From Marky Mark the rapper to an actor, producer and businessman, Mark Wahlberg has beaten all odds to make it big in the business of entertainment
Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg has a magic formula for success. It appears so… For the 45-year old American actor, producer, businessman, former model and rapper has found his niche in every domain of entertainment. He began his tryst as Marky Mark, the front man of the band ‘Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’, with the release of ‘Music for the People’ and ‘You Gotta Believe’. He later transitioned to acting; he made his big screen debut in the ‘Renaissance Man’ after appearing in the television movie ‘The Substitute’ in 1993.
But what makes his inception in the entertainment industry striking is the 45-day jail term he served as a 16-year old, just before his entry into the music fold. Born in a poor working class district of Boston, Massachusetts, Mark, the youngest of nine children, grew up in a difficult home, especially after his parents divorced when he was eleven. He dropped out of high school when he was14 (he did get his GED later) and took up a life of petty crime and drugs. During those days he also indulged his violent streak; when he was 16, he was convicted of attacking two men from a minority community after attempting to rob them.
Fortunately, the jail term proved to be an eye opener. Wahlberg has also pointed out that the jail time was his motivation to improve his lifestyle and leave the crime behind him. With the help of his brother Donnie, who was then a member of ‘New Kids on the Block’, Wahlberg turned his life around and became a rapper. Around this time he also signed a two-year contract with Calvin Klein to model their underwear.
Soon, Hollywood called and he has not looked back since. The major turning point in his career came with the role of troubled porn star Dirk Diggler in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights. He has since starred in such acclaimed movies as Three Kings, The Perfect Storm, Planet of the Apes and Contraband.
Things were, indeed, moving in the right direction for Wahlberg. “I did a lot of things that I regretted and I certainly paid for my mistakes. 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,” he is quoted to have said.
He then ventured into production and was involved in television series as ‘Boardwalk Empire’, ‘In Treatment’ and Entourage. He is also the co-owner of Wahlburgers chain and stars in the reality TV series about it.
Wahlberg and his wife Rhea Durham have four children and he has, obviously, learnt to excel in fatherhood as in business. As he says, “If I succeed in business but fail as a father, then I have failed.”