Mark Wahlberg

BATD ON May 01, 2009 AT 3:08 pm

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg, still AKA “Marky Mark” from his earlier years, made his way to fame after a rocky past of dodgy drug deals, violent acts, and an old boy band. Born in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Mark is the youngest of nine. He was brought up Catholic and attended Copley Square High School until age sixteen, where he dropped out to live with friends. As a teenager, Wahlberg was charged for several crimes, one being attempted murder and another for an attack of a neighbor. His older brother, Donnie Wahlberg, gave him a shot at cleaning up his record with his successful 1980’s band, New Kids on the Block. At thirteen, Mark was one of the founding members, but he quickly grew tired of the group’s “squeaky clean image”, he later told the press. Soon after, he began recording an album under the title “Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch”, also produced by his brother Donnie. One of his songs, Good Vibrations, earned him valuable screen time. The video, broadcast on public music channels, showed Mark boxing and lifting weights. His other singles Wildside and You Gotta Believe, weren’t as popular, but still helped establish Wahlberg in the music business. His street savvy persona, along with his physique, attracted advertisers and thousands of fans.

Mark Wahlberg for Calvin Klein

Mark Wahlberg for Calvin Klein

In 1992, Calvin Klein showed Mark Wahlberg on a billboard in New York’s Times Square. Magazines like Vanity Fair and television promotions soon featured him alone or with supermodels like Kate Moss.

Not long after, Wahlberg found his niche in acting, appearing in The Substitute in 1993. A year later, he debuted in Renaissance Man. Critics took notice when Wahlberg played a role in The Basketball Diaries (1995). A fan of thrillers himself, he starred in Fear, directed by James Foley. Other great Wahlberg films include Boogie Nights, The Italian Job, The Departed, and the American football drama Invincible. He is also the executive producer of HBO series Entourage, which, ironically, isn’t far off from his real-life experiences in the spotlight. Originally, Wahlberg’s plans were to retire at age 40 and focus on professional golf, but he admitted a year ago that “my golf game is horrible”.

As far as personal life goes, Wahlberg doesn’t have much that isn’t tainted by his former delinquent past. He briefly dated actresses Jordana Brewster and China Chow, who co-starred with him in The Big Hit. Wahlberg has been with model Rhea Durham since 2001, and the

Mark with Rhea Durham

Mark with Rhea Durham

couple have three children together: Ella, Michael, and Joseph. There are rumours of a wedding in the works for summer of 2009. Also in 2001, he established the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation in support of youth service programs.

Coming up for Wahlberg is the film Lovely Bones, based on the novel by Alice Sebold, in which he plays Jack Salmon. In 2010, he’s also slated to make an appearance in The Fighter, starring Channing Tatum.

He’s a man with a lot of surprises up his sleeve, and one of few teen sensations to move on from his pop years, and resurface with a thriving film career. He may be a rebel, but Mark Wahlberg knows how to stick it.

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