Donald Edmond “Donnie” Wahlberg, Jr. (born August 17, 1969) is an American singer-songwriter, actor, record producer, and film producer. He is a founding member of the boy band New Kids on the Block. Outside of music, he has had featured roles in the Saw films, The Sixth Sense, Dreamcatcher, and Righteous Kill, also appearing in the World War II miniseries Band of Brothers. From 2002 to 2003, he starred in the crime drama Boomtown. He has been starring in the drama series Blue Bloods with Tom Selleck and Bridget Moynahan since 2010, and since 2014 is an executive producer of the TNT reality television show Boston’s Finest. He was nominated for Choice Scream at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards for his work in the Saw films.
Wahlberg was born in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. He is the eighth of nine children, with older siblings, Arthur, Jim, Paul, Robert, Tracey, Michelle, and Debbie (died in 2003), and younger brother, Mark, who began his entertainment career in the former rap group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. He also has three half-siblings from his father’s first marriage: Donna, Scott, and Buddy. His mother, Alma Elaine (née Donnelly), was a bank clerk and nurse’s aide, and his father, Donald Edmond Wahlberg, Sr. (May 8, 1930 – February 14, 2008) was a teamster who worked as a delivery driver; they divorced in 1982. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother is of Irish, English, and French Canadian descent. Maternally, he is distantly related to author Nathaniel Hawthorne.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
As a recording artist, Wahlberg is known as an original member of boy band New Kids on the Block. Originally called “Nynuk”, the boy group eventually settled on the name New Kids On The Block after a rap song that Donnie had written for their debut album, which flopped upon initial release. However, the album would eventually sell over four million in response to the group’s later popularity.
Wahlberg’s first film acting role was in the 1996 film Bullet with Mickey Rourke and Tupac Shakur. Also in 1996, he appeared as a kidnapper in Ransom with Mel Gibson. He went back to his home town for a starring role in the South Boston-based film Southie. Wahlberg received attention for his role in the 1999 film The Sixth Sense, playing the patient of Bruce Willis’s character in the opening sequence.
In 2001, Wahlberg co-starred as Second Lieutenant C. Carwood Lipton in the television miniseries Band of Brothers. He also starred in the 2002–2003 NBC drama series Boomtown as Joel Stevens, a Los Angeles police detective. Graham Yost, executive producer and writer of Boomtown, had worked with him in Band of Brothers and was so impressed by his performance that he wrote the role of Joel Stevens specifically for him.
2003 was the year that Wahlberg starred alongside Timothy Olyphant, Jason Lee, and his Band of Brothers co-star Damian Lewis as the mentally challenged Duddits in William Goldman and Lawrence Kasdan’s adaptation of the Stephen King alien-invasion thriller, Dreamcatcher. In 2005, he starred as Detective Eric Matthews in the second installment of the Saw series. He reprised the role in Saw III in 2006 and Saw IV in 2007, also appearing in Saw V in 2008 via archive footage from the previous films.
In 2006, Wahlberg also played Lieutenant Commander Burton in the military/boxing drama Annapolis. In September 2006, he played the lead role in the short-lived television drama Runaway on The CW. The show was cancelled in October 2006 due to poor ratings. In 2007, he starred in the television film Kings of South Beach on A&E. Also in 2007, he starred on the TV series The Kill Point.
Wahlberg stars as 1st Grade Detective Danny Reagan on CBS’s Blue Bloods, a police drama set in New York City.
As of 2011, Wahlberg is the host of an internet radio show on Friday nights at 8 pm PST called “DDUB’s R&B Back Rub” on Cherry Tree Radio.
Wahlberg is a passionate fan of the Boston Celtics and has been seen attending many of their games. He narrated a documentary called “The Association: Boston Celtics” about the team’s 2010–11 season, which aired on ESPN between 2010 and 2011. He also owns a restaurant in Boston named Wahlburgers with brothers Paul (the restaurant’s head chef) and Mark.
Has two children with his ex-wife, Kim Fey, Xavier Wahlberg (Xavier Alexander Wahlberg) (born on March 4, 1993) and Elijah Wahlberg (Elijah Hendrix Wahlberg) (born on August 20, 2001).
Married Jenny McCarthy on August 31st, 2014.
His siblings are: Arthur Wahlberg, James M. Wahlberg, Debbie, Paul Wahlberg, Michelle, Tracey, Robert Wahlberg and Mark Wahlberg. Donnie is also named after his father, Donald E. Wahlberg Sr., making him a Jr.
Lost 43 pounds for the role of Vincent Grey in The Sixth Sense (1999).
New Kids on the Block were inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 9 2014.
He sang the song, “The Right Combination”, with Seiko Matsuda.
Grew up with former New Kids on the Block members, Jonathan Knight, Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre and Danny Wood.
Was always seen as the free-spirited, more earthy urban member of New Kids on the Block.
Donnie produced, arranged, mixed and co-wrote “Music for the People” and “You Gotta Believe” the 1991 and 1992 hit albums from brother Mark’s group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch – which included a #1 hit with “Good Vibrations” and a multi-platinum album for the former. He also worked on the successful 1999 solo releases for NKOTB’s Joey McIntyre and Jordan Knight.
In 1999, during the teen pop revival, MTV tried to reunite the group and get them to perform on that years VMA’s. All members were on board, except Jonathan – and so the performance didn’t happen. In 2003, another attempt to coerce each of the boys to reunite was made for a one-night performance for the show “VH1’s Bands Reunited.” Jonathan this time agreed, as did Jordan – but Donnie, Joe and Danny all declined.
His first movie Bullet (1996) with Mickey Rourke and late rap artist Tupac Shakur was deemed too bad to release, but was eventually given life after the surging rise of interest following Tupac’s shooting death in September of 1996.
New Kids on the Block reunited in 2008.