It's almost hard to believe given the commercial and critical success later enjoyed by Mark Wahlberg as a screen actor that he was once the laughingstock of the hip-hop nation -- under the guise of Funky Bunch leader Marky Mark, Wahlberg was a pretty-boy pariah within the rap community, although he did score a chart-topping pop smash with the single Good Vibrations. Wahlberg was born in Dorchester, MA, on June 5, 1971; at 13, he and older brother Donnie were recruited by teen pop svengali Maurice Starr to join the producer's latest project, New Kids on the Block. After just three months Mark left the group, although Donnie stayed on; the New Kids went on to emerge as one of the most commercially successful pop acts of the decade, earning untold millions on recordings and merchandise that appealed almost exclusively to teenage girls. In the meantime, Mark ran afoul of the law -- in 1986 he was charged with racial harassment of a group of African-American students, and two years later he spent 45 days in prison after attacking a Vietnamese man. (Both incidents were detailed on the fan site www.markrobertwahlberg.com as part of a time line with the subhead "Mark Wahlberg -- the loser.") Donnie agreed to help his troubled sibling restart his music career if he cleaned up his act, and after adopting the stage name Marky Mark, in 1990 Wahlberg formed the Funky Bunch with dancers/rappers Scott Ross (aka Scottie Gee), Hector Barros (Hector the Booty Inspector), Anthony Thomas (Ashley Ace), and Terry Yancey (DJ-T).