Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Birthday: August 17
With an impressive background that spans television, film and music, Donnie Wahlberg has captured the attention of audiences worldwide. He has proven his versatility by transforming himself, going from a teen pop sensation to a noteworthy dramatic film actor, critically acclaimed television star and an accomplished producer.
The eighth of nine children, Wahlberg began performing in plays and banging on pots and pans as early as the first grade. In high school, he attended a fledgling arts program and became involved in theater, acting, writing and directing plays. At age 14, he started a band that, in just a few years, went from playing at high school parties to becoming pop music sensation New Kids on the Block. At the height of the group’s popularity, Wahlberg decided to go in another direction by focusing on writing and producing for his brother Mark. Then, he chose to explore his interest in acting and landed a role in “Bullet” with Mickey Rourke and Tupac Shakur, a project that lit a spark and motivated him to devote his energy to the craft of acting. In 2009 Wahlberg was instrumental in putting together the phenomenally received reunion of New Kids on the Block, which yielded a new album and worldwide concert tour. In the summer of 2011, he went on the NKOTBSB tour, uniting his band with Backstreet Boys and creating one of the most successful concert ventures in their history.
On the production side, Wahlberg is the executive producer of the Emmy Award-nominated unscripted series “Wahlburgers,” a behind-the-scenes look at the titular restaurant owned by his brother Paul Wahlberg, as well as Donnie and Mark. His additional series credits include “Donnie Loves Jenny,” which allows fans an inside look into the marriage between Donnie and his wife, Jenny McCarthy; “Rock This Boat”; and “Boston’s Finest,” a docudrama that follows the personal and professional lives of members of the Boston Police Department. He starred in and executive produced “Return of the Mac,” which also starred his NKOTB bandmate Joey McIntyre.
Wahlberg’s film career includes a pivotal role in “The Sixth Sense,” which was originally written for a 13-year-old boy. It was not until Wahlberg met with M. Night Shyamalan to inquire about rights for a theater production that he ended up convincing the writer/director that no one else could play the role. Also, he co-starred with Mel Gibson in “Ransom,” directed by Ron Howard, and starred in the independent film “Southie.” Additional feature film credits include “Saw II,” “Annapolis,” “Righteous Kill,” “Zookeeper” and the independent film “Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School.” Wahlberg co-wrote the feature “What Doesn’t Kill You,” in which he co-starred with Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke.
Wahlberg’s television credits include co-starring with Harvey Keitel in the miniseries “The Path to 9/11”; the award-winning miniseries “Band of Brothers”; “The Kill Point”; and “Boomtown.”
Wahlberg was born in Boston. His birthday is August 17. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @DonnieWahlberg.