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Mark Wahlberg got his start headlining the musical group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, later going on to a modeling career and acting success in Hollywood.
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Born on June 5, 1971, in Dorchester, Mass., Mark Wahlberg grew up the youngest of nine children. After a 45-day jail term at 16, Wahlberg turned his life around via the music world with the help of his brother Donnie, a member of New Kids on the Block. Wahlberg transformed from rapper to Hollywood actor and never looked back, starring in films such as Boogie Nights and Three Kings.
Actor, former rapper. Born June 5, 1971, in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Wahlberg grew up the youngest of nine children in a working class Irish Catholic family in the Boston district of Dorchester. Mark Wahlberg's parents divorced when he was 11; his mother has since blamed her own emotional neglect for her youngest son's descent into juvenile delinquency during the next several years. At 14, Wahlberg dropped out of school and began making his living on the streets—hustling, stealing, and selling drugs. Two years later, he hit rock bottom when he was jailed for his role in the savage beating of a Vietnamese man. Although the crime was believed by many to be racially motivated, Wahlberg has continually denied that race played a part in the attack. His 45-day stint in prison was a self-proclaimed turning point in the 16-year-old Wahlberg's life. Vowing to give himself some direction in his life, he also began body building seriously, chiseling his body into impressive form.
By the time Wahlberg emerged from prison, his older brother Donnie had rocketed to stardom as one of five fresh-faced members of the pop band New Kids on the Block. Donnie decided to help his younger brother find his own niche in the music business. What Wahlberg lacked in singing ability, he made up for in charisma and good looks—with Donnie's hip-hop arrangements and producing help, Marky Mark (his rap name) and his back-up deejay and dancers (dubbed "the Funky Bunch") recorded a debut album, Music for the People (1991). Driven by the success of the hit dance singles "Good Vibrations" and "Wildside" (and by Marky Mark's readiness to discard his shirt and drop his pants onstage and in his videos), the album went platinum, selling over a million copies.
One of pop music's hottest new commodities, Wahlberg (and his rock-hard physique) became even more ubiquitous when he signed a two-year contract with the designer Calvin Klein to model underwear. His raucous public persona, he once became involved in a much-talked-about brawl with Madonna and her entourage at a Los Angeles nightclubonly served to increase his popular appeal, until news began surfacing about his criminal past and his possibly racist and homophobic tendencies.
In 1993, this part of Wahlberg's personal life was seriously questioned when he was accused of condoning blatantly homophobic remarks made on a British talk show by his fellow guest, the reggae singer Shabba Ranks. Combined with the disappointing sales of the Funky Bunch's second album, You Gotta Believe (1992), the public criticism of Wahlberg's career seemed to be steering his career towards certain death.
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Action movie stars are the heroes and heroines who get our adrenaline pumping. Early action stars include Douglas Fairbanks, the swashbuckling adventurer of the 1920s and '30s; John Wayne, the famous gunslinger of the 1940s and '50s; and Sean Connery, who played the debonair spy Bond—James Bond—in the 1960s. By the 1970s, however, a new maverick action star had hit the silver screen, with rogue cops played by Steve McQueen in Bullitt and Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry, as well as the military mercenary Rambo (Sylvester Stallone). By the 1980s, action movies were literally exploding on screen, with big budgets and big stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator) and Bruce Willis (Die Hard), leading to today's action-packed blockbusters. Here's a look at some of Hollywood's most famous action movie stars, who have kicked some major butt on the big screen.
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