Mark Ruffalo’s Tragic Past

In an interview with Men’s Journal, Mark Ruffalo described his childhood and experiences as a young man. He grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, alongside his brother and two sisters. His father, Frank, owned a construction painting business that he inherited from his father while his mother, Maria, worked as a hairstylist. After a while, Frank Ruffalo’s painting business went under, prompting the family to move to Virginia Beach, Virginia, when Mark was 13. There, Frank started a new business called Soda Butler, a business reminiscent of the modern Soda Stream. The Ruffalo family lived here for a number of years before Soda Butler also went out of business.

Down on their luck again, the whole Ruffalo family moved out west to San Diego, where Frank thought he could find work. Unfortunately, Frank was only able to find temporary employment, and the family’s financial situation spiraled into bankruptcy. At the time, Mark had just graduated from high school; in several interviews, he’s recalled that the family was living in a neighborhood where drugs like meth were commonly sold.

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