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Donnie Wahlberg Was a Successful Actor Long before 'Blue Bloods' Aired

Pedro Marrero
Jun 18, 2019
02:51 A.M.
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For a younger generation, the actor is mostly known for his role of nine years as Detective Danny Reagan in “Blue Bloods,” but before that, he was a successful actor and member of a popular boy band.


49-year-old Donnie Wahlberg is immediately recognizable for the great job he has done in portraying Detective Danny Reagan on the CBS police procedural family drama series, to which he has been committed since 2010.

The show has grown to be so popular that after nearly a decade on air it is hard for some people to picture Wahlberg somewhere else, but in fact, he has a rich curriculum with more than 60 acting credits and a pop singer past.


It wasn’t an overnight success only which granted Wahlberg a $20 million net worth, even if he had a great start in the music business as part of the influential band New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) one of the first boy bands, in the 80s.

NKOTB was active from 1984 to 1994, with Wahlberg as one of his founding members. He has been performing with the band since their 2007 reunion.


While he eventually moved on to acting, Donnie’s involvement in NKOTB helped launch not only his but his younger brother Mark’s career in the entertainment industry.

In 1996, Donnie debuted as a film actor, sharing the screen with late rap star Tupac Shakur and Hollywood’s bad boy Mickey Rourke in the film “Bullet.”


But it was his small part in the 1999 M. Night Shyamalan’s acclaimed film “The Sixth Sense” on which he played troubled Bruce Willis’ patient Vincent Gray that drew attention toward his acting skills and paved the way for him in Hollywood.

Proving his versatility, Donnie also gained critical acclaim for his part in the HBO World War II drama mini-series “Band of Brothers” in 2001.

Another of Donnie’s most recognizable roles is that of Detective Eric Matthews, which he portrayed for the second, third, and fourth installments of the “Saw” franchise, from 2005 to 2007.


In 2007, a secret NKOTB reunion took place, with the band returning with a new album the following year, featuring Donnie, who also joined them on their reunion tour (2011-2012) alongside the Backstreet Boys.

Donnie was also in the Las Vegas 30th anniversary four shows in 2014, presented at the Axis Theater at Planet Hollywood.

"We knew we wanted to do something special stateside for 2014. We knew we had a limited time block where we could do something fun and we knew we had to make it memorable!" Donnie said back then.


It was only in 2010, after having enjoyed much success as singer, actor in film and TV, songwriter, record producer, and screenwriter, that Donnie landed his so popular role in “Blue Bloods,” recently confirmed for a tenth season.

On the personal side, Donnie has been married twice, first in 1999 with Kim Fey, with the two divorcing in 2008 after having sons Xavier and Elijah. Then, in 2014, he married former Playboy model and actress Jenny McCarthy.


While Donnie is about to turn 50 years old, he hasn’t given up on keep making his female fans scream for him just like he was a teen idol, and he has been flaunting his toned physique in social media by sharing pictures of him shirtless or in workout clothes.

Donnie has been using his time off from filming “Blue Bloods” currently in-between seasons, to tour with NKOTB for their The Mixtape Tour, performing nearly every day, which gives him plenty of opportunities to take his shirt off, something we don’t get to see him doing much when portraying Detective Danny Reagan.

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