Wahlberg hits 40!

The Oscar-nominated actor celebrates his big day on Sunday (05Jun11).

And he’s come a long way in his four decades – his career has taken him from modelling to rapping to producing hit TV show Entourage, which was inspired by his own experiences as a film star.

To honour his stellar career, WENN has dug up 10 fascinating facts about the artist formerly known as Marky Mark…

– Wahlberg’s upbringing in Boston, Massachusetts was far from ideal – he landed in trouble with the law more than 20 times and had developed a cocaine addiction by the time he was 13. He turned his life around after spending 45 days behind bars for assault when he was 16.

– The star followed his elder brother Donnie into showbiz by joining his boy band New Kids on the Block, before quitting to embark on a rap career as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

– He became known for his buff body, stripping down to his underwear for Calvin Klein ads and fronting his own workout tapes.

– Wahlberg turned down a role in Brokeback Mountain because he felt uncomfortable with the gay sex scenes. His part eventually went to Jake Gyllenhaal.

– He installed a boxing ring in his house and trained for four years to prepare to play boxer Micky Ward in The Fighter. His hard work paid off – the drama, which he produced, was nominated for six Academy Awards in 2011.

– His favourite food is pasta salad and his favourite drink is water – but he enjoys quaffing fine red wines with a meal.

– He took his wife Rhea Durham to church on their first date. They have been married since 2009 and are parents to two sons and two daughters.

– In 2008, Wahlberg took part in U.K. TV show Top Gear’s Star In A Reasonably Priced Car segment – and gunned the vehicle so hard on the studio’s racetrack he blew the engine.

– Wahlberg was once a big fan of tattoos and first went under the needle when he was just 11. He has since undergone laser treatments to have some of his body art removed.

– He is a devoted Roman Catholic and starts every day by praying for 10 minutes.