No one ever expected a guy who posed for Calvin Klein underwear ads and rapped with a group called the Funky Bunch to become one of Hollywood's most in-demand actors, but Mark Wahlberg defied the odds and has the Oscar nomination to prove it. Bad boy Mark was born in Boston on June 5, 1971 and despite numerous run-ins with the law, wanted to pursue a career in music from a young age. At the age of 13, he joined his older brother Donnie as a member of the then-fledgling band New Kids on the Block. Mark quickly lost interest in the band and its bubblegum pop tunes and left, to be replaced by Joey McIntyre before the band made it big. Mark developed a more hard-edged sound and released his first album as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, Music for the People, in 1991. The album was a hit, thanks to the single 'Good Vibrations' and its video which featured a buff, mostly shirtless Mark dancing, rapping and working out. Mark and his group even opened for NKOTB on their last tour. In 1992, Mark's second album, You Gotta Believe was a critical and commercial failure but his buff physique landed him a modeling gig with designer Calvin Klein, is a series of ads shot by legendary photographer Herb Ritts. Deciding to give acting a try, he made his big screen debut in the 1994 Danny DeVito comedy Renaissance Man and later co-starred with Leonardo DiCaprio in The Basketball Diaries. 1996's thriller Fear delivered Mark's first leading man role, co-starring alongside Reese Witherspoon, but his role as porn star 'Dirk Diggler' in 1997's Boogie Nights is the role that made critics and audiences sit up and take notice. He has since worked with George Clooney in Three Kings and The Perfect Storm, Tim Burton on Planet of the Apes and Jennifer Aniston in Rock Star. Mark used his experiences in Hollywood for the basis of the highly-successful HBO series Entourage, of which he is executive producer. After creating the show, Mark received critical accolades and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role as a detective in Martin Scorsese's 2006 film The Departed. With a number of high-profile projects upcoming, such as M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening and Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, Mark is sure to have plenty of opportunities to rack up the awards - as well as have material for more new seasons of Entourage.
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