Though he’s known now for his A-list filmography (including “Boogie Nights,” “The Departed” and “The Lovely Bones”) and his many high-profile producing projects on HBO, including “Entourage, the multi-hyphenate star had a rough and notorious childhood on the streets of the Dorchester neighborhood in Boston.
Wahlberg was the youngest child in a staunchly Roman Catholic family of nine children, his bank clerk mother and his Teamster father. As a boy, Wahlberg developed a powerful drug addiction, ran afoul of the law on multiple occasions and eventually, at age 16, served 45 days of a two-year sentence when he pleaded guilty to assault after being charged in the robbery of a pharmacy and the beating of two Vietnamese men.
His older brother Donnie was a member of the late ’80s hit pop group New Kids on the Block, and the elder’s musical success helped steer the younger Wahlberg out of delinquency when he produced music for Mark’s music group, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. The group’s first album, “Music for the People,” produced a No. 1 hit with “Good Vibrations” in 1991.
The group recorded a second album in 1992, but it was not as successful, and Wahlberg left to pursue a solo acting and music career.
The same year, his washboard abs landed him a modeling job for Calvin Klein, which featured him in a series of photos, billboard and television ads wearing nothing but his underwear.
His sex symbol image helped spark his acting career, which started with the TV movie “The Substitute” in 1993, but took off on the big screen in the Penny Marshall comedy “Renaissance Man” in 1994. Wahlberg earned critical acclaim when he landed the lead in writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s ’70s porn-themed epic “Boogie Nights.” From there, he won increasingly higher-profile film roles, including the lead in Tim Burton’s “Planet of the Apes,” David O. Russell’s “Three Kings” and Wolfgang Peterson’s “The Perfect Storm.”
His supporting role as the foul-mouthed police detective in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” earned him his first Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.
In 2004, he served as executive producer of the HBO comedy series “Entourage,” which was partially based on his experiences as a young actor in Hollywood. The series’ seventh and final season is currently airing. He also executive produces the HBO series “In Treatment” and “How to Make It in America.”
In 2009, he married model Rhea Durham. Together they have four children.