Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg was born June 5, 1971, as the youngest member of a large family living in working-class Dorchester, Massachusetts. In 1984,
Maurice Starr, the founder of New Edition, recruited Mark to form a white version of the group with his brother Donnie. New Kids On The Block went on to enjoy phenomenal success worldwide, but did so
without the rebellious Mark.
While Donnie was keen about joining the group, Mark preferred being a teenager rather than spending his time on tour or in the studio. Soon Mark quit and got caught up in
a life of crime. Eventually he ended up in jail at the age of 16, under the charges of assault and battery under the influence of PCP and was tried as an adult. When the young Wahlberg went to jail on
the assault charge, Donnie promised to work with him on a rap album after his release.
With his cute, punk looks and a past to match, Mark Wahlberg went from a jailed Boston street thug to a
respected legitimate actor in less than a decade, with noticeable stops as a rapper and underwear model along the way. While in jail he spent most of his time working out because he said that it was even
easier to get in more trouble in jail than outside. No doubt these workouts would soon work out in a most unexpected way.
Three years later Wahlberg released the hip-hop/pop album
"Music for the People" under the moniker Marky Mark. The 1991 record went platinum on the strength of the singles "Good Vibrations" and "Wildside" and the rapper's tough
charm. Marky Mark gave his audience an extra thrill by dropping his pants and revealing his buff physique as well as his underwear. The people at Calvin Klein noticed and soon the rapper was a model,
appearing on billboards around the world in the designer's boxers.
In 1994 he co-starred in his first film role with Danny DeVito in Penny Marshall's "Renaissance Man". The
following year he even managed to steal a few scenes from Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Basketball Diaries", playing volatile Mickey, boyhood friend of DiCaprio's Jim Carroll. In 1996 he gave a
superb but chilling performance in "Fear".
Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights" would finally establish Wahlberg as a serious actor. It told the story of a very
well endowed busboy turned porn star and his rise and fall in the adult industry from the late 1970s to early 1980s. Initially wary of the project because of his former underwear ads, Wahlberg was
convinced by Anderson and his script to take on the project and slimmed down to get in shape for the part.
He has since starred in acclaimed features such as "Three Kings" and "The Perfect
Storm", as well as hyped blockbusters such as "Planet of the Apes" and "Rock Star".
In the future, he has expressed an interest in directing and starting his own recording label.