HomeEntertainmentHappy Birthday Donnie Wahlberg: Celebrating the ‘Blue Bloods’ Star’s Iconic Career

Happy Birthday Donnie Wahlberg: Celebrating the ‘Blue Bloods’ Star’s Iconic Career

Photo: Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic

“Blue Bloods” star Donnie Wahlberg turns 52 today. And the actor and musician has been pretty busy of late.

Between returning to touring with his band New Kids on the Block and filming the upcoming Season 12 of “Blue Bloods,” Wahlberg has a lot on his plate. But that doesn’t mean he can’t take time out to drop philosophical tweets about kindness, or put his money where his mouth is by being there for a young fan.

Wahlberg was born in Boston. He grew up in the working-class Dorchester neighborhood along with his eight siblings. His mother, Alma, was a nurse’s assistant. His father, Donald, was a truck driver and Teamster, according to Biography.com. Wahlberg was reportedly the family peacemaker. And he showed an early interest in music, forming a rap group with classmate and future New Kids on the Block member Danny Wood.  

Wahlberg has come far since his high school days, parlaying his New Kids fame into a successful acting career and settling down with actress Jenny McCarthy. So on his birthday, here are some highlights from Wahlberg’s recent years.

Donnie Wahlberg Stars in ‘Blue Bloods’ as Danny Reagan

Wahlberg joined the cast of “Blue Bloods” at the beginning. And he reportedly convinced friend and costar Bridget Moynahan to sign on, as well. On the show, he plays Danny Reagan, NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan’s (Tom Selleck) son.

In a 2019 interview with CBS’s Watch magazine, Wahlberg described how his wife has helped him figure out his character. And he recounted how Selleck recognized early on that Wahlberg is “really good at making scripts better.” Moreover, Wahlberg compared shooting “Blue Bloods” on the streets of New York to his work in New Kids, performing before stadiums full of fans.

“I get energized on the streets,” Wahlberg said. “And it’s such a big city, there’s so much going on, and of course our characters’ jobs as police officers is to control what’s going on. In my music career, how do I get control of 15,000 screaming people in an arena and get them to follow along where I want to take them during a song or a moment or an entire concert? I think that’s what I do in ‘Blue Bloods,’ but in a different way.”

Watch a montage of Wahlberg’s acting on “Blue Bloods” here:

New Kids on the Block Return to Touring

Donnie Wahlberg’s band arguably hit its peak of global celebrity in the nineties. But the multiplatinum pop quintet has returned to touring in recent years and managed to pack arenas full of fans.

After a pandemic-induced hiatus, the band recently resumed the Mixtape Tour, which they kicked off in 2019, with shows in Columbia, Maryland and Boston. The group’s recent Fenway Park show in Boston was a high-energy celebration, the Boston Herald reports, with synchronized dance moves, fireworks and over 30 songs.

Watch Wahlberg perform “Cover Girl” with the New Kids in 2019:

Finding Love With Actress Jenny McCarthy

Donnie Wahlberg first met Jenny McCarthy on “Watch What Happens Live” in 2012, per Country Living. The host, Andy Cohen, pushed him to ask McCarthy out, but it wasn’t until the following year, when he appeared on her VH1 talk show, that sparks really flew.

The couple began dating in July of 2013 and got married in August of 2014. They currently live in St. Charles, Illinois, commuting to New York part-time for work.

Wahlberg told Watch that he and McCarthy – who is also in Manhattan some weekdays to record her Sirius radio show – go to great lengths to be together.

“Even if I work Thursday and can’t fly home with her, she’ll book a flight that gives her a couple hours to spend with me on our set on her way to LaGuardia,” he says. “We—with our sons—really do everything to be together.”

Watch Wahlberg and McCarthy give a tour of their Chicago-area home here: