Personal detailsName: Mark Wahlberg
Born: 5 June 1971 (Age: 43)
Where: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Height: 5' 7"
Awards: 1 Oscar and 1 Golden Globe nomination
All about this star
It's often been said that pop stars should steer well clear of movies. Their attempts to cross over have such a tawdry and unintentionally hilarious history. Remember Mick Jagger in Ned Kelly and, worse, Freejack? Madonna in Body Of Evidence, Evita, and The Next Best Thing? David Bowie in Labyrinth, Basquiat, and the unbelievably bad The Linguini Incident? Frightening, isn't it, a catalogue of cinematic horrors. And these are the GOOD pop stars. How awful would the BAD ones be? Well, recent examples have actually been surprisingly excellent. For one, Donnie Wahlberg from the execrable boy band New Kids On The Block was quite stunning as the freak in Bruce Willis's bathroom in The Sixth Sense. And Donnie has nothing on his brother, Mark, formerly known as Marky Mark. Like a street-cred Matt Damon, he served his apprenticeship in tough, cool little numbers like The Basketball Diaries and Fear. Then he went ballistic with his mega-pecker in Boogie Nights, and alongside George Clooney in Three Kings and The Perfect Storm, before moving on to headline blockbusters such as Planet Of The Apes, and scoring an Oscar nomination for his efforts in Martin Scorsese's The Departed.
Unlike most of Hollywood's squeaky clean heroes, Mark had a tough upbringing, and became tough (and occasionally mean) to deal with it. He was born Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg on the 5th of June, 1971, in St Margaret's Hospital, Boston. He grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, with his Irish Catholic parents - mother Alma and deliveryman father Donald - who divorced when Mark was 11. Life was hard from the start. The family lived in a 3-bedroom apartment, and Mark was the youngest of nine - he has five brothers and three sisters. He cannot have had much he could genuinely call his own - including space, clothes and parental attention.
He almost, ALMOST escaped early. Music entrepreneur Maurice Starr had, in the early Eighties, made a big hit out of New Edition, then split with them acrimoniously. Starr decided he would recruit, mould and promote a white version, and enlisted the help of an old friend, Mary Alford, a talent agent who also worked as a personnel officer at the Massachusetts Department of Education. Quickly, they discovered Donnie Wahlberg, and his little brother Mark. Both hard kids, heavily immersed in street culture, neither took comfortably to the shiny, inoffensive image they were ordered to adopt, or the constant evening rehearsals. Donnie though persisted, while Mark dropped out after three months, being eventually replaced by Joey McIntyre.
Mark returned to the street. With little parental control, and now missing his confidant and best friend Donnie, he seldom attended school, and began a career of petty crime.