Mark Ruffalo
Birth Date:
November 22, 1967
Birth Place:
Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA
5` 9
Famous for:
His role as Terry in 'You Can Count on Me' (2000)
actor, director, producer, writer
First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia
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You Can Count On Me


"The true value of somebody in this town (Hollywood) is very hard to determine. It's all smoke and mirrors." Mark Ruffalo.

Italian-American actor Mark Ruffalo received critical praise for his impressive performance as Terry Prescott, the wayward brother of Laura Linney's character, in Kenneth Lonergan’s Oscar-nominated independent film You Can Count On Me (2000). Since then, he has starred in such films as Windtalkers (2002), 13 Going On 30 (2004), Collateral (2004), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Just Like Heaven (2005), Rumor Has It... (2005), All the King's Men (2006) and Zodiac (2007). He will play lead roles in the upcoming films Margaret (alongside Anna Paquin and Matt Damon), Reservation Road (with Joaquin Phoenix, Jennifer Connelly and Mira Sorvino) and The Brothers Bloom (opposite Rachel Weisz, Rinko Kikuchi and Adrien Brody).

On stage, the actor who debuted in David Steen's "Avenue A" at Los Angeles' Cast Theater in 1990, received critical acclaim for his work in Kenneth Lonergan's "Betrayal By Everyone" (1993) as part of the Festival of One Acts at the Met Theater. He also starred as Warren Straub in the New Group production of "This Is Our Youth" (1996) and later reprised his role in its Off-Broadway run in 1998. In 2006, he received a Tony nomination for his performance in the Broadway production of "Awake and Sing."

Off screen, the 5’ 9", compact, darkly handsome player with penetrating eyes and pouty lips is currently married to actress Sunrise Coigney. They have two children together and are expecting their third child in Fall 2007.

"Certainly, it's very easy to fall in love with cash. If you're going to make all your decisions based on cash, you're going to have a pretty naffy career." Mark Ruffalo.

Mark Alan

Childhood and Family:

In Kenosha, Wisconsin, Mark Alan Ruffalo was born on November 22, 1967. His second-generation Italian-American parents, Frank Ruffalo (a former construction painter) and Maria Ruffalo (a hairdresser and hair stylist), have divorced. Mark has one brother, Scott, and two sisters, Tania and Nicole, who are all hairdressers.

Mark moved with his family to Virginia Beach, where he attended First Colonial High School. After high school, Mark moved again to San Diego and soon migrated north and finally settling in Los Angeles, where he took classes at the Stella Adler drama school, alongside Benicio Del Toro. He subsequently co-founded the Orpheus Theatre Company, an Equity-Waiver establishment where he wrote, directed and starred in a number of plays.

In June 2000, Mark married actress Sunrise Coigney (born on September 17, 1972). They have one son, Keen Ruffalo (born in 2001), and one daughter, Bella Rufallo (born in May 2005). In 2002, Mark was diagnosed with brain tumor, which was found to be benign. Following a brain surgery, he has fully recovered after suffering from a partial facial paralysis. Mark and Sunrise, owner of the L.A. boutique Kaviar and Kind, are expecting their third child in fall 2007.

"For some reason, my whole life has been, 'You can't do this, you can't do that.' The other day I was watching these kids crossing the road, and they have these crossing guards, kids who help other kids across the road. They would never let me be a crossing guard when I was a little kid. It would come up, I'd always raise my hand, I would never get picked. They thought I was too wild, but I knew I was responsible enough, if I was given that task." Mark Ruffalo.

This Is Our Youth


"I became an actor so I didn't have to be myself. I like to disappear in the parts I play." Mark Ruffalo.

Spending almost a decade bartending, Mark Ruffalo then headed to Los Angeles to study acting at the prestigious Stella Adler Conservatory. After his appearance in a July 1989 episode of the anthology series "CBS Summer Playhouse," he began to venture into Los Angeles theater, making his stage debut in 1990 with a role in David Steen's "Avenue A" at Cast Theater. He was noticed and received critical acclaim three years later when he performed in the Festival of One Acts production of Kenneth Lonergan's "Betrayal by Everyone" at the Met Theater.

Ruffalo also spent the 1990s with roles in indie movies, beginning with Jack Lucarelli's A Gift from Heaven (1994), which was based on David Steen's stage play of the same title premiered at the Chamber Theater in Los Angeles in 1988. That same year, he was featured in the horror sequel Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance, alongside Roddy McDowall, Sally Kellerman, Veronica Cartwright and Tracy Wells, and guest starred as a young father in a moral quandary on a December episode of the CBS low-rated but critically acclaimed cop drama series "Due South." The following year, Ruffalo co-wrote, co-produced and acted in the independent release of Michael Hacker's The Destiny of Marty Fine (starring Alan Gelfant and Catherine Keener), about an ex-middleweight fighter who witnesses a Mob murder and was forced to commit a murder in order to save his own life.

In 1996 Ruffalo returned on stage and reunited with Lonergan in a New Group production of "This Is Our Youth," in which he received glowing notices for his performance as Warren Straub in the playwright's tale of dope-addled kids of privilege struggling with adulthood adapted from his previous one act "Betrayal By Everyone." Ruffalo later reprised the role in its successful 1998 Off-Broadway run, co-starring Mark Rosenthal and Missy Yager.

Meanwhile, on screen, Ruffalo had a featured role in writer-director-actor Dan Zukovic's popular culture satire The Last Big Thing (1996), which debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival and received limited theatrical release in 1998. He also returned to the horror sequel Mirror, Mirror III (1996), alongside Billy Drago, David Naughton, Monique Parent and Elizabeth Baldwin. Afterward, he gave a solid performance opposite Mary Stuart Masterson in the otherwise unremarkable Lifetime holiday TV-movie On the 2nd Day of Christmas (1997) and had a featured role as a safecracker in writer-director John Hamburg's independent crime-comedy Safe Men (1998), starring Sam Rockwell, Steve Zahn, Michael Lerner and Paul Giamatti.

Next, Ruffalo played the escape artist/magician’s brother Theo in TNT's Emmy-winning biopic Houdini (starring Johnathon Schaech) and was featured alongside real-life husband and wife Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara in Joan Micklin Silver's indie comedy A Fish in a Bathtub. In the new millennium, he co-starred in the UPN six-season cop drama series "The Beat," alongside Derek Cecil, Poppy Montgomery, Tom Noonan and Lea DeLaria. He also reteamed with writer-director Lonergan in his Oscar-nominated drama feature, You Can Count on Me. Playing Terry Prescott, the wayward brother of Laura Linney's character, Ruffalo won Best Actor award at the Montréal World Film Festival and New Generation Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Following breakout performance in You Can Count on Me, Ruffalo was cast as a prisoner operating as a bookmaker in Rod Lurie's exciting, thoughtful action drama The Last Castle (2001; opposite Robert Redford and James Gandolfini) and had a featured role as Private Pappas in the John Woo’s World War II film Windtalkers (2002; with Nicholas Cage, Christian Slater and Adam Beach). He was also scheduled to appear in writer-director M. Night Shyamalan's booming critically successful science fiction/thriller/horror/drama film Signs (2002) alongside Mel Gibson, but had to drop out as he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. His part as Gibson’s brother in Signs eventually went to Joaquin Phoenix.

2003 saw Ruffalo co-starred with Meg Ryan and Jennifer Jason Leigh in New Zealand director Jane Campion's adaptation of the best-selling crime/erotic thriller novel by Susanna Moore's, In The Cut, playing a tough homicide detective investigating a series of murders in a neighborhood who also has an erotic affair with Ryan’s character. Ruffalo commented about the film: "I'm really proud of it. I think it's a really adult, really beautiful cinematic piece of work. I think the characters are really complex. I think it's really honest and it doesn't objectify women. It's a really harrowing piece of storytelling. At the time, it was one of the premiere experiences of my acting career - working on that picture."

That same year, he played the male lead as Maya Stange and Kathleen Robertson's love interest in writer-director Austin Chick's independent romantic drama XX/XY, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. That year in October, Ruffalo was also cast as Brick in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," alongside Ashley Judd and Ned Beatty.

Michel Gondry then handed Ruffalo the role of Stan, a nerdy lab-technician who erases people's unwanted memories, in the Oscar-winning romantic drama starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004; written by Charlie Kaufman; also featuring Kirsten Dunst and Elijah Wood). Also in that year, Ruffalo played LAPD Detective Fanning in Michael Mann's Oscar-nominated drama/thriller/crime film Collateral (opposite Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx) and co-starred with Naomi Watts, Laura Dern and Peter Krause in the Sundance-screened We Don't Live Here Anymore, John Curran's film adaptation of two short stories written by Andre Dubus, "We Don't Live Here Anymore" and "Adultery."

“I read the script, although I thought it was outstanding, it really scared me. I couldn’t think of any directors that could handle it in a really mature, sort of balanced way. This movie’s impossible and then I find out it’s been around since the 70’s. It seemed appropriate. It was at the cusp of a lot of these types of films that were coming out in the 70’s. I met with John and started talking to him about where he was coming from. I saw his first picture, Praise, and I thought yes, absolutely yes. This guy can do something really special with this film.” Mark Ruffalo (on accepting a role in We Don't Live Here Anymore (2004)).

Ruffalo then became a lonely landscape architect recovering from the death of his wife and falls for the spirit of a beautiful woman (played by Reese Witherspoon) in Mark Waters’ romantic comedy Just Like Heaven (2005), a box office hit based on the novel “If Only It Were True” (Et si c'était vrai...) by Marc Levy. On working with Witherspoon, Ruffalo admitted: "I really enjoyed working with her. We have a nice, easy kind of repartee with each other. And she's very funny and she laughs at my jokes, which goes a long way in any relationship. [laughs] We enjoy a nice sort of fun, light relationship, the two of us. She's very cool. And I always thought Reese was a know, "really well put together." [laughs] But she's human, just like the rest of us. She's actually very funny, and is struggling with all her humanity as well. So I really like that."

After co-starring as Jennifer Garner's childhood best friend and ardent adorer in Gary Winick's comedy movie 13 Going on 30 (2004), Ruffalo portrayed Jennifer Aniston's fiancé in Rob Reiner’s comedy movie Rumor Has It... (2005; also featuring Shirley MacLaine, Kevin Costner and Mena Suvari). He followed it up with a role as Adam Stanton in Steven Zaillian's adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's 1946 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, All the King's Men (2006; co-starring with Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Anthony Hopkins) and returned to stage in the Broadway production of Clifford Odets' 1935 play "Awake and Sing," for which he earned a Tony nomination.

Ruffalo’s latest film, Zodiac, a drama thriller by director David Fincher based on Robert Graysmith's two non-fiction books about the Zodiac Killer (Zodiac and Zodiac Unmasked) who haunted San Francisco during the late 1960s, was released on March 2, 2007. In the film, Ruffalo plays Dave Toschi, the San Francisco detective who led the investigation of the notorious serial killer, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. He also has completed frequent collaborator Kenneth Lonergan's romantic drama film, Margaret (alongside Anna Paquin and Matt Damon), and will soon wrap Terry George's adaptation of John Burnham Schwartz's thriller novel, Reservation Road (with Joaquin Phoenix, Jennifer Connelly and Mira Sorvino). Additionally, he is attached to co-star with Rachel Weisz, Rinko Kikuchi and Adrien Brody in writer-director Rian Johnson's adventure film The Brothers Bloom.

"The whole experience of getting close to mortality changed my perspective on work. I wasn't enjoying acting before: I felt like I wasn't in charge of my career. I wasn't doing things that made me feel good. I was really bitter, I thought I deserved more, and I wasn't grateful for all the great shit that had happened to me. If you're not grateful, then it's very easy to be an asshole. After the brain tumor happened, I realized I love acting, I've always loved it, I may never get a chance to do it again." Mark Ruffalo.


  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association: New Generation Award, You Can Count on Me, 2000

  • Montréal World Film Festival: Best Actor, You Can Count on Me, 2000

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