Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg (born June 5, 1971 in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts) is an American actor, producer, model, and former rapper. He was known as Marky Mark in his earlier years, becoming famous for his 1991 debut as frontman with the band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.
He later transitioned to acting, and is now known for his roles in films. Two important roles in the 1990s were the drama Boogie Nights (1997) and the satirical war-comedy Three Kings (1999). In the 2000s, he starred in the biographical disaster drama The Perfect Storm (2000), the science fiction film Planet of the Apes (2001), the musical comedy-drama Rock Star (2001), the heist film The Italian Job (2003), and the Martin Scorsese-directed crime drama The Departed (2006) for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In the 2010s, he starred in the action comedy The Other Guys (2010), the biographical sports drama The Fighter (2010), the comedy Ted (2012), the war film Lone Survivor (2013), the crime-comedy-drama Pain & Gain (2013), and the sci-fi action film Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014).
He has also served as executive producer of three HBO series: the comedy-drama Entourage (2004-2011), the period crime drama Boardwalk Empire (2009-2014), and the comedy-drama How to Make It in America (2010-2011). In the early 1990s, Wahlberg dated former child actress Soleil Moon Frye.
Wahlberg has been in a relationship with model Rhea Durham since 2001 and they were married on August 1, 2009 at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills. The couple have 4 children. In a 2011 interview with USA Weekend, Wahlberg stated that he had taken his children to visit his old Dorchester neighborhood: "I want them to know that not everyone is as fortunate and how important it is to work hard and give back." Wahlberg's father, a US Army veteran of the Korean War, died on February 14, 2008. Wahlberg is a committed Roman Catholic and attends church daily.
His wife converted from Baptist to Catholic. While he is impressed with Pope Francis he has said he does not agree with the church's view on gay marriage, which Wahlberg supports. Actively involved in charity, Wahlberg established the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation in May 2001 for the purpose of raising and distributing funds to youth service and enrichment programs. Wahlberg is active with The Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children.
Wahlberg served on the Honorary Board of Jerry Sandusky's The Second Mile children's charity before Sandusky's 2011 arrest on child sex abuse charges. In 2012, Wahlberg was quoted in a magazine interview regarding what would have happened if he had flown aboard American Airlines Flight 11 on 9-11-01.
He had been booked on Flight 11, but his plans changed the day before the scheduled flight and he cancelled his reservation. Wahlberg received public criticism for stating, "If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn't have went down like it did," and, "There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, 'OK, we're going to land somewhere safely, don't worry,'" Wahlberg issued a public apology after family members of those killed on the flight expressed outrage for his statements.
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