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Donnie Wahlberg: A Man of Many Talents

Twisted Pictures

Growing up in a family where there are 9 children, sometimes it can be difficult for one of those 9 to find their own voice.

Finding a voice of his own never seemed to be the problem for Donnie Wahlberg.

Born in Dorchester, a borough of Boston, the eighth child of 9, Donnie never let a crowd get in his way, instead, he worked his way up to being in front of a crowd of praise. The man that we see now before us, the Donnie Wahlberg of the 21st century did not get to where he is in life by being born with a silver spoon in his mouth but he never complained about that either. Donnie got to where he is in his life with nothing but hard work and modesty. Never keep it a secret, many of us have heard time and time again, the story of how growing up in the Wahlberg home included meals on government cheese and hand me downs from sibling to sibling, it wasn’t always easy but, the way it is told, it wasn’t sad either. The Wahlberg clan has always been modest about their upbringing, it was a blue-collar home that sometimes was too small, may have not had a lot of food, Santa may not have brought every toy but that never stopped the family from being happy and close-knit. This early lifestyle that Donnie grew up in, is partly if not totally, responsible for Donnie’s attitude and ability to connect with his fans not just years ago but today as well.
Gaining the fame of becoming a household name started for Donnie in the 1980s with boy-band, New Kids on the Block. Something that started out as a group of friends placing their toes in the water of the entertainment industry eventually exploded into a worldwide phenomenon. When the New Kids on the Block were at their peak back in the late 80s, Donnie developed a reputation for being known as the bad boy of the group. With an arrest record to back up that reputation, he was in the heart of every good teenage girl of the time because face it, all good girls love a bad boy. Donnie’s behavior did land him in some hot water from time to time but that did not deter the fans of New Kids on the Block, they loved Donnie and they were not going to be scared off that easily. Eventually, though, Donnie grew up and his attitude matured, as most boys do, and he seemed to have himself set on the path that was right for him and his life.

In 1993 Donnie’s first son Xavier was born with then-girlfriend Kim Fey who Donnie did marry in 1999. The couple’s second son Elijah was born in 2001 and in 2008, Donnie and Kim Fey divorced but continued to co-parent their children. So now we have Donnie Wahlberg the family man and from around 1994 until 2008, New Kids on the Block took a step out of the spotlight for a bit and each member concentrated on their lives as individuals rather than as a group. Now, I love Donnie Wahlberg the singer, absolutely hands down do, however, around 1996 everyone saw a new side to him. This side of Donnie I personally would refer to as his “calling”. The world was slowly introduced to Donnie Wahlberg, the actor.

Starting out in smaller roles in movies such as Bullet, Ransom and Black Circle Boys, Donnie dipped his toe into the acting pool and a new side of him began to blossom. Donnie would go on to play in various movies, television shows and even lend his voice to documentaries but there is something not a lot of people have placed together about Donnie’s acting career, he has a flair for horror. The Donnie Wahlberg we have all grown to love as an actor is most memorable in the weekly television drama Blue Bloods on CBS and A&E reality series Wahlburgers where he is frequently seen alongside his mom Alma and his brother Paul. But, if you are a movie buff as much as I am, you know that Donnie has quite the horror movie record for an actor that you think you have only seen in a show or two and maybe a movie. Donnie’s start in horror came along with a very familiar movie but, it is probably very unlikely that most even noticed it was him. Donnie’s horror premier came in 1999 with M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense. You can’t remember Donnie in this movie, can you? Remember the guy at the beginning of the film that broke into Bruce Willis’ house, I will post a pic to jog your memory. In this film, Donnie gave a very convincing performance emotionally and even physically to a degree that as some of you readers may be now, had a lot of us going “Oh my gosh, that’s Donnie?!?!”.

 

Spyglass Entertainment – The Sixth Sense

After his performance in The Sixth Sense Donnie went on to make other movies such as Diamond Men, Triggermen, and Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School. In 2003, Donnie made his next horror appearance in the cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher where he played the unsung hero of the story, Duddits. After his role in Dreamcatcher, it seemed that Donnie was very comfortable in the horror genre. From 2005 until 2008, Donnie was part of the Saw series starting with Saw II and ending with Saw V as Detective Eric Matthews. In 2007, while on a break from dealing with Jigsaw, Donnie made another horror movie called Dead Silence. This involved ventriloquist, dolls and puppets, I promise that I tried to sit through it but dolls, really creep me out. It appears that by taking a glimpse at his IMDB.com listing, Donnie has really taken a good break from staring in movies since 2011. Though I wish not only that he would return to movies but that he would return as a bonafide villain in one, I like the complex bad boy characters.

In 2008, in-between all of his acting credits, Donnie was also on a mission to get New Kids on the Block back together and recording in the studio. Since 2008 the New Kids on the Block have been back together, released 3 new albums and have been on tour every two years since 2011 when they spent the summer touring and sharing the stage with The Backstreet Boys. New Kids on the Block will be putting on a Hangin’ Tough 30 year Anniversary show at the Apollo Theater in New York on October 7th, with a special announcement to follow the next day. My guess, 2019 makes 2 years since they toured and they normally tour every other year so, here comes the 2019 tour announcement!

 

 

On top of the movies, the television shows, the recording studios and the touring, Donnie also found time for love. In 2013 Donnie made an appearance on The Jenny McCarthy Show on VH1. We will just say that the appearance made for some steamy television during a bit where the two laid side-by-side eating lollipops. We will just say that the conversation had between them, made Jenny McCarthy start becoming flustered and bright red and you knew, something was there. The pair eventually began dating and in 2014 they made it all legal with a lovely wedding in St. Charles, IL. The two really do seem to be a match that was just made for each other. Since becoming Mrs. Wahlberg, Jenny has come to embrace her husband’s boy band fame and joined right in with the chaos that are New Kids on the Block fans. Jenny regularly, along with Donnie, have live tweets during shows like The Bachelorette or when Donnie is on stage during a New Kids on the Block concert. The fan appreciation doesn’t stop with just Donnie, it is embraced within his immediate family and everyone seems to experience it as a family as well. As the tweets below show, there are many reasons to not only love Donnie Wahlberg but to love everything he is a part of and comes to represent.

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