In his three-decade screen career, Mark Ruffalo has been Oscar-nominated and starred in blockbuster movies. Does Ruffalo also speak Spanish?
It’s thought that Mark Ruffalo does not speak Spanish. He has Italian ancestry from both of his parents, Frank and Marie, as well as French Canadian on his mother’s side, but there is no sign of him having any familial connection to Spain.
For more on Mark Ruffalo’s family and his early path to acting success, read on.
Mark Alan Ruffalo was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin on November 22, 1967. His father, Frank Lawrence Ruffalo Jr., worked in construction as a painter and his mother, Marie Rose, was a hairdresser.
Growing up, he had two sisters, Tania and Nicole, and a brother, Scott, who passed away in 2008. Ruffalo has Italian ancestry on both his mother and father’s sides of the family and his mother is also half French Canadian.
Ruffalo was educated at Catholic and progressive schools and has described himself as having a happy childhood. His schooling was impacted by dyslexia and ADHD, however, which went undiagnosed until adulthood.
His father worked in Virginia and Ruffalo spent much of his teenage life in Virginia Beach. He was a high school wrestler, competing in both Virginia and Wisconsin.
While attending First Colonial High School, Ruffalo started acting in the Patriot Playhouse. He and his family then moved to San Diego before relocating to Los Angeles.
Ruffalo lived with his brother in an LA apartment, auditioning for roles as Scott started his career as a hairdresser.
He took classes at the Stella Adler Conservatory in the school’s Art of Acting Studio in LA. After this, he co-founded the Orpheus Theatre Company, working as a bartender for almost a decade while writing, directing, and starring in plays.
After some minor film roles, he received critical acclaim for his work in films such as “Zodiac” and “Foxcacher”, as well as achieving his most widespread fame as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Ruffalo has been married to Sunrise Coigney since 2000. They first met in 1998 on the streets of Los Angeles, at a time when Ruffalo was living in what he describes as a dump, without a driver’s license or credit card.
Despite being down on his luck, Coigney encouraged Ruffalo to continue chasing his dreams. One of the actor’s friends was apparently also interested in Coigney but Ruffalo was undeterred, even after his first proposal was rejected.
In 2001, he was diagnosed with a type of brain tumor, vestibular schwannoma, sometimes called acoustic neuroma. Doctors stated that the tumor was benign but the mass was removed, damaging Ruffalo’s hearing and partially paralyzing his face.
He recovered his motor function in his face a year later but Ruffalo has been deaf in his left ear ever since.
Ruffalo and his wife, Sunrise, have three children, a son, and two daughters. Their son, Keen, was born in 2001, followed by Bella Noche in 2005 and Odette in 2007. Ruffalo and his family live in Manhattan, New York, and also own a home in rural Sullivan County, about a two-hour drive away.
In December 2008, Ruffalo’s brother, Scott, was found dead outside his Beverly Hills home, having been shot in the head. Scott had been a successful hairdresser, working at salons in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, including at the Giuseppe Franco Salon in Beverly Hills.
He died a week after the shooting and the case remains unsolved as of August 2020.
Ruffalo is known to be environmentally conscious. In 2008, he became an outspoken opponent of hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, when he suspected that gas companies were targeting family land in New York.
Rumors stated that his activism, including screening a documentary called “Gasland”, saw him added to a terror advisory list but Ruffalo and the Department of Homeland Security denied this.