Mark Wahlberg is an American actor, producer, businessman, former model, and rapper.
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1. Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg was born June 5, 1971 in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.
2. He is the youngest of nine children, including actor Robert and actor-singer Donnie.
3. His mother, Alma Elaine (Donnelly), was a bank clerk and a nurse’s aide, and his father, Donald E. Wahlberg, Sr., was a delivery driver.
4. His parents divorced in 1982, and afterwards, he divided his time between them.
5. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother is of Irish, English, and French-Canadian ancestry.
6. Maternally, Wahlberg is distantly related to author Nathaniel Hawthorne.
7. Wahlberg had a Roman Catholic upbringing and attended Copley Square High School on Newbury Street in Boston. He never graduated, and so did not receive his high school diploma until June 2013.
8. By age 13, Wahlberg had developed an addiction to cocaine and other substances.
9. At 15, civil action was filed against him for his involvement in two separate incidents of harassing African-American children (the first were siblings of each other, and the second incident was a group of black school children on a field trip), by throwing rocks and shouting racial epithets.
10. At 16, Wahlberg approached a middle-aged Vietnamese man named Thanh Lam on the street, and using a large wooden stick, knocked him unconscious while calling him a “Vietnam fucking shit”.
11. That same day, Wahlberg also attacked a second Vietnamese man named Hoa “Johnny” Trinh, punching him in the face.
12. He believed he had left his victim permanently blind in one eye. Trinh was interviewed in December 2014 by the Daily Mail; he revealed that he had already lost that eye during the Vietnam War, and did not know the identity of his assailant prior to being contacted by the media.
13. According to court documents regarding these crimes, when Wahlberg was arrested later that night and returned to the scene of the first assault, he stated to police officers: “You don’t have to let him identify me, I’ll tell you now that’s the motherfucker who’s head I split open.”[Investigators also noted that he “made numerous unsolicited racial statements about ‘gooks’ and ‘slant-eyed gooks’.”
14. For these crimes, Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder, pleaded guilty to assault, and was sentenced to two years in Suffolk County Deer Island House of Correction.
15. He ultimately served only 45 days of his sentence, but carries a permanent felony record.
16. In another incident, then 21-year-old Wahlberg fractured the jaw of a neighbor in an unprovoked attack.
17. Commenting in 2006 on his past crimes, Wahlberg stated: “I did a lot of things that I regret, 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.”
18. After prison, he decided to improve his behavior.
19. 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.
20. On November 26, 2014, Wahlberg filed an application in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requesting a full and unconditional pardon from his prior convictions.
21. His pardon application engendered some controversy. According to the BBC, the debate about his suitability for a pardon raised difficult issues, with the arguments on both sides being far-reaching and complex.
22. One of Wahlberg’s victims, Trinh, pledged in December 2014 to make a written statement supporting a pardon.
23. Kristyn Atwood one of the African American children attacked by Wahlberg, spoke out against the pardon in 2015, saying a racist will always be a racist.
24. In September 2016 Wahlberg’s pardon petition was closed after he failed to answer a request from the pardon board if he wanted it to remain open.
25. Wahlberg first came to fame as the younger brother of Donnie Wahlberg of the successful boy band New Kids on the Block. Mark, at the age of 13, was one of the group’s original members, along with Donnie, Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, and Jonathan Knight. However, he soon quit after staying three months in the group. His departure eventually allowed Joey McIntyre to take his place as the fifth member of the group.
26. In 1990, Wahlberg began recording with dancers/rappers Scott Ross (Scottie Gee), Hector Barros (Hector the Booty Inspector), Anthony Thomas (Ashley Ace), and Terry Yancey (DJ-T) as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, earning a hit with “Good Vibrations” from their debut album Music for the People.
28. The record, produced by brother Donnie, hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, later becoming certified as a platinum single. The second single, “Wildside”, peaked at number five on Billboard’s Hot Singles Sales chart and at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
29. It was certified as a gold single. Marky Mark opened for the New Kids on the Block during their last tour. Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch also had their own video game, titled Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch: Make My Video, which despite the band’s success, was a huge flop.
30. The second Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch LP, You Gotta Believe, was not as successful as the first, yielding only a minor hit single in the title track.
31. Wahlberg later collaborated with the late reggae/ragga singer Prince Ital Joe on the album Life in the Streets. The project combined rap vocals, electronic-infused ragga, and “European dancefloor” music, delivering the singles “Happy People”, German number one hit “United”, “Life in the Streets”, and “Babylon”, with Frank Peterson and Alex Christensen as producers.
32. In 1995, he released a single titled “No Mercy” in support of his friend Dariusz Michalczewski, whom he had befriended earlier in the 1990s.
33. Dariusz also appears in the music video of the song.
34. Wahlberg and Ital Joe released another album in 1995 for Ultraphonic Records. Titled The Remix Album, it featured remixes from the duo’s previous album, Life in the Streets, as well as the Mark’s solo track, “No Mercy”.
35. In 1996, Wahlberg released a solo single titled “Hey DJ”. This was followed by the release of another solo song titled “Feel the Vibe” in 1997.
36. Another solo track titled “Best of my Love” was released the same year.
37. All the solo tracks, along with another song titled “Here With Me”, were released on an album titled All Around the World in 1997 that also included the remixed versions of the songs.
38. In 2000, he was also featured in the Black Label Society music video for “Counterfeit God”, as a stand-in for the band’s bassist.
39. Wahlberg later transitioned to acting, appearing in films such as the drama Boogie Nights and the satirical war comedy-drama Three Kings during the 1990s.
40. In the 2000s, he starred in the biographical disaster drama The Perfect Storm, the science-fiction film Planet of the Apes, and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in the Martin Scorsese-directed neo-noir crime drama The Departed.
41. In the 2010s, he starred in the action-comedy The Other Guys alongside Will Ferrell, the biographical sports drama The Fighter (for which he earned an Academy Award nomination as a producer for Best Picture), the comedy Ted, the war film Lone Survivor and the science-fiction action film Transformers: Age of Extinction.
42. Wahlberg has also served as executive producer of four HBO series: the comedy-drama Entourage (2004–11), the period crime drama Boardwalk Empire (2009–14), and the comedy-dramas How to Make It in America (2010–11) and Ballers (2015–present).
43. He is co-owner of the Wahlburgers chain and co-stars in the reality TV series about it.
44. Wahlberg received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 29, 2010.
45. He has a tattoo of Bob Marley on his left shoulder and Tweety Bird on his ankle. He has four tattoos altogether, but is in the process of removing them.
46. His home features a 2,500-square-foot private gym made from a converted airport hangar. It houses tons of equipment and a full-sized boxing ring.
47. He has a third nipple. He was born with a third nipple which had to be airbrushed out of his modeling work.
48. Despite having tumultuous teenage years, he is now living a stable and happy life. He cites his stable family life and his involvement with charitable organizations that seek to prevent children from going down similar paths as evidence for his having changed permanently.
49. He married Rhea Durham in 2009. He has two daughters named Ella and Grace and two sons named Brendan and Michael.
50. Sadly, Wahlberg’s older sister passed away on the same day his first child was born (September 2, 2003).
51. Wahlberg is a supporter of the Democratic Party, having donated all of his campaign contribution money to Democratic presidential candidates. He voiced support for Barack Obama on the 2012 presidential re-election campaign.
52. A committed Roman Catholic and daily Mass attendee, Wahlberg openly supports same-sex marriage despite the church’s opposition.
53. On September 27, 2015, he apologized to Pope Francis about jokes he made regarding his movie Ted. He said he had his personal rosary blessed by the pontiff.