrayed the character in three TV movies as well: "The Incredible Hulk Returns," "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk," and "The Death of the Incredible Hulk," all of which he also directed.

Bixby passed away in 1993 at the age of 59 due to complications with prostate cancer. At his request, he was cremated and his ashes scattered at his estate in Hana, Hawai'i. He was married three times, most recently to Judith Kliban within two months of his passing (via The Famous People).

Jack Colvin (Jack McGee)

Born in 1934 in Lyndon, Kansas, Jack Colvin became a steadfast feature in the film and theater spaces (via Find a Grave). Although he had roles in the classic films "Jeremiah Johnson" and "Child's Play," he is possibly best known for being one-half of the comedy duo Colvin and Wilder, which made a successful circuit around the variety shows of the era.

He portrayed Jack McGee, an aggressively determined reporter who dogs the Hulk's every massive, earthquaking footstep in the 1978 live-action televised series "The Incredible Hulk." Eventually, he discovers that there is a man behind the monster and becomes a begrudging ally. Colvin portrayed the character in the TV movie "The Incredible Hulk Returns" as well.

Colvin died in 2005 at the age of 71 due to a stroke. At his request, he was cremated and his ashes scattered into the Pacific Ocean. He had no immediate family but left a grieving community of fans.

Paul Soles (Stanley Lieber)

Born in 1930 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Paul Soles began his career in acting at the age of 30 and successfully kept at it for the rest of his life (via Find a Grave). The Canadian actor is well-known for being the voice of Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, in the original "Spider-Man" animated series and the quintessential claymation character Hermey in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and that barely scratches the surface of his 98 acting credits.

Soles portrayed Stanley Lieber, a friendly old man who runs a local pizza parlor, in the 2008 film "The Incredible Hulk." He shelters Dr. Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) from the US military and sets the mood for a romantic moment between the harried doctor and Betty Ross (Liv Tyler).

Soles passed away in 2021 at the age of 90. He was cremated, and his ashes were given to his family.

William Hurt (Thaddeus Ross)

Born in 1950 in Washington, D.C., William Hurt started his acting career on the stage (via Deadline). When he made the switch to the silver screen, he accrued accolades for films such as "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "A History of Violence," including winning the Oscar for best actor in a leading role for the former (via IMDb).

Hurt portrayed General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross in the 2008 film "The Incredible Hulk." Ever at odds with Dr. Bruce Banner for turning into an organic weapon of mass destruction, their relationship sours even further when Dr. Banner and his daughter Betty become an item (of sorts). By "Captain America: Civil War," Ross has become the Secretary of State and leads the charge against the Avengers in that movie as well as "Avengers: Infinity War," "Avengers: Endgame," and "Black Widow."

Hurt passed away in March 2022 at the age of 71 due to complications with prostate cancer. He was cremated, and his ashes were given to his son (via Find a Grave).