Back in the early '90s, when this rebel-turned-rapper was showing off his talent by sporting a pair of boxers in racy Calvin Klein ads, no one could have predicted that he would become a dashing, Oscar-nominated movie star. But Wahlberg has a long tradition of defying expectations. The younger brother of New Kids on the Block's Donnie Wahlberg, this working-class hunk was an original member of the boy band but quit before they came to fame. A troubled teen, Wahlberg had a number of run-ins with the law, including a drug-induced attack on a Vietnamese man that earned him a stint in jail and a racist reputation. With his brother's help as producer, he turned his life around and launched a music career of his own. As rapper Marky Mark, the pretty-boy leader of the Funky Bunch, Wahlberg became a teen idol. But to the hard-core hip-hop community he was joke, a one-hit wonder ("Good Vibrations") destined for pop-culture oblivion. Reinventing himself once again, Wahlberg turned to acting. His big break came in the lauded 1997 indie Boogie Nights
. As a well-endowed, blue-collar kid who becomes a '70s porn icon, Wahlberg was a revelation. Boasting charisma and surprising range, he was equally convincing as a sexy stud and a strung-out has-been. From then on, the budding star chose his projects carefully, signing on to a string of highly anticipated pictures. Unfortunately, many of them failed to live up to their buzz (The Yards
, the Charade
remake titled The Truth About Charlie
, Rock Star
) and even the ones that did make money (A Perfect Storm
, the remake of The Planet of the Apes
) took critical drubbings. As the romantic lead in yet another remake, the 2003 ensemble heist flick The Italian Job
, he scored a commercial and critical hit. The next year, he branched out into producing with the autobiographically inspired HBO series Entourage
, about a hot Hollywood heartthrob and his hangers-on. But it was his turn as a Boston cop in 2006's The Departed
that finally earned him industry respect in the form of Golden Globe and Oscar nods.Mark Wahlberg Fast Facts:
- Was one of the original members of the band New Kids on the Block at age 13, with older brother Donnie.
- In 1991, "Marky Mark" (his rap name), along with a backup rapper and dancers (dubbed "the Funky Bunch"), released their platinum debut album, Music for the People.
- Signed a two year deal in 1991 to model for Calvin Klein underwear.
- Was scheduled to fly on doomed September 11 flight United 93 but ended up changing his plans.
- Originally cast as Linus Caldwell in Ocean's Eleven, but had to drop out due to scheduling problems.
- Executive produced the HBO series Entourage, modeled on his own experiences.
- Dropped out of high school in ninth grade; he later completed classes online and earned his high school diploma in 2013.
- Mark Wahlberg Relationships:
- Soleil Moon Frye - Ex-significant Other
- Brendan Joseph Wahlberg - Son
- Grace Margaret Wahlberg - Daughter
- Jim Wahlberg - Brother
- Tracey Wahlberg - Sister
- Michelle Wahlberg - Sister
- Michael Wahlberg - Son
- Robert Wahlberg - Brother
- Donald E. Wahlberg - Father
- Donnie Wahlberg - Brother
- Ella Rae Wahlberg - Daughter
- Rhea Durham - Wife
- Sofía Vergara - Ex-significant Other
- Alma Wahlberg - Mother
- Debbie Wahlberg - Sister
- Arthur Wahlberg - Brother
- Paul Wahlberg - Brother
- Mark Wahlberg Awards:
- 1997 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Nominee
- 2007 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Nominee
- 2014 Emmy: Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program - Nominee
- 2012 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Nominee
- 2009 Emmy: Outstanding Comedy Series - Nominee
- 2010 Oscar: Best Motion Picture of the Year - Nominee
- 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Nominee
- 2006 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Nominee
- 2011 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama - Nominee
- 2011 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Nominee
- 2008 Emmy: Outstanding Comedy Series - Nominee
- 2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Nominee
- 2007 Emmy: Outstanding Comedy Series - Nominee