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Issues to Know About Mark Ruffalo, From His Hulking Internet Value to His Greatest Films

Issues to Know About Mark Ruffalo, From His Hulking Internet Value to His Greatest Films

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Hollywood actor, activist, and advocate Mark Ruffalo has had a shining career, earning accolades and a hulking net worth to match the rising star of his career. On February 8, 2024, the Avengers actor received his very own Hollywood Walk of Fame star, the 2,772nd star ever conferred. To celebrate, we’re looking back at the iconic career of Mark Ruffalo, including his most memorable roles and movies, his net worth, his advocacy work, and the tragic death of his brother which inspired his work on The Kids Are All Right (2010).

Best known for playing Dr. Bruce Banner in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Mark Ruffalo’s 35-year career is one of highs and lows that have culminated in the present day, where he enjoys his pick of roles, a stable income, an impressive net worth, and the adoration of fans and fellow actors alike.

On brotherhood, the grind, and the tragedy of loss

Born November 22. 1967, Ruffalo is the oldest child of Italian and French-Canadian parents: Construction painter Frank Lawrence Ruffalo Jr., and hairdresser and stylist Marie Rose Hébert. The family lived in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where Ruffalo spent his childhood alongside playmates and companions: Sisters Tanya Marie and Nicole, and his younger brother, Scott.

When he turned 13, the family relocated to Virginia Beach in Virginia, where Ruffalo’s father worked; following his graduation from First Colonial High School in1985, the family would once again move, this time to San Diego in California.

While he enjoyed a happy and uneventful childhood, the Sagittarius native nonetheless struggled with undiagnosed dyslexia and ADHD, conditions he would carry with him into young adulthood. Despite his challenges, Ruffalo found pleasure in alternative pursuits, engaging in creative and physical activities that ranged from wrestling to acting for the Patriot Playhouse. It was in high school that Ruffalo began cultivating his love of the performing arts; in his senior year, Ruffalo appeared in a school production of West Side Story.

mark ruffalo net worth
For his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Mark Ruffalo accumulated his impressive net worth, a Hollywood Walk Of Fame star, and a plethora of lifelong friends. (Image: Mark Ruffalo/Instagram)

In his late teens, Mark Ruffalo moved to Los Angeles with his younger brother Scott, with whom he shared a USD 600 MacArthur Park apartment, a full-size bed, and a sibling bond that continues to inspire his work today. The early days were hard. Speaking to Men’s Journal in 2017, Ruffalo recalled the scarcity of food, marking the experience as ‘the best of times’, and ‘the worst of times’.

“He’d make a f–king giant bowl of tuna pasta,” Ruffalo shared, making a mark of his brother’s tenacity. “And we’d eat off that all week long.”

Undeterred, Ruffalo was determined to settle in the star-studded city. There, he took up acting as a career, enrolling in classes at the Stella Adler Conservatory alongside Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek. He also co-founded the Orpheus Theatre Company where he wrote, directed, and starred in several plays. To make ends meet, Ruffalo worked a bartending job, a stint that lasted close to a decade. His brother Scott, however, followed in their mother’s footsteps, becoming a successful and well-known hairdresser who would go on to work with numerous celebrities across Santa Monica and Beverly Hills.

Reminiscing on the earlier days of his career, Ruffalo also highlighted a time in which he was “pushing 30 and still doing 30-seat theaters.” The Marvel Cinematic Universe star has credited his brother for much of his success – an appreciation which has persisted well into his career. “For years, people would meet me and go, ‘You’re Scotty Ruffalo’s brother? I love your brother. He’s f-king amazing.’”

mark ruffalo net worth
Mark Ruffalo with his brother, Scott Ruffalo, in the days before his rise as a Hollywood star. (Image: Amy Graves/WireImage)

On December 1 2008, eight years after scoring a breakthrough role in Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count On Me (2000), Mark Ruffalo suffered the unthinkable tragedy of loss in the brutal murder of his brother. Scott, who had been 39 years old at the time, was shot in the head in his Beverly Hills Condo, in what was reported as an ‘execution style murder’. To this day, the case remains unsolved.

“You never get over it; you just get used to it,” Ruffalo shared, in his Men’s Journal interview. “You get calloused, a little bit harder maybe, so be on guard for that. But take these tragic things and turn them into something meaningful and worthy of the loss. Make it count.”

And make it count he did.

Following the tragic incident, Ruffalo threw himself into his acting work, eager to make his mark and honour his late brother’s legacy. Nowhere is this more evident than in critically acclaimed comedic thriller The Kids Are All Right (2010), where Ruffalo portrays Paul Hatfield, a free-spirited man who owns an organic foods restaurant.

The actor shared that he took the role after noting the similarities between the character and his brother. “His charm, his spirit, his sense of humour, his daring. How great he was with women. How he sort of devoured life. I’m only capturing a tiny glimpse of him, but I think it ended up honouring him in a really nice way. He’s a beautiful guy. He was a beautiful guy.”

To this day, The Kids Are All Right boasts a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 7/10 on IMDb – a true testament to Mark Ruffalo’s acting prowess and the love he holds for his brother.

Romantic comedies and a heart of gold

While most contemporaries credit 2000 flick You Can Count On Me for kickstarting Ruffalo’s on-screen acting career, it is also true that he has found great success in a string of romantic comedies. In 2003, he starred alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Christina Applegate in View From The Top (2003), following that up with a performance alongside Reese Witherspoon in Just Like Heaven (2005).

That same year, he appeared in Rumor Has It with Jennifer Aniston and Shirley MacLaine. Eight years later, Ruffalo would once again don his romantic comedy acting chops, appearing alongside Keira Knightley in Begin Again (2013).

However, Ruffalo’s most famous romantic comedy by far is 13 Going On 30 (2004), a masterwork that perfectly illustrates the ‘best friends to lovers’ trope. In the movie, Ruffalo portrays Matt Flamhaff, a teenage photographer harbouring deep feelings for his best friend, Jenna Rink, who is portrayed by the inimitable Jennifer Garner. With its inherently sweet storyline and genuine performances by the pair, the movie soon became one of the best romantic comedies of all time, the perfect comfort show to rewatch in times of need.

While the co-stars developed a close bond on the set of 13 Going On 30, they eventually drifted apart; however, they recently reconnected for Netflix’s action comedy The Adam Project (2020), also starring Deadpools Ryan Reynolds and Guardians of the Galaxys Zoe Saldana.

Most recently, Garner was present at the Hollywood Walk of Fame star presentation for Mark Ruffalo, where she also delivered a speech filled with love and affection for her old friend.

In her speech, Garner shared fond memories of her experience working with Ruffalo, speaking in jest as she teased, “I wonder if my colleagues Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth [Paltrow], Keira Knightley — I wonder if they would agree that Mark owes this rom-com success to the scruffy hair, the untucked, cute button down, both of which became the norm for cute guys everywhere for the next 20 years.”

The actress went on to add, grinning from ear to ear, “I wonder if these esteemed ladies enjoyed Mark’s anxiety as much as I did? I wonder if he tried to drop out of their films like he did out of ours after the first rehearsal of the Thriller dance, where Mark went from kind of shocked that we actually had to do this, to antsy, to deathly quiet, to ‘Bro, this is not for me.’”

Through it all, Garner’s love for her co-star remained unwavering, and she went on to add, “To work with you, Mark, is to love you, I don’t care what anyone says.”

Despite enjoying overwhelming success as a star in Hollywood, Mark Ruffalo has retained his heart of gold, wearing decency on his sleeve in a world that is predisposed to greed and selfishness.

He is an activist, standing staunchly against war and genocide, and believes in education and equality for all. His list of supported organisations include Planned Parenthood, Green Cross International, Global Green, and Human Rights Campaign.

As an advocate for environmental consciousness, Ruffalo founded clean water education organisation Water Defense; he also sits on the Board of Directors for The Solutions Project, a non-profit organisation that funds and amplifies climate justice solutions to accelerate transition to clean and renewable energy.

Ruffalo’s unproblematic nature has made him a firm favourite among fans and Hollywood celebrities alike. To quote Jennifer Garner’s now historic speech at his Walk of Fame conferment, “Every time your name is called, Hollywood takes a deep collective breath and says, ‘Okay, the good and right thing has happened.’”

Mark Ruffalo’s best movies and performances

While Ruffalo has more than made a name for himself in the behemoth that is Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, his film credits extend far beyond his role as Dr. Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk who, in his own words, is ‘always angry’.

You Can Count On Me (2000)

Widely regarded as Ruffalo’s big screen breakthrough, You Can Count On Me follows a single mother, portrayed by Laura Linney, living in a small town, navigating her complicated relationships with family and friends. In the film, Ruffalo portrays Linney’s on-screen brother, Terry, who attempts to rekindle their estranged relationship when he finds himself in a financial bind.

13 Going On 30 (2004)

Winning the hearts of romantic comedy buffs the world over, 13 Going On 30 tells the story of 13-year-old Jenna Rink (Jennifer Garner), who wishes to be 30, flirty, and thriving on her birthday. To Jenna’s surprise, she wakes up as a 30-year-old, setting off a series of events that ultimately lead to her realising that she is in love with her best friend Matty. Ruffalo’s portrayal of Matty is disarmingly sweet, with the actor lending his personal brand of humble charm to both the character and the movie.

Zodiac (2007)

In the 2007 neo-noir crime thriller Zodiac, Ruffalo appeared alongside his future MCU co-stars Robert Downey Jr. And Jake Gyllenhaal. Inspired by the true story of the Zodiac killer, a serial killer who terrorised the San Francisco Bay Area between 1960 and 1970, the movie perfectly captures the thrill of a manhunt, appropriately fueled by the stellar acting of its star-studded cast. The movie was a stark departure from the actor’s recent spate of romantic comedies and saw him delving into a darker and grittier role as he took on the role of Inspector Dave Toschi.

The Brothers Bloom (2008)

An American caper comedy-drama, The Brothers Bloom tells the story of orphaned brothers Stephen and Bloom Bloom who grow up in a series of foster homes, eventually devolving into a life of crime where they become successful con men.

The movie centres on the brothers’ pièce de résistance, a final con that targets heiress Penelope Stamp. In the movie, Mark Ruffalo portrays elder brother Stephen Bloom, alongside co-stars Adrien Brody, Rachel Weisz, and Robbie Coltrane.

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

A comedy drama film that follows 16-year-old Laser and 18-year-old Joni’s search for their biological father, The Kids Are All Right is Ruffalo’s homage to his deceased brother. In the movie, the actor portrays Paul Hatfield, a free-spirited organic foods restaurant owner who is the sperm donor that resulted in the births of Laser and Joni. For his work in the movie, Ruffalo was honoured with an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Shutter Island (2010)

In this 2010 neo-noir psychological thriller, Ruffalo portrays Chuck Aule, who travels to Ashecliffe Hospital on Shutter Island alongside Edward “Teddy” Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) to investigate the disappearance of a hospital patient Rachel Solando. Through a series of events, Teddy unveils a dark secret that threatens to upheave his personal reality, making the movie an incredible watch for fans of the genre.

The Avengers (2012)

Despite enjoying significant success across his prior projects, Ruffalo was catapulted to instant stardom with the advent of MCU’s Avengers. The iconic movie needs no introduction, following the heroic acts of earth’s mightiest heroes from fan favourites like Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and Captain America (Chris Evans) to newer additions like Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Ruffalo’s portrayal of Dr. Bruce Banner has since earned him a place in the hearts of Marvel fans the world over, sparking social media reactions and memes alike.

The Normal Heart (2014)

An American television drama film, The Normal Heart spotlights the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984. In the film, Ruffalo portrays Alexander “Ned” Weeks, a writer, activist, and founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group. For his work on the show, the actor took home an Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. The movie also received the Emmy award for Outstanding Television Movie.

Foxcatcher (2015)

A biographical psychological sports film, Foxcatcher loosely follows real life events. In 1896, millionaire John du Pont (portrayed by Steve Carrell) recruits Olympic gold medalist wrestlers Mark Schultz (portrayed by Channing Tatum) and his older brother David (portrayed by Ruffalo) to help coach U.S. wrestlers for future participations in national, world, and Olympic competitions. For his portrayal of David Schultz, Ruffalo earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Spotlight (2016)

A biographical drama film, Spotlight follows The Boston Globe’s investigative journalism arm ‘Spotlight’ that digs into systemic cases of child sex abuse in the Boston area. In the movie, which also stars Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, and Stanley Tucci, Ruffalo assumes the role of investigate journalist Michael Rezendes who takes the lead on the investigation, which soon takes over his life. For his haunting portrayal, Ruffalo earned an Oscar award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

With a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.9/10 on IMDb, Thor: Ragnarok is widely regarded as one of the best movies to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the movie, Ruffalo reprises his role as Dr. Bruce Banner, alongside Avengers co-stars Chris Hemsworth, and Tom Hiddleston, joined by MCU newcomers Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, and Karl Urban.

I Know This Much Is True (2020)

HBO’s I Know This Much Is True is a drama series that follows the lives of Dominick Birdsey and his identical twin brother Thomas, both portrayed by Mark Ruffalo. While Dominick maintains a normal life, Thomas suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, and must be medicated to avoid the symptoms of his condition. Ruffalo’s work on the limited series was critically acclaimed; he earned an Emmy award win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, a Golden Globe award for Best Actor – Limited Series or Television Film, and a Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series.

See Also

All The Light We Cannot See (2023)

A four-episode limited series by Netflix, All The Light We Cannot See is based on a novel of the same name by Anthony Doerr. The show tells the stories of two teenagers, a blind French girl Marie-Laure (Aria Mia Loberti) and Werner Pfennig (Louis Hofmann), a German boy who is forced into joining the Nazi regime, whose paths cross during the events of World War II. In the show, Ruffalo stars as Daniel LeBlanc, the father of Marie-Laure and a locksmith at the Museum of Natural History in Paris.

Poor Things (2023)

Yet another movie that draws inspiration from a novel, Poor Things follows the story of Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), a young Victorian woman who commits suicide, and is subsequently resurrected by scientist Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). In her journey of self-discovery, Bella encounters and falls in love with a debauched lawyer Duncan Wedderburn, who is portrayed by Ruffalo. Bella’s intelligence develops rapidly as the events of the movie unfurl, leading to the eventual unveiling of her past. For his portrayal of Duncan Wedderburn, Ruffalo earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

The net worth of Mark Ruffalo

With numerous accolades and accomplishments under his belt including a Hollywood Walk Of Fame star, Mark Ruffalo has garnered a massive net worth amounting to USD 35 million.

For his work on Thor: Ragnarok, Ruffalo earned USD 6 million, following that up with a salary of USD 8 million for Avengers: Infinity War. While Ruffalo’s official earnings for Avengers: Endgame have not been released, speculations have put the figure at about USD 15 million.

Mark Ruffalo’s hulking net worth isn’t merely credited to his work on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For his most recent work in Poor Things, Ruffalo earned a USD 3 million salary, following a USD 2 million salary which he earned for his work on Shutter Island.

In 2013’s crime and mystery thriller Now You See Me, Ruffalo was reported to have earned USD 6.5 million, a far cry from his earliest salaries, which ranged from USD 100,000 for You Can Count On Me to USD 500,000 for Zodiac. While these figures do not fully capture the extent of Ruffalo’s earnings, they nonetheless mark his illustrious career, contributing to his current impressive net worth.

With a Hollywood Walk Of Fame star to his name, the popularity of Mark Ruffalo is certainly on an upward trend. To this end, we can expect to see his net worth continue to grow.

(Main image: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Featured image: Mark Ruffalo/Instagram)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Is Mark Ruffalo half deaf?

In 2001, while filming was underway for The Last Castle, Ruffalo awoke in the night from what he calls a ‘crazy dream’, in which he had been told he had a brain tumour. Medical testing revealed this to be true, and he was told he had a mass behind his left ear about the size of a golf ball. Doctors also shared that the surgery carried a 20% chance of decimating the nerve on the left side of his face, as well as a 70% chance of losing his hearing in his left ear. While Ruffalo survived the surgery, he woke up completely deaf in one ear, a condition that remains true today.

– How much money did Mark Ruffalo make?

Mark Ruffalo boasts an impressive net worth of USD 35 million. For his most recent role in Poor Things, Ruffalo earned a salary of USD 3 million; for his portrayal of Dr. Bruce Banner in Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, it is reported that Ruffalo earned USD 15 million.

– Is Mark Ruffalo still married?

Mark Ruffalo has been married to his wife, Sunrise Coigney, since 2000. The couple share three children: Keen Ruffalo, Bella Noche Ruffalo, and Odette Ruffalo.

– Did Mark Ruffalo have kids?

Hollywood star Mark Ruffalo has three children with his wife of 24 years, Sunrise Coigney. They are Keen Ruffalo, Bella Noche Ruffalo, and Odette Ruffalo.

– What is Mark Ruffalo most famous for?

Hollywood Walk of Fame star recipient Mark Ruffalo’s most recognisable role is that of Dr. Bruce Banner, The Incredible Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Source: Prestige Online

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