Fast Facts

  • His mother and siblings (two sisters and a brother) have all worked as hairstylists.
  • Was a state-champion wrestler in high school, where he was named Most Fun to Be Around.
  • Attended the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting in Los Angeles, where he worked as a bartender to support his training.
  • Breakout performance was in You Can Count on Me (2000) as Laura Linney's drifter brother.
  • Had a benign brain tumor removed in 2001; took him almost a year to recover after the surgery.
  • Slated to play Mel Gibson's brother in Signs (2002), but the part went to Joaquin Phoenix after his tumor was diagnosed.
  • After playing a couple with Julianne Moore in Blindness (2008), the two starred as lovers in the family drama The Kids Are All Right (2010).
  • His directorial debut, Sympathy for Delicious (2010), was inspired by his real-life paraplegic friend Christopher Thornton, who wrote and co-starred in the film.

Awards

  • 2015, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 2015, Independent Spirit Awards — Special Distinction Award: Winner
  • 2014, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2014, Critics' Choice Television Awards — Best Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series: Nominee
  • 2015, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee
  • 2014, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2014, Emmy — Outstanding Television Movie: Winner
  • 2015, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee
  • 2015, Producers Guild Awards — David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television: Nominee
  • 2014, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
  • 2014, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Winner
  • 2010, Sundance Film Festival — Special Jury Prize: Dramatic: Winner
  • 2010, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2010, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee
  • 2010, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2006, Tony — Actor (Featured Role--Play): Nominee
  • 2015, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2010, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee

Relationships

  • Odette Ruffalo — Daughter
  • Scott Ruffalo — Brother
  • Keen Ruffalo — Son
  • Sunrise Coigney — Wife
  • Bella Ruffalo — Daughter
  • Marie Ruffalo — Mother
  • Frank Ruffalo — Father