A native of Wisconsin, Mark Ruffalo moved with his family to Virginia Beach, Virginia where he lived out most of his teenage years. Following high school, Mark moved with his family to San Diego and soon migrated north, eventually settling in Los Angeles. He took classes at the Stella Adler Conservatory and subsequently co-founded the Orpheus Theatre Company, an Equity-Waiver establishment where he did yeoman work. Practically performing in every capacity, he went from acting, writing, directing and producing to running the lights and building sets while building up his resume. Despite good stage reviews, Mark couldn't get arrested in film and TV, having to bartend for nearly nine years to make ends meet. Ready to give it all up, a chance meeting and resulting collaboration with playwright/screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan changed everything. Ruffalo won NY success in Lonergan's play "This Is Our Youth", which led to his winning the male lead in Lonergan's film You Can Count on Me (2000). His stunning, mesmerizing performance as Laura Linney's ne'er-do-well brother had Hollywood opening its eyes wide to this new serious talent. Some reviewers even found themselves comparing him to an early Marlon Brando. Despite this career-breaking success, Mark remains true to his stage roots and small theater company in L.A., occasionally directing and performing in-between taking on the big, lucrative film projects that are now offered. Although he is not yet a top marquee item, Mark has continued to impress with his range and versatility in both leads and character roles and remains consistently in demand. His more notable films of late have included XX/XY (2002), My Life Without Me (2003) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004).