Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg

Wahlberg at the 2011 Time 100 gala
Born Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg
June 5, 1971 (1971-06-05) (age 40)
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Other names Marky Mark
Monk D
Occupation Actor
Rapper (former)
Years active 1989–present
Spouse Rhea Durham
(2009–present; 4 children)

Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg (born June 5, 1971) is an American actor, film and television producer, and former rapper. He was known as Marky Mark in his earlier years, and became famous for his 1991 debut as a musician with the band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. He was named No.1 on VH1's 40 Hottest Hotties of the 90's. He is well known for his roles in films such as Boogie Nights (1997), Three Kings (1999), The Perfect Storm (2000), Planet of the Apes (2001), The Italian Job (2003), I Heart Huckabees (2004), Four Brothers (2005), The Departed (2006), Invincible (2006), Shooter (2007), and The Fighter (2010). He has also served as the executive producer of the TV series Entourage, Boardwalk Empire and How to Make It in America.


Early life

Wahlberg was born in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, the youngest of nine children,[1] with siblings Arthur, Jim, Paul, Robert, Tracey, Michelle, Debbie (died in 2003 at age 44), and Donnie. He is of Irish, English, Swedish, and French Canadian ancestry, and is distantly related to author Nathaniel Hawthorne.[2] 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.[3] Wahlberg had a Roman Catholic[4][5] upbringing and attended Copley Square High School (but never graduated) on Newbury Street in Boston.

Assaults and conviction

Wahlberg claims to have been in trouble 20–25 times with the Boston Police Department as a youth. By the age of 13, Wahlberg had developed an addiction to cocaine and other substances.[6][7] At 15, he harassed a group of black school children on a field trip by throwing rocks and shouting racial epithets.[8]

When he was 16, Wahlberg approached a middle-aged Vietnamese man on the street and, using a large wooden stick, knocked him unconscious (while calling him "Vietnam fucking shit"). He also attacked another Vietnamese man, leaving him permanently blind in one eye, and attacked a security guard (again using racist language).[9][10]

For these crimes, Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder, pleaded guilty to assault, and was sentenced to two years in jail at Boston's Deer Island House of Correction, of which he served 45 days.[9][11] In another incident, the 21-year-old Wahlberg fractured the jaw of a neighbor in an unprovoked attack.[12] Commenting in 2006 on his past crimes, Wahlberg has stated: "I did a lot of things that I regretted and I have certainly paid for my mistakes." He said the right thing to do would be to try to find the blinded man and make amends, and admitted he has not done so, but added that he was no longer burdened by guilt: "You have to go and ask for forgiveness and it wasn't until I really started doing good and doing right, by other people as well as myself, that I really started to feel that guilt go away. So I don't have a problem going to sleep at night. I feel good when I wake up in the morning."[13]

After landing in prison following this assault he decided to change his ways. According to Wahlberg, "As soon as I began that life of crime, there was always a voice in my head telling me I was going to end up in jail. Three of my brothers had done time. My sister went to prison so many times I lost count. Finally I was there, locked up with the kind of guys I'd always wanted to be like. Now I'd earned my stripes and I was just like them and I realized it wasn't what I wanted at all. I'd ended up in the worst place I could possibly imagine and I never wanted to go back. First of all I had to learn to stay on the straight and narrow." Wahlberg first relied on the guidance of his parish priest to turn his back on crime. He told his street gang that he was leaving them and had "some serious fights" with them over it. The actor commented in 2009: "I've made a lot of mistakes in my life and I've done bad things. But I never blamed my upbringing for that. I never behaved like a victim so that I would have a convenient reason for victimizing others. Everything I did wrong was my own fault. I was taught the difference between right and wrong at an early age. I take full responsibility."[14]



Mark Wahlberg
Birth name Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg
Also known as Marky Mark
Monk D
Born June 5, 1971 (1971-06-05) (age 40)
Origin Boston, Massachusetts, US
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper, actor, producer
Years active 1989–present
Associated acts New Kids on the Block
Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch

Wahlberg first came 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. 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, earning a hit with "Good Vibrations" from the album Music for the People. The record was produced by brother Donnie and later hit No.1 on The Billboard Hot 100, later becoming certified as a Platinum single. The second single, "Wildside," peaked at No.5 on Billboards Hot Singles Sales chart and at No.10 on The Billboard Hot 100.[15] 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 and The Funky Bunch LP, You Gotta Believe, was not as successful as the prior, yielding only a minor hit single in the title track. Wahlberg later collaborated with the late reggae / ragga singer Prince Ital Joe on the album Life in the Streets. The project combined rap and ragga vocals with strong eurodance music (as in the singles Happy People, German No.1 hit United, Life in the Streets, and Babylon) courtesy of Frank Peterson and Alex Christensen as producers.

He was also featured in the Black Label Society music video for "Counterfeit God", as a stand-in for the band's bassist.[16]


Wahlberg was known for his impressive physique.[citation needed] He first displayed it 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 advertisements.[17] Magazine and television promotions would sometimes feature Mark exclusively or accompanied by model Kate Moss. Annie Leibovitz also shot a famous session of Mark Wahlberg in underwear for Vanity Fair's annual Hall of Fame issue.[18] He also made a workout video titled The Marky Mark Workout: Form... Focus... Fitness (ISBN 1-55510-910-1).


Wahlberg at the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011.

Wahlberg dropped the "Marky Mark" moniker and 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 has 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 instead. The two later worked together in The Departed.[19] 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.[20]

Wahlberg starred in the American football drama, Invincible, based on the true story of bartender Vince Papale. He is also the executive producer of the HBO series Entourage which is loosely based on his experiences in Hollywood. He also appeared as a foul-mouthed Massachusetts State Police detective in Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed thriller, The Departed in 2006, which netted him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, and an NSFC Best Supporting Actor award. 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 the Staff Sergeant played by Wahlberg.[21]

Wahlberg at the Shooter premiere in London, March 2007
Wahlberg at the premiere of Max Payne.

To prepare for his role in Shooter, Wahlberg attended long-range shooting training at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute near Pahrump, Nevada, and was able to hit a target at 1100 yards on his second day, a feat which usually takes weeks to achieve.[22] He has said in a number of interviews that he will retire at the age of 40 to concentrate on parenthood[23] and professional golf. However, in early 2007 he indicated that the latter was no longer the plan as "his golf game is horrible".[24] He played Jack Salmon, a leading role in Peter Jackson's film of The Lovely Bones.[25] 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 starred Robert Duvall and Eva Mendes.[citation needed]

Wahlberg will play the drug kingpin Jon Roberts in the remake of the 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys, which chronicles the story of the largest cocaine trafficker in Miami in the 1970s and 1980s, and he has persuaded Leonardo DiCaprio to play the supporting role.[citation needed]

He starred in M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening as Eliot Moore, which premiered 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, Mark became involved in a feud with Saturday Night Live's Andy Samberg and threatened to "crack that big fucking nose of his." Samberg had done an impression of Wahlberg in a Saturday Night Live skit titled "Mark Wahlberg Talks To Animals."[26][27] 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.[28][29]

Personal life

Family and relationships

In the early 90s Wahlberg dated former child actress Soleil Moon Frye.[30] Wahlberg and model Rhea Durham have been together since 2001 and got married on August 1, 2009 at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills. The couple have four children, Ella Rae (born September 2, 2003), Michael Robert (born March 21, 2006), Brendan Joseph (born September 16, 2008) and Grace Margaret (born January 11, 2010).

His father, a US Army veteran of the Korean War, died on Saint Valentine's Day, February 14, 2008.[31]


Wahlberg is a committed Roman Catholic,[32] who attends daily Mass, credits his faith and a priest from his childhood for helping him turn his life around, and recognizes the seriousness of his faith.[5]

Charity work

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.[33]


Wahlberg has four tattoos done by various artists including Paul Timman.[34] The tattoos include Sylvester the cat with Tweety Bird in his mouth on his ankle, a design of his initials "MW" with his surname "Wahlberg" on his upper right arm, and a Bob Marley tattoo with "One Love" on his upper left arm.[35] The final tattoo, which Wahlberg holds as his most meaningful, is the rosary tattooed around his neck, with a crucifix and the words "In God I Trust" resting over his heart.[35]



List of acting performances in film and television
Title Year Role Notes
Substitute, TheThe Substitute 1993 Ryan Westerberg Credited as "Marky Mark"
Renaissance Man 1994 Private Tommy Lee Haywood
Basketball Diaries, TheThe Basketball Diaries 1995 Mickey
Fear 1996 David McCall Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
Traveller 1997 Pat O'Hara
Boogie Nights 1997 Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Big Hit, TheThe Big Hit 1998 Melvin Smiley
Corruptor, TheThe Corruptor 1999 Detective Danny Wallace
Three Kings 1999 Troy Barlow
Yards, TheThe Yards 2000 Leo Handler
Perfect Storm, TheThe Perfect Storm 2000 Robert "Bobby" Shatford
Planet of the Apes 2001 Captain Leo Davidson
Rock Star 2001 Chris "Izzy" Cole
Truth About Charlie, TheThe Truth About Charlie 2002 Joshua Peters
Italian Job, TheThe Italian Job 2003 Charlie Croker Main role
I Heart Huckabees 2004 Tommy Corn Village Voice Film Poll – Best Supporting Performance
Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Four Brothers 2005 Robert "Bobby" Mercer Main role
Invincible 2006 Vincent "Vince" Francis Papale Main role
Departed, TheThe Departed 2006 SSgt. 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
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Motion Picture
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Shooter 2007 GySgt. Bob Lee Swagger Main role
We Own the Night 2007 Captain Joseph "Joe" Grusinsky
Happening, TheThe Happening 2008 Elliot Moore
Max Payne 2008 Max Payne
Lovely Bones, TheThe Lovely Bones 2009 Jack Salmon
Date Night 2010 Holbrooke Grant
Other Guys, TheThe Other Guys 2010 Detective Terry Hoitz Lead role
Fighter, TheThe Fighter 2010 "Irish" Micky Ward African-American Film Critics Association for Best Actor
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Ensemble
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated — San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
Contraband 2012 Chris Farraday post-production
Ted 2012 John filming
List of credits as producer
Title Year Role Notes
Juvies 2004 Producer Documentary
We Own the Night 2007 Producer
Entourage 2007–08 Executive producer 45 episodes
In Treatment 2008 Executive producer 43 episodes
Boardwalk Empire 2009–10 Executive producer Ten episodes
How to Make It in America 2008–10 Executive producer Eight episodes
Fighter, TheThe Fighter 2010 Producer
Contraband 2012 Producer post-production


  1. ^ "Mark Wahlberg Biography". Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  2. ^ Pierce, Kathleen (May 14, 2011). "Just call him pop culture's sleuth". The Boston Globe. 
  3. ^ "Changing Room". Forbes. June 30, 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  4. ^ Robin Lynch, Ileana Young (September 21, 2008). "Mark of a man". Herald Sun (Australia). Retrieved September 9, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Reformed bad boy Mark Wahlberg goes to church during Australian tour". Herald Sun (Australia). August 17, 2010. Retrieved September 9, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Vanity Fair. Rogue Star". Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  7. ^ Burke, Monte (June 30, 2008). "Changing Room". Forbes. 
  8. ^ "Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Michael Guilfoyle, Derek Furkart, and Mark Wahlberg". Retrieved September 29, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b "Criminal Complaint In the Suffolk County Superior Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1988". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved September 29, 2007. 
  10. ^ "Commonwealth v. Mark R. Wahlberg". Retrieved September 29, 2007. 
  11. ^ "A Candid Chat With Mark Wahlberg – ABC News". September 29, 2006. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Crehan vs. Mark Wahlberg and Derek McCall". Retrieved September 29, 2007. 
  13. ^ "A Candid Chat With Mark Wahlberg – ABC News Sept. 29, 2006". September 29, 2006. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  14. ^ Mark Wahlberg: I left the mean streets for Hollywood, The Daily Mail, December 26, 2009
  15. ^ [1][dead link]
  16. ^ Wahlberg's "Dragon," Megadeth, More To Play L.A. | News. Retrieved on 2011-09-17.
  17. ^ Wilson, Eric (May 12, 2010). "Stretching a Six-Pack". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  18. ^ "Annie Leibovitz / Jossip". Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  19. ^ " archive: ocean's 11". Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  20. ^ "'Brokeback Mountain' Script 'Creeped Out' Mark Wahlberg – Starpulse Entertainment News Blog". Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  21. ^ Stax (February 5, 2007). " article about Departed 2 problems. Retrieved February 9, 2007". Retrieved January 28, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Wahlberg goes to sniper school: About training as a shooter". 
  23. ^ "Actor Mark Wahlberg says he plans to retire at age 40". 
  24. ^ "HBO interview". 
  25. ^ Cardy, Tom (October 23, 2007). "Lovely Bones' Gosling in shock exit". Dominion Post. Retrieved October 23, 2007. 
  26. ^ RedEye (October 26, 2008). "Wahlberg threatens to punch SNL's Samberg over impression". Chicago Tribune.,0,4155250.story. Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  27. ^ "Saturday Night Live - Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals - Video". Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  28. ^ "Saturday Night Live - Mark Wahlberg Backstage - Video". Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  29. ^ "Mark Wahlberg Cracks Jokes, Not Noses". Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  30. ^ Rosen, Marjorie (April 26, 1993). "'Now I Can Be Free'". People.,,20110250,00.html. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Donald E. Wahlberg". Boston Herald. Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  32. ^ "The religion of Mark Wahlberg, singer and film actor". Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  33. ^ "The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation". Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  34. ^ Dunlop Tires (November 1, 2005). "Sunset Strip Artist To Ink Dunlop Treads At SEMA Show". Press release. Retrieved on June 3, 2008.
  35. ^ a b David Schmeikal. "Mark Wahlberg Tattoos Pictures Images Pics Photos Of His Tattoos". Retrieved January 28, 2011. 

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