Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo June 2014.jpg
Ruffalo in June 2014
Born Mark Alan Ruffalo
(1967-11-22) November 22, 1967 (age 48)
Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.
Residence Manhattan, New York
Occupation Actor, producer, activist, director, humanitarian
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) Sunrise Coigney (m. 2000)
Children 3

Mark Alan Ruffalo (/ˈrʌfəl/, born November 22, 1967)[1] is an American actor, director, humanitarian, social activist, and film producer. He made his screen debut in an episode of CBS Summer Playhouse (1989), followed by minor film roles. He was part of the original cast of This Is Our Youth (1996), for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Following was his roles in 13 Going on 30 (2004), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Zodiac (2007), and What Doesn't Kill You (2008). In 2010, he starred in the psychological thriller Shutter Island and the comedy-drama The Kids Are All Right. For the latter, he received nominations for the SAG Award, BAFTA Award, and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also co-starred in the mystery films Now You See Me and Now You See Me 2 as FBI agent Rhodes.[2]

Ruffalo gained international prominence by portraying the Marvel Comics character the Hulk in The Avengers (2012) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). He starred in and was the co-executive producer of the 2014 television drama film The Normal Heart, for which he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor in a TV Movie. The same year, he portrayed Dave Schultz in Foxcatcher, for which he was nominated for awards, including a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2015, he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Infinitely Polar Bear and also received BAFTA and Academy Award nominations for his role in the drama Spotlight.


Early lifeEdit

Ruffalo was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His mother, Marie Rose (née Hebert), is a hairdresser and stylist, and his father, Frank Lawrence Ruffalo, Jr., worked as a construction painter.[3][4][5] He has two sisters, Tania and Nicole, and a brother, Scott (died 2008).[3] His father is of Italian descent, precisely Girifalco[6] and his mother is of half French Canadian and half Italian ancestry.[7][8] He has described his upbringing as taking place in a "very big" family with "lots of love".[9] Of his father, Ruffalo has said, "He was an amazing, charismatic guy who was city high school wrestling champion three times. He was away a lot when I was growing up. It was very lonely for him."[4] "I [grew up with] three different faiths in my home—I had Catholicism, my grandmother was a evangelical and the rest of my family and my father [were] Baha’i."[10] Ruffalo attended both Catholic school and progressive[clarification needed] schools.[11] Ruffalo has described himself as having been a "happy kid,"[12] although he struggled from undiagnosed dyslexia and ADD as a child and a young adult.[13]

Ruffalo spent his teen years in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where his father worked. He competed in wrestling in junior high and high school in Wisconsin and Virginia. Ruffalo graduated from First Colonial High School,[3] and then moved with his family to San Diego, California, and later to Los Angeles, where he took classes at the Stella Adler Conservatory and co-founded the Orpheus Theatre Company.[3] With the Orpheus Theatre Company, he wrote, directed, and starred in a number of plays, and spent close to a decade working as a bartender.[14]



Ruffalo had minor roles in films like The Dentist (1996), the low-key crime comedy Safe Men (1998) and Ang Lee's Civil War Western Ride with the Devil (1999). Through a chance meeting with writer Kenneth Lonergan, he began collaborating with Lonergan and appeared in several of his plays, including the original cast of This is Our Youth (1996), which led to Ruffalo's role as Laura Linney's character's brother in Lonergan's Academy Award-nominated 2000 film You Can Count on Me.[3] He received favorable reviews for his performance in this film, often earning comparisons to the young Marlon Brando, and won awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Montreal World Film Festival.[3]

This led to other significant roles, including the films XX/XY (2002), Isabel Coixet's My Life Without Me (2003), Jane Campion's In the Cut (2003), Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), and We Don't Live Here Anymore (2004), which is based upon two short stories written by Andre Dubus.[3] He appeared opposite Tom Cruise as a narcotics detective in Michael Mann's crime-thriller Collateral (2004).[3]

In the mid 2000s, Ruffalo appeared as a romantic lead View From the Top (2002), 13 Going on 30 (2004), Just Like Heaven (2005) and Rumor Has It (2005).[3] In 2006, Ruffalo starred in Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing! at the Belasco Theatre in New York, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.[3] In March 2007, he appeared in Zodiac as SFPD homicide inspector Dave Toschi, who ran the investigation to find and apprehend the Zodiac killer from 1969 through most of the 1970s.[3] In 2007, Ruffalo played divorced lawyer Dwight Arno, who accidentally kills a child and speeds away, in Terry George's film Reservation Road, based on the novel by John Burnham Schwartz.[citation needed]

In 2008, Ruffalo starred as a con man in The Brothers Bloom with Adrien Brody and Rachel Weisz and co-starred with Julianne Moore in Blindness. 2008 also saw Ruffalo in Brian Goodman's What Doesn't Kill You with Ethan Hawke and Amanda Peet, which was shown at the Toronto Film Festival. In 2009, he played a brief role in the film Where The Wild Things Are as Max's mother's boyfriend. In 2010, he co-starred in the Martin Scorsese thriller Shutter Island as U.S. Marshal Chuck Aule, the partner of Leonardo DiCaprio's character Teddy Daniels.[15]

In 2010, he starred in Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, with Annette Bening and Julianne Moore. Ruffalo stated in an interview that he approached Cholodenko after watching High Art and said he would love to work with her. Years later, she called Ruffalo and said she wrote a script, and had him in mind for the part. His performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.[16]

Ruffalo at the Toronto premiere of The Avengers

Ruffalo starred in The Avengers (2012), the sixth installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, replacing Edward Norton as Dr. Bruce Banner / the Hulk.[17] Ruffalo received critical acclaim for his performance and is under contract to reprise the role in any future film appearances of the character produced by Marvel Studios.[18] Ruffalo also made an uncredited cameo appearance as Banner in Iron Man 3, making him the first actor to reprise the character in a live-action film. He reprised the role again in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and will do so once more in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok.[19]

In 2014, Ruffalo starred as Ned Weeks in a television adaptation of Larry Kramer's AIDS-era play, The Normal Heart; his performance earned him an Emmy nomination. He says he has had an outpouring of support for his performance:

I've never had so sincere and vulnerable a response from people for anything that I've ever done.... And of everything that I've done since I've been on social media, which hasn't been that long, by the way, I haven't had such an overwhelmingly positive response as I have from The Normal Heart directly to me. And it's a blessing, man. If this is it, if I have a piano dropped on me tomorrow, then I would go down thinking, "You know what, I did okay as far as my career goes, because that's a gift. That's rare."[20]

In 2015, Ruffalo received his second Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of wrestler Dave Schultz in the biographical drama Foxcatcher. Later in the year, he starred as a bipolar father-of-two in the independent comedy film Infinitely Polar Bear, for which he earned a Golden Globe Award nomination, and he also appeared as journalist Michael Rezendes in the drama film Spotlight, for which he earned his third Academy Award nomination and a BAFTA Award nomination.


He made his directorial debut with Sympathy for Delicious, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize. On releasing the film, Ruffalo said, "I'm still looking for distribution. I have a couple offers on the table, but I'm holding out for something a little bigger. I've been screening it for a lot of groups, and people are really responding to it. I think they're scared of that movie."[21] About directing, he says,

I liken it to an actor gets to eat one slice, and a director gets to eat the whole pie. [laughs] You get to collaborate with gifted people who are good at their craft, so you're orchestrating all these different mediums. You're helping people through the script to realize their own talents. I find that really satisfying, and I felt like being in front of the camera is so intense and self-involved and personal, and directing isn't like that for me. It's a much more communal experience. Last year at this time, I was like, "I'm not going back to acting, man. No way, it's done." I haven't worked in a year. It's really taken me that long to get back to my love for what I do for acting. I would like to do 50-50, if I could. Really, I'd just be directing right now, but I can't support my family doing that at this moment, and I love acting. It's not a bad position to be in.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

Since June 2000, Ruffalo has been married to Sunrise Coigney and they have three children: son Keen (b. 2001), and daughters Bella Noche (b. 2005) and Odette (b. 2007). They live in Manhattan.[22]

After completing work on the film The Last Castle, Ruffalo was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, a type of brain tumor, and had surgery; the tumor was benign, but resulted in a period of partial facial paralysis.[4] He recovered from the paralysis; however, he became deaf in his left ear as a result of the tumor.[13]

On December 1, 2008, Ruffalo's brother, Scott, was shot at his Beverly Hills condominium,[23] with one report describing the shooting as "execution-style" in the back of the head.[24] Scott Ruffalo died on December 8, 2008. Police took two people into custody: a woman who is considered a suspect and a man considered a "person of interest".[25] An attorney for the female suspect told police Scott Ruffalo shot himself accidentally.[26][27] The female suspect died on January 6, 2012.[28]

Political viewsEdit

On October 4, 2006, he appeared on Democracy Now!, a daily news program. He spoke against the War in Iraq, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, torture, and the Bush Administration. He also announced he would speak at The World Can't Wait Protest in New York City on October 5, 2006. Ruffalo contributed to the campaign of former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel for the 2008 Democratic Party nomination for President.[29]

He appeared on Penn & Teller: Bullshit! on August 14, 2008's episode entitled "World Peace". He said that "Peace looks like me and my kids and my wife laying in our bed on a Saturday morning... it's a love-in, y'know? John Lennon had it right, y'know?" [30]

In 2012, he endorsed Kathleen Kane, the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania Attorney General, due to her insistence on investigating the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the Hershey Trust for alleged improprieties, and for her opposition to hydrofracking.[31] Kane was elected and became Pennsylvania's first female Attorney General and Democrat elected to the post.

Ruffalo is pro-choice. He has explained his stance by saying,"I don't want to turn back the hands of time to when women shuttled across state lines in the thick of night to resolve an unwanted pregnancy, in a cheap hotel room."[32]

On July 21, 2014, during Operation Protective Edge, Ruffalo criticized the IDF for allegedly targeting Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip.[33]

He pleaded for Elizabeth Warren to run for president in a video, but she declined on the Huffington Post Show in April 2015. Since then he has expressed his support for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.[34]

He is also a supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.[35]

9/11 TruthEdit

Ruffalo has given interviews to We Are Change, a 9/11 'truth' group, in both 2007 and 2011. Ruffalo stated: "I'm baffled by the way all three buildings came down. My first reaction was that buildings don't fall down like that. I've done quite a bit of my own research ...The fact that the 9/11 investigation went from the moment the planes hit to the moment the buildings fell, and nothing before or after, I think, makes that investigation completely illegitimate. If you're going to do a crime investigation, you have to find motive. We didn't follow that. It was quickly pushed away, obviously. There was no evidence at the biggest crime scene. None of us know what happened but I'm totally and completely behind reopening that investigation. Where is the money? Follow the money, guys!"[36]

In 2011, he added: "The Commission didn't really do anything about before the buildings were struck or afterwards. There just seems to be more questions left unanswered than anything else. I don't want to jump to any conclusions but I don't think it's ever been given its due diligence, considering that it's the largest crime ever committed on US soil. Building Seven – a lot of people don't even know about that ... The world has changed because of it and not in a good way. We've been militarised and lost many of our civil liberties. More people die from smoking cigarettes each year and we give this a lot more play than that."[37]

Zika theoriesEdit

Ruffalo has suggested that the Zika virus is the inadvertent creation of a British biotech company that has been releasing genetically modified mosquitoes to combat dengue fever in Brazil.[38]

Opposition to frackingEdit

In 2008, Ruffalo expressed concern that gas companies were eyeing his family's land in Callicoon, New York. After doing his own investigation, New York magazine wrote, he becomes "anti-fracking's first famous face."[39]

On October 4, 2010, Ruffalo appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show to discuss hydraulic fracturing and the The FRAC Act of 2009.[40] He claimed in the December 2010 issue of GQ magazine that after he organized screenings in Pennsylvania of a documentary about natural-gas-drilling called Gasland, he was placed on a terror advisory list.[41] The Department of Homeland Security denied the claim.[42]

On July 13, 2011, Ruffalo appeared on Countdown With Keith Olbermann to discuss fracking, particularly in New York. "This is an industry that is the dirtiest, slimiest, most arrogant, and negligent that you can imagine," he said. Ruffalo taped an "online segment extra" for Countdown, during which time Keith Olbermann offered him the opportunity to become an official Countdown Contributor. Ruffalo gratefully accepted.[43]

He has appeared on The Colbert Report and Real Time with Bill Maher to discuss his continued opposition to fracking.[44] His neighbors with a family house near his in Callicoon, Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon, mobilized their friends around the anti-fracking cause, and in August 2012 Artists Against Fracking was launched with Ruffalo and the two heading it. Alec Baldwin is a member.[39]

On April 25, 2013, Ruffalo laid out his case against fracking in a piece co-authored with Phil Radford on, where he argued solar and wind are here now, and using fracked natural gas instead of cleaner sources of energy will result in more faucets on fire, methane leaks that cause global warming, groundwater contamination, and cancer-causing chemicals in communities.[45] That same year, he began promoting The Solutions Project along with Stanford professor Mark Jacobson and private equity investor Marco Krapels. The Solutions Project is presented as a way for the U.S. to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2050.[46]

In 2014 Ruffalo played a role in a documentary film on the effects of a major oil spill.[47]

In 2016, Ruffalo narrated and produced 'Dear President Obama: The Clean Energy Revolution is Now', a documentary by director Jon Bowermaster which looks at President Obama’s environmental tenure and legacy concerning the massive expansion of oil and natural gas drilling.[48]

Ruffalo's non-profit organisation Water Defense was criticised in 2016 for appointing Scott Smith as its "chief scientist" and "chief technology officer & investigator". Smith has suggested that the tap water in Flint is still dangerous and unsafe for bathing because other testers are only looking for lead rather than contaminants known as trihalomethanes.[49]


Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1182). Nov 25, 2011. p. 30. 
  2. ^ "Now You See Me". May 31, 2013 – via IMDb. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Mark Ruffalo". Inside the Actors Studio. Season 13. Episode 6. 2007-03-19. Bravo!. 
  4. ^ a b c Radar, Dotson (May 9, 2004). "I Wouldn't Give Any Of It Back". Parade. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved September 20, 2007. 
  5. ^ Baldassarre, Angela (March 4, 2007). "On the trail of a real-life serial killer". Tandem (Canada). Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved September 20, 2007. 
  6. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (September 15, 2005). "Ruffalo ascends to the next level in 'Heaven'". USA Today. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013. Ruffalo, an Italian-French-Canadian mix,,, 
  9. ^ Dudek, Duane (December 20, 2000). "United by loss: Ruffalo nails his role in drama about 2 siblings who share painful past". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on September 26, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2007. 
  10. ^ "The Deep Side of Mark Ruffalo". Relevant Magazine. April 29, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Mark Ruffalo Speaks Out For Women's Reproductive Rights (Video)". Huffington Post. January 23, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ Pearlman, Cindy (February 25, 2007). "Working on a killer movie". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved September 20, 2007. 
  13. ^ a b Hiatt, Brian (May 4, 2015). "The Hulk: The Last Angry Man". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media, Ltd. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  14. ^ Dumenco, Simon. "The Kid Stays In the Pictures". New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  15. ^ "Shutter Island Opens Doors For Home Video". April 19, 2010. Retrieved December 31, 2010. 
  16. ^ "The Kids Are All Right interview". Mark Ruffalo Central. July 11, 2010. Retrieved December 31, 2010. 
  17. ^ "TOLDJA! Marvel & Ruffalo Reach Hulk Deal". Deadline Hollywood. July 23, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2010. 
  18. ^ Finke, Nikki (2010-07-23). "TOLDJA! Marvel & Ruffalo Reach Hulk Deal". Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  19. ^ "Marvel Studios Confirms Stellar New Cast Members of the Highly Anticipated 'Thor: Ragnarok' - News -". 
  20. ^ Gerard, Jeremy. "Mark Ruffalo After 'Normal Heart': 'If A Piano Dropped On Me Tomorrow, I Did OK". Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Page 2 – Mark Ruffalo is Doing "All Right"". 2010-07-06. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  22. ^ Ellis, Josh. "Mark Ruffalo's Good Life Formula: 3 Kids, 1 Rabbit, 47 acres, 2,764 Miles From Hollywood", Men's Journal. June 2013; accessed April 26, 2015.[dead link]
  23. ^ Jones, Oliver (December 3, 2008). "Mark Ruffalo's Brother Shot in the Head". People. 
  24. ^ "Scott Ruffalo still in critical condition". Boston Herald. December 5, 2008. 
  25. ^ "Scott Ruffalo Dies from Gunshot Wound". People. December 9, 2008. 
  26. ^ Dillon, Nancy (December 9, 2008). "Actor Mark Ruffalo's brother, Scott, died after playing Russian Roulette, says murder suspect". New York Daily News (New York City). Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Autopsy scheduled for Scott Ruffalo". Los Angeles: KABC-TV. December 11, 2008. Archived from the original on October 16, 2014. 
  28. ^ Blankstein, Andrew (February 29, 2012). "Death of Mark Ruffalo's brother: Key witness may have overdosed". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Election Center 2008: Mike Gravel". CNN. Retrieved September 20, 2007. 
  30. ^ "YouTube – "World Peace" with Penn and Teller". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  31. ^ Ruffalo endorsement of Kathleen Kane; accessed April 26, 2015.
  32. ^ Kira Cochrane (August 19, 2013). "Mark Ruffalo's pro-choice stance on abortion rights sets a powerful example". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  33. ^ "Mark Ruffalo on Twitter". 
  34. ^ News, A. B. C. (August 11, 2015). "Meet Bernie Sanders' Top Celebrity Backers". 
  35. ^ "Mark Ruffalo Reveals The Message Of "The Normal Heart" And The Personal Reason LGBT Equality Is Important To Him". 
  36. ^ WeAreChange Los Angeles (November 3, 2007). "MARK RUFFALO questions 9-11" – via YouTube. 
  37. ^ WeAreChange (January 20, 2011). "Mark Ruffalo: There are more questions than answers about 9/11" – via YouTube. 
  38. ^
  39. ^ a b "Fracklash". New York magazine. Sep 10, 2012. 
  40. ^ Mark Ruffalo Speaks Out Against Fracking Practices on The Rachel Maddow Show,, October 5, 2010.
  41. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (November 24, 2010). "Mark Ruffalo Is on a Homeland Security Watch". New York. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. 
  42. ^ Sanburn, Josh (November 30, 2010). "Does Pennsylvania Consider Actor Mark Ruffalo a Terrorist?". Time. Archived from the original on December 30, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Web Extra: Countdown Contributor Mark Ruffalo on Fracking – Countdown with Keith Olbermann". 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  44. ^ "Mark Ruffalo". Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  45. ^ "Don't Let America Get Fracked". Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  46. ^ 100% Renewable Energy,; accessed April 26, 2015.
  47. ^ Teitell, Beth (September 30, 2014). "Mark Ruffalo goes wading in the Charles River". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  48. ^ Mark Ruffalo Oscar-nominated actor, climate change activist; Hero", Jon Bowermaster Writer/Filmmaker/National Geographic "Ocean (March 17, 2016). "Dear President Obama: The Clean Energy Revolution is Now". 
  49. ^ Mathis-Lilley, Ben (May 23, 2016). "Mark Ruffalo Is Helping a Fake Scientist Use Flint to Promote His Sponge Business" – via Slate. 

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