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Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg (born June 5, 1971) is an American actor, rapper and producer of film and television. He was known as Marky Mark in his earlier years and became famous in his 1991 debut as a rap musician with the band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

Early life

Wahlberg was born in the Dorchestermarker neighborhood of Boston, Massachusettsmarker, the youngest of nine children, with siblings Arthur, Jim, Paul, Robert, Tracey, Michelle, Debbie (died in 2003 at age 44), and Donnie. He is of Swedish, Irish, and French Canadian ancestry. His mother, Alma Elaine (née Donnelly), was a bank clerk and nurse's aide, and his father, Donald Edward Wahlberg, was a Teamster who worked as a delivery driver. His parents divorced in 1982. Wahlberg had a Catholic upbringing and attended Copley Square High School (but never graduated) on Newbury Streetmarker in Copley Squaremarker in Boston. The campus now houses Muriel Snowden International School.

As a teenager, Wahlberg stole cars, abused drugs and alcohol, and got into fights. At fifteen, he was amongst a group who threw rocks at a group of African American school children on a field trip while shouting racial epithets. The following year, Wahlberg robbed a pharmacy while he was under the influence of PCP. During the commission of the crime, he used racial slurs. He knocked one middle aged Vietnamese man unconscious and permanently blinded another in one eye before he was arrested by the police. Wahlberg was tried as an adult and charged for attempted murder. Pleading guilty to the lesser charge of assault, he was sentenced to two years in jail at Boston's Deer Islandmarker House of Correction, of which he served 45 days. In yet another incident, it was alleged the 21-year-old Wahlberg fractured the jaw of a neighbor in an unprovoked attack.

Music career

Wahlberg was assisted to fame as the younger brother of Donnie Wahlberg of the successful 1980s and 1990s boy band New Kids on the Block. Mark, at age thirteen, had been one of the group's original members, along with Donnie, Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, and Jonathan Knight. Uninterested in the group's bubblegum pop style, however, he soon quit. It was his departure that eventually allowed Joe McIntyre to take his place as the fifth member of the group.

Wahlberg began recording as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and earned a hit with "Good Vibrations" from the album Music for the People. The record was produced by brother Donnie and later hit #1 on The Billboard Hot 100, later becoming certified as a Platinum single. In the video, widely broadcast on music video channels, Mark was shown boxing, lifting weights and posing shirtless, showing off his bare, muscled torso.

The second single by the group, "Wildside," peaked at #5 on Billboards Hot Singles Sales chart and at #10 on The Billboard Hot 100. It was certified as a Gold single. Marky Mark opened for the New Kids on the Block during their last tour. The second Marky Mark LP, You Gotta Believe, wasn't as successful as the prior, yielding only a minor hit single in the title track. Wahlberg later collaborated with reggae / ragga singer Prince Ital Joe.

Mark's cocky, street-wise persona contributed to his fame. During concert performances, he was known for being shirtless and dropping his pants. In the dedication of his 1992 book Marky Mark, co-authored with photographer Lynn Goldsmith, Wahlberg says in the preface that "I wanna dedicate this book to my cock".

Advertising career

Wahlberg is known for his physique, which was first shown in the Good Vibrations music video and most prominently in a series of underwear ads for Calvin Klein shot by Herb Ritts, following it with Calvin Klein television ads. In 1992 the Calvin Klein billboard in New York's Times Square featured Wahlberg exclusively. Magazine and television promotions would sometimes feature him exclusively or accompanied by model Kate Moss. Annie Leibovitz shot Wahlberg in underwear for Vanity Fair's annual Hall of Fame issue. He made a workout video titled The Marky Mark Workout: Form... Focus... Fitness (ISBN 1-55510-910-1).

Film career

Wahlberg then began an acting career, making his debut in the 1993 TV movie The Substitute. His big screen debut came the next year, with the Danny DeVito feature Renaissance Man. A basketball fanatic, he caught the attention of critics after appearing in The Basketball Diaries in 1995, playing the role of Mickey alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, in a film adaptation of the Jim Carroll book of the same name. He also starred in the 1996 James Foley thriller Fear.

He earned many positive reviews after successful movies like Boogie Nights as Dirk Diggler, Three Kings, The Perfect Storm, The Italian Job, and Four Brothers. His performance in I ♥ Huckabees was voted best supporting performance of the year in the 2004 Village Voice Critics Poll. Wahlberg was originally cast as Linus Caldwell in Ocean's Eleven; Matt Damon played the role. The two later worked together in The Departed. Wahlberg was also considered for a role in the film Brokeback Mountain. It was originally intended to star him and Joaquin Phoenix, but Wahlberg was uncomfortable with the film's sex scenes and his role ultimately went to Jake Gyllenhaal.

Wahlberg starred in the American football drama Invincible, based on the true story of bartender-turned-Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale. He is also the executive producer of the HBO series Entourage, which is loosely based on his experiences in Hollywoodmarker. He also appeared as a foul-mouthed Massachusetts State Police detective in Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed thriller The Departed in 2006, for which he won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor and netted him nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.

Wahlberg has confirmed that he was approached to star in a sequel to The Departed, but it is still early in development. The sequel would reportedly revolve around Staff Sergeant Dignam played by Wahlberg.

To prepare for his role in Shooter, Wahlberg attended long-range shooting training at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute near Pahrump, Nevadamarker, and was able to hit a target at 2000 yards on his first day, a feat which took his instructor about six months to achieve. He has said in a number of interviews that he will retire at the age of 40 to concentrate on parenthood and professional golf. However, in early 2007 he indicated that the latter was no longer the plan as "his golf game is horrible". He stars as Jack Salmon in Peter Jackson's film of The Lovely Bones. In 2007 he starred opposite Joaquin Phoenix in We Own the Night, a movie about a family of police officers in New York City. The movie also stars Robert Duvall and Eva Mendes.

He starred in M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening as Eliot Moore, which opened in movie theatres on June 13, 2008. The same year, he played the title role in Max Payne, based on a video game of the same name. While promoting Max Payne, Wahlberg became involved in a staged feud with Saturday Night Live's Andy Samberg and threatened to "crack that big (bleep)ing nose of his." Samberg had done an impression of Wahlberg in a Saturday Night Live skit titled "Mark Wahlberg Talks To Animals." However, Wahlberg later appeared in a follow-up skit parodying both the original skit, Samberg's impression of Wahlberg, and his own threats to Samberg.

Video game career

Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch had their own video game in the Marky Mark: Make My Video game series on the Sega Mega-CD. Using various effects, the player is supposed to produce new versions of the videos to Marky Mark songs like "Good Vibrations" and "I Need Money". PC listed it as the eighth worst video game of all time. Recently, Wahlberg played the titular character in the Max Payne film based on the popular video games. Even though he played the character in the film, he has stated that he is not going to play the games.

Personal life

Wahlberg is a practicing Roman Catholic. He married model Rhea Durham on August 1, 2009 in a private Catholic ceremony in Beverly Hills, Californiamarker. They have three children together, daughter Ella Rae (born in September 2003), and sons Michael (born in March 2006) and Brendan Joseph (born in September 2008). The couple announced in September 2009 that they are expecting their fourth child, which Wahlberg later announced was a daughter.

Actively involved in charity, Wahlberg established the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation in May 2001 for the purpose of raising and distributing funds to youth service and enrichment programs.

Wahlberg has four tattoos done by various artists including Paul Timman. The tattoos include Sylvester the cat with Tweety in his mouth on his ankle, a tattoo of his initials MW with Wahlberg through them on his upper right arm, and a Bob Marley tattoo with "One Love" on his upper left arm. The final tattoo, which Wahlberg holds as his most meaningful, is the rosary tattoed around his neck, with a crucifix and the words "In God I Trust" resting over his heart.

His father, a US Army veteran of the Korean War, died on February 14, 2008.


With the Funky Bunch

Year Album Chart Positions
US US Hip-Hop Heatseekers
1991 Music for the People 21 - 1
1992 You Gotta Believe 67 66 -
"—" denotes the album failed to chart or not released

With Prince Ital Joe

Year Album
1994 Life in the Streets
1995 The Remix Album



Year Film Role Notes
1993 The Substitute Ryan Westerberg TV role as "Marky Mark"
1994 Renaissance Man Private Tommy Lee Haywood
1995 The Basketball Diaries Mickey
1996 Fear David McCall Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
1997 Traveller Pat O'Hara
Boogie Nights Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Cast

1998 The Big Hit Melvin Smiley
1999 The Corruptor Detective Danny Wallace
Three Kings Troy Barlow
2000 The Yards Leo Handler
The Perfect Storm Robert "Bobby" Shatford
2001 Planet of the Apes Captain Leo Davidson
Rock Star Chris "Izzy" Cole
2002 The Truth About Charlie Joshua Peters
2003 The Italian Job Charlie Croker
2004 I Heart Huckabees Tommy Corn Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
2005 Four Brothers Robert "Bobby" Mercer Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2006 Invincible Vincent "Vince" Francis Papale Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Elizabeth Banks)
The Departed Sgt. Sean Dignam Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Cast

2007 Shooter Sgt. Bob Lee Swagger
We Own the Night Captain Joseph "Joe" Grusinsky Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Drama
2008 The Happening Elliot Moore
Max Payne Max Payne
2009 The Lovely Bones Jack Salmon (post-production)
2010 Date Night TBA (post-production)
The Fighter "Irish" Mickey Ward (post-production)
The Other Guys TBA (Filming)


Year Film Role Notes
2004 Juvies Producer Documentary
2004—2009 Entourage Executive producer 72 episodes
2007 BAFTA Television Award for Best International Program
Nominated — 2007, 2008 — Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series

2007 We Own the Night Producer
2008 In Treatment Executive producer 43 episodes


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