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Donnie Wahlberg

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Donnie Wahlberg
Wahlberg in 2010
Donald Edmond Wahlberg Jr.

(1969-08-17) August 17, 1969 (age 54)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
  • record producer
  • film producer
Years active1984–present
Kim Fey
(m. 1999; div. 2008)
(m. 2014)
RelativesMark Wahlberg (brother)
Rhea Durham (sister-in-law)
Robert Wahlberg (brother)
Jim Wahlberg (brother)
Paul Wahlberg (brother)
Jeff Wahlberg (nephew)
Musical career
Member ofNew Kids on the Block
Formerly of

Donald Edmond Wahlberg Jr.[1] (born August 17, 1969[2]) is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and producer. He is a founding member of the boy band New Kids on the Block. Outside music, he has had roles in the Saw films, Zookeeper (2011), Dreamcatcher (2003), The Sixth Sense (1999), Righteous Kill (2008), and Ransom (1996), as well as the role of Carwood Lipton in the World War II miniseries Band of Brothers.

From 2002 to 2003, he starred in the crime drama Boomtown. He has starred in the drama series Blue Bloods as Danny Reagan since 2010, and since 2014 is an executive producer of the TNT reality television show Boston's Finest.[3] He was nominated for Choice Scream at the 2006 Teen Choice Awards for his work in the Saw films. He has also produced and starred in Rock This Boat, Donnie Loves Jenny and Return of the Mac on Pop TV. Wahlberg also produced and starred in Wahlburgers on A&E TV. He is the older brother of actor Mark Wahlberg and younger brother of actor Robert Wahlberg, film producer Jim Wahlberg, and chef Paul Wahlberg.

Early life[edit]

Wahlberg was born in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. He is the eighth of nine children, with older siblings, Arthur, Jim, Paul, Robert, Tracey, Michelle, Debbie and younger brother, Mark. Wahlberg began his entertainment career as the leader of the late 1980s/early 1990s boy band, New Kids on the Block. 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 who died on April 19, 2021, and his father, Donald Edmond Wahlberg, was a teamster who worked as a delivery driver; they divorced in 1982.[4][5] His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother was of Irish, English, and French-Canadian ancestry.[6]


New Kids on the Block[edit]

Wahlberg in 1990

As a recording artist, Wahlberg is known as an original member of the boy band New Kids on the Block. The band, that was put together by Maurice Starr and Mary Alford, who were sought to create a "white counterpart" to New Edition, first found Wahlberg, age fifteen, and made him the first member of the band after hearing his rapping skills.[7][8][9] His brother Mark was also in it but left after a few months.[10][11][12] With the additions of Jonathan and Jordan Knight, Danny Wood, and Joey McIntyre, they became known as New Kids on the Block.

After ten years, they announced their break up in 1994.[13] In April 2008, Wahlberg confirmed to CNN that NKOTB were planning on recording and starting up a new tour.[14] Their first album as a reunited group, The Block, was released in September 2008, and topped American charts and was Certified gold.[15][16] The group's reunion tour, New Kids on the Block: Live, began at Toronto's Air Canada Centre on September 18, 2008. As of 2024, NKOTB still tour and Wahlberg remains a member.

Acting career[edit]

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' 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.[citation needed]

In 2003, 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 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.

In 2008, Wahlberg appeared in Righteous Kill and co-starred in What Doesn't Kill You.

Wahlberg stars as 1st Grade Detective Danny Reagan on CBS's Blue Bloods, a police drama set in New York City.[17]

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[18] and appeared in the 2011 comedy Zookeeper.

Wahlberg is the current host of HLN's "Very Scary People".

In 2021, Wahlberg worked on season five of The Masked Singer as the rooster "Cluedle-Doo" who gave exclusive clues to the viewers. After performing Mark Morrison's "Return of the Mack" in the semi-finals, Wahlberg was unmasked. He even stuck around when Omarion was unmasked as the wild card contestant "Yeti".[19]

Personal life[edit]

In 1991, Wahlberg was charged with first-degree arson for setting a fire at the historic Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Authorities stated that Wahlberg, then known as the "bad boy" of boy band New Kids on the Block, was partying with fellow band member Danny Wood and fans in the early morning hours when Wahlberg dumped vodka on a hallway carpet and ignited it. Wahlberg was facing up to twenty years in prison, but the charge was later reduced to misdemeanor criminal mischief, and eventually dismissed after Wahlberg agreed to appear in public-service videos addressing fire safety, drug abuse, and drunk driving.[20]

Wahlberg married Kimberly Fey on August 20, 1999, with whom he has two sons. They filed for divorce on August 13, 2008, citing irreconcilable differences.[21] In July 2013, it was reported by Us Weekly that he was dating actress Jenny McCarthy after meeting on Watch What Happens Live in March.[22] They announced their engagement on The View on April 16, 2014,[23] and wed on August 31, 2014, at the Hotel Baker in St. Charles, Illinois.[24][25][26]

Wahlberg is a fan of the Boston Celtics and has been seen attending many of their games. He narrated The Association: Boston Celtics, a documentary about the team's 2010 season,[27] and co-narrated, alongside Ice Cube, the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies, about the Celtics' rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers.[28] He co-owns a line of restaurants, Wahlburgers, located in Boston, MA and St. Charles, IL with brothers Paul and Mark.[citation needed]

Political views[edit]

In February 2016, Wahlberg endorsed Republican candidate Marco Rubio for president of the United States,[29] but later said the decision had been "tough" because "we have a lot of things we don't agree on." On the prospect of Donald Trump as president, he commented, "We can blame the president, we can blame the government, but we also have to look at ourselves if we vote with emotion, which we're on the verge of doing again collectively, the angry vote is what is moving the meters right now."[30]


Wahlberg performing in 2011

with New Kids on the Block[edit]




Year Title Role Notes
1996 Bullet Big Balls
Ransom Cubby Barnes
1997 Black Circle Boys Greggo
1998 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Mr. Grey TV movie
Butter Rick Damon
Body Count Booker
Southie Danny Quinn
1999 Purgatory Deputy Glen/Billy 'The Kid' TV movie
The Sixth Sense Vincent Grey
2000 Bullfighter Chollo
Diamond Men Bobby Walker
2002 Triggermen Terry Mulloy, Hitman
2003 Dreamcatcher Douglas 'Duddits' Cavell
2005 Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School Randall Ipswitch
Saw II Detective Eric Matthews
2006 Annapolis Commander Burton
Saw III Detective Eric Matthews
2007 Kings of South Beach Detective Andy TV movie
Dead Silence Detective Jim Lipton
Saw IV Detective Eric Matthews
2008 Righteous Kill Detective Teddy Riley
What Doesn't Kill You Detective Moran
2011 Zookeeper Shane


Cast of TV series Blue Bloods at the 2010 Summer Session of the Television Critics Association
Year Title Role Notes
1989 House of Style Himself Episode: "Fall '89"
2000 Where Are They Now? Himself Episode: "Bad Boys of Rock"
The Practice Patrick Rooney Episode: "Settling"
2001 Big Apple Chris Scott Main Cast
Band of Brothers Carwood Lipton Main Cast
UC: Undercover Bobby Episode: "City on Fire"
2002-03 Boomtown Detective Joel Stevens Main Cast
2006 The Path to 9/11 Detective Kirk Episode: "Part I & II"
Runaway Paul Rader Main Cast
2007 HypaSpace Himself Episode: "Episode #6.54"
The Kill Point Detective Horst Cali Main Cast
2008 Intervention Himself/Narrator (voice) Episode: "Intervention In-Depth: Heroin Hits Home"
2010 In Plain Sight Jimmy McCabe/Jimmy Porter Episode: "Father Goes West"
Rizzoli & Isles Lieutenant Joey Grant Recurring Cast: Season 1
2010-2024 Blue Bloods Daniel Fitzgerald "Danny" Reagan Main Cast
2013 Boston's Finest Himself/Narrator (voice) Main Narrator: Season 1
Massholes Himself Episode: "Boston's Finest"
2014 The View Himself/Guest Co-Host Episode: "Guest Co-Hosts Donnie Wahlberg & Rick Fox/Noah Wyle"
2014-19 Wahlburgers Himself Recurring Cast
2015-16 Donnie Loves Jenny Himself Main Cast
Rock This Boat: New Kids On The Block Himself Main Cast
2016 Fuller House Himself Episode: "New Kids in the House"
2017 30 for 30 Himself/Narrator (voice) Episode: "Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies, Part 1-3"
Return of the Mac Himself Main Cast
2019 Entertainment Tonight Himself/Guest Co-Host Episode: "Blue Bloods Exclusive!"
2019-23 Very Scary People Himself/Host Main Host
2021 The Masked Singer Himself/Cluedle-Doo Contestant: Season 5

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Role
1991 MC Hammer "2 Legit 2 Quit"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Turok Shepherd (voice) [31]

Award nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Refs
2017 People's Choice Award Favorite TV Crime Drama Actor Blue Bloods Nominated [32]


  1. ^ "Donnie Wahlberg". TV Guide. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "Horoscope". TV Guide. December 20, 2021. p. 70.
  3. ^ Brophy, Ed (November 27, 2012). "First Look: Donnie Wahlberg's New TNT Reality Show 'Boston's Finest'". tvfishbowl.com. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  4. ^ "Donnie Wahlberg Biography (1969–)". Film Reference. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
  5. ^ "Donnie Wahlberg Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
  6. ^ "Ancestry of Mark Wahlberg". Wargs.com. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  7. ^ "New Kids on the Block: The Hurdles They Overcame Before Enjoying Pop Music Success". Biography. September 9, 2020. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  8. ^ Wild, David (November 2, 1989). "New Kids on the Block: From Puberty to Platinum". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  9. ^ Watrous, Peter (March 11, 1990). "POP VIEW; White Singers + Black Style - Pop Bonanza". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  10. ^ "The Heartthrobs of America". Peoplemag. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  11. ^ Nikki Van Noy (September 30, 2012). "New Kids on the Block: Their early Boston days". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  12. ^ Fenske, Sarah (October 16, 2012). "Ten Things We Learned About New Kids on the Block From Their New Biography - LA Weekly". www.laweekly.com. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  13. ^ "Renewed Kid". Peoplemag. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  14. ^ "New Kids on the Block reuniting - CNN.com". CNN. April 7, 2008. Archived from the original on April 7, 2008. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  15. ^ "Jewel". Billboard. November 21, 2021. Archived from the original on November 21, 2021. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  16. ^ "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum". August 23, 2010. Archived from the original on August 23, 2010. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  17. ^ "'Blue Bloods' Star Donnie Wahlberg Engaged To Jenny McCarthy". CBS News. Associated Press. April 16, 2014. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  18. ^ "DDUB'S R&B Back Rub on Cherrytree Radio". Cherrytree Records. October 8, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
  19. ^ Rachel Yang (May 19, 2021). "The Masked Singer recap: Cluedle-Doo and Yeti unmasked, leaving panel stunned". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  20. ^ "Arson Charges Dismissed Against Donnie Wahlberg". Orlando Sentinel. October 22, 1991. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  21. ^ Lee, Ken (August 18, 2008). "Donnie Wahlberg and His Wife File for Divorce – Breakups, Donnie Wahlberg". People. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
  22. ^ "New Couple Alert! Jenny McCarthy, Donnie Wahlberg Are Dating". July 12, 2013.
  23. ^ "Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy announce engagement - Boston.com".
  24. ^ Corriston, Michele (September 3, 2014). "Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg Share Their First Newlywed Selfie". People. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  25. ^ Rothman, Michael (September 4, 2014). "Exclusive: Donnie Wahlberg Talks Love of Photography, 'Exciting' Wedding to Jenny McCarthy". ABC News. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  26. ^ Webber, Stephanie (September 5, 2014). "Jenny McCarthy, Donnie Wahlberg Wedding: Exclusive Pictures, More Details". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  27. ^ "Donnie Wahlberg to narrate TV series on Boston Celtics". ESPN. December 1, 2010. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
  28. ^ Finn, Chad (June 14, 2017). "Donnie Wahlberg talks new Celtics-Lakers documentary and toughness of the '80s NBA". www.boston.com. Boston Globe. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  29. ^ Watkins, Eli (February 21, 2016). "Donnie Wahlberg thinks Marco Rubio has the right stuff". CNN. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  30. ^ Heigl, Alex (March 17, 2016). "Watch Donnie Wahlberg Issue a Warning About Donald Trump". People. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  31. ^ McElroy, Justin (October 2, 2007). "Turok adds some big name voice talent". Engadget. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  32. ^ "People's Choice Awards 2017: Full List Of Winners". People's Choice. January 19, 2017. Archived from the original on January 20, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2017.

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