Known in Hollywood for making a successful switch from a teen pop idol to an established actor, Mark Wahlberg is most noted for starring in films like Boogie Nights (1997), Plant of the Apes (2001), The Departed
(2006), Lone Survivor (2013), Transformers: Age of Extinction
(2014), and Ted 2
An American actor, producer, entrepreneur, and former rapper, Wahlberg under the alias Marky Mark was a frontman of the band `Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch`. For his contribution to the American entertainment industry, Wahlberg received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 29, 2010.
Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts to Donald E. Wahlberg, Sr., delivery driver and Alma Elaine, a nurse, Wahlberg is the youngest of nine children. His parents divorced when Wahlberg was just 11 and he then took turns to live with both of them. At 14, he dropped out of Copley Square High School on Newbury Street in Boston to pursue a life of petty law-breaking and substance abuse. He started stealing, hustling and selling drugs. Two years later, Wahlberg was arrested for physically assaulting two Vietnamese men. Although the attack was believed to be racially motivated, Wahlberg has more than often denied this allegation. His 45 days stint in jail changed his perspective towards life completely. He now wanted to give himself some direction and leave his misdoings behind him.
In an interview, he has once said, "I did a lot of things that I regret, and I have certainly paid for my mistakes."
In 2009, Wahlberg tied the knot with Rhea Durham. Before walking down the aisle, the couple had three children: daughter Ella and sons Michael and Brendan. One year after their wedding, Rhea gave birth to their fourth child, Grace Margaret.
After he served his term in the prison, Wahlberg got out to find that his elder brother Donnie has become an overnight teen sensation as the member of the boy band New Kids on the Block. Donnie decided to help his brother by taking him in the band, that was now dominating the charts all over. But Wahlberg soon left the band to make it big on his own. His brother who had a lot of connections in the music industry introduced him to influential people in the business. He began signing contracts and came to be known as Marky Mark who along with his `Funky Bunch` recorded his debut album Music for the People. Wahlberg cashed on his image as a bad boy and his eccentricities skyrocketed his career to new heights . He made up for his lack of singing abilities with his good looks and a physique that teenage girls went gaga over.
Seeing him as the heartthrob nationwide, Calvin Klein signed a two-year contract with Wahlberg to model the designer`s underwear. Soon, his bad boy image became more of a curse than a boon when he started getting into brawls wherever he went. He got into a public fight with the legendary singer Madonna and her entourage at a nightclub, which only led people to believe that his past had come knocking on the door. Amid this, his second album You Gotta Believe received a very poor response and flopped. Having learned to never give up in life, Wahlberg took up a new career path and decided to try his luck in acting.
In an attempt to make a fresh start, Marky Mark again became Mark Wahlberg. He made his big screen debut with Penny Marshall`s Renaissance Man. But he was first noticed as Leonardo DiCaprio`s drug addict friend in the coming-of-age film Basketball Diaries. Although the movie performed miserably at the box office, Wahlberg received accolades for effortlessly performing his part. In 1996, came his first box office hit in the form of the psychological thriller film Fear. Directed by James Foley, the movie follows the story of an untroubled couple whose existence is threatened when their daughter starts going out with a mysterious man, in spite of her father`s disapproval. His next film Boogie Nights proved that he was in Hollywood to change the course of his life and nothing could dampen his spirits. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, he played the role of a dishwasher turned porn star, in Boogie Nights. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was a huge success both commercially and critically.
His following two releases- The Big Hit and The Corruptor were box office failures, but he again struck gold with Three Kings. Along with Wahlberg, the movie starred George Clooney, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze as disloyal U.S. servicemen in the Persian Gulf during the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War conflict. He then featured in acclaimed movies like Plane of the Ape, The Italian Job
, and Invincible. In 2006, Wahlberg received his first Academy Award nomination for the crime drama The Departed. Directed by Martin Scorsese the movie co-starred Leonardo DiCaprio
, Matt Damon
, and Jack Nicholson
with Wahlberg. The movie received several awards and was listed amongst the best films of 2016 by many critics.
Four years later, in 2010, Wahlberg did a starring role in the biographical sports drama The Fighter and received appreciation worldwide for his role in the film. Co-produced by Wahlberg himself, the film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Wahlberg then starred in films like Ted, Lone Survivor
, Transformers: Age of Extinction
, and Ted 2
, all of which were well received at the box office.
His 2016 release includes Deepwater Horizon, co-starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell
, John Malkovich
, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O`Brien
and Kate Hudson
. In 2018, Wahlberg starred in Mile 22
(2018), which he has also produced, and Instant Family (2018). His next release was the Netflix film Spenser Confidential (2020) as well as his first ever voice acting role in Scoob! (2020).
Mark Wahlberg has been the executive for TV shows like Entourage, In Treatment and Boardwalk Empire. He appears along with his brothers Donnie and Paul in the A & E series Wahlburgers, which is also the Wahlberg family`s hamburger restaurant in Hingham, Massachusetts, near Boston. It`s one of a kind restaurant, which is promoted by a full-fledged reality show.