Hometown: Kenosha, WI; Virginia Beach, VA; San Diego, CA
You Know Him From: The Avengers , Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and 13 Going on 30 .
Did You Know?: Richard Anderson, managing partner of Kenosha’s Chops On The Lake restaurant, lived with Ruffalo in Los Angeles in the 1980s while they both attended Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting and, like true starving actors, ate “batches of tuna with noodles for weeks straight.”
Mark Alan Ruffalo was born November 22, 1967 in Kenosha, WI to Marie Rose (a hairdresser/stylist) and Frank Lawrence (a construction painter). He has two sisters, Tania and Nicole, and a brother, Scott.
Mark lived in Kenosha until his teen years, when his family relocated to Virginia Beach, VA. After his high school graduation from First Colonial High School, Mark followed his family to San Diego, CA., but eventually migrated north and settled in Los Angeles.
While in LA, Mark attended the Stella Adler Conservatory and co-founded the Orpheus Theatre Company. With the OTC, Mark was able to write, direct and star in several plays. At the same time, and for many years thereafter, Mark had to earn money by bar-tending at local taverns in the LA area.
His first film experience took place in 1994 in the movie, A Gift from Heaven, followed by, The Last Big Thing in 1996, along with other indie comedies. However, Mark failed to make a positive impression on critics and audiences.
Ready to give up his dream of becoming a successful actor, Mark encountered playwright/screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan, which eventually changed everything.
Lonergan cast Ruffalo in an off-Broadway production of, “This is Our Youth,” which then led to Mark earning the male lead in his film, “You Can Count on Me” in 2000. Hollywood critics gave Ruffalo favorable reviews for his performance, and he won awards from both the LA Film Critics Association and the Montreal World Film Festival.
Also in 2000, Ruffalo’s ascent to star dome was unfortunately interrupted, for he was diagnosed with a brain tumor while filming The Last Castle. In 2002, he was forced to drop out of his role in the hit movie, Signs. (The role would later be taken over by Joaquin Pheonix).
Ruffalo underwent surgery for the tumor, which was found to be benign, and spent several months recovering not only from the procedure itself, but form a partial facial paralysis.
Currently, Mark resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Sunrise Coigney, and their two children, Keen and Bella.
A Gift from Heaven (1994)
The Last Big Thing (1996)
Safe Men (1998)
A Fish in the Bathtub (1999)
You Can Count on Me (2000)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
13 Going on 30 (2004)
What Doesn’t Kill You (2008)
Shutter Island (2009)
The Kids Are All Right (2010)
Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
Now You See Me (2013)
Biography by Stacy Raduechel