According to an old cliche, behind every great man, is a strong woman; Rhea Durham is the strong woman behind American celebrated actor, Mark Wahlberg. She is an American fashion model whose career has seen her appear on the cover of several top-notch magazines including Marie Claire, French Vogue, and ELLE. She has walked in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and her career has spilled into acting, although she does not have many works to her name in that regard.
In 2001, she starred as a guest on the Spin City episode of the sitcom, The Wedding Scammer. Even though she is famous for what she does, it is as the wife of the celebrated American actor that she is better known. They got married in 2009 and more than a decade later, she has been able to successfully manage both her family life and her career.
Rhea Durham’s Love Story with Mark Began in 2001 During a Press Junket in New York
The singular thing that is more interesting and successful than the professional life of the model and actress is her family life with her husband and kids.
Her love life with Mark Wahlberg started in 2001 when they met for the first time at a New York press junket. For a woman who has the looks to attract any man, she instantly drew the attention of Mark who was enchanted by her beauty; so he approached her and asked her out. Instead of inviting her to a cool restaurant, a movie, or a romantic setting for their first date, the actor chose to invite her for a mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral and she accepted.
Starting a family was the last thing on his mind before they met but as soon as he met her and they started dating, he knew it was time to start thinking about it as he believed she was the one for him. At the time, he was a troubled young man who had already had some brushes with the law but after meeting Rhea, he knew he had to be the kind of man worthy of her.
The Couple Got Married After Giving Birth to Three Kids
Only two years after they started dating, the beautiful couple welcomed their first child named Ella Rae in 2003, followed by Michael who was born in 2006 and then Brendan Joseph in 2008. Their last child was born in 2010.
Even after spending more than 8 years together, Rhea Durham and Mark Wahlberg were still not eager to get married even though the love was there. Their fear revolved around the fact that they were both from broken homes and they didn’t want to end up having a broken home themselves. They wanted to be sure their union was going to last before going into it.
By August 1, 2009, they were sure they would remain together and so they got married. The private ceremony was held at Beverly Hills, California. It was there that Durham received the sacraments of initiation, confirming her conversion to Roman Catholicism from her background in Baptist Protestantism. A year later, the couple welcomed their last child, a daughter they christened Grace Margaret. They currently live in Los Angeles, California.
The Model and Actor Have a Similar Family History That Strengthens Their Love
Mark Wahlberg is a versatile and multitalented American actor, director, producer, former rapper, and restaurateur. He was born on June 5, 1971, and raised in a large family of 9 children most of whom are also in the entertainment business, including Donnie Wahlberg, Robert Wahlberg, and Paul Wahlberg.
Interestingly, neither of his parents were entertainers as while his father, Donald Edmond Wahlberg, worked as a delivery driver, his mother Alma Elaine worked as a bank clerk and a nurse aide. He was still quite young when his parents got divorced.
Until he met Rhea, the actor was always getting into some kind of trouble. He got addicted to cocaine when he was only 13 and at 15, he got arrested for racial crime after he joined his friends to chase three black kids while shouting “Kill the nigger, kill the nigger”. In 1992, Wahlberg attacked a black kid and fractured his jaw. He also served a jail term for his hate crimes.
Like her husband, Rhea Durham was raised in a broken home. She was born in Lakeland, Florida, on July 1, 1978, to a middle-class family of five. Her parents were practicing protestants who trained Rhea and her two younger siblings in the Christian way. Unfortunately, the marriage between her parents ended in divorce.
Although not much is known about her childhood and early education, we do know she attended Lakeland Senior High School. Rhea began taking fashion jobs quite early and even had to take a break from schooling to pursue a career in modeling.
As hinted earlier, the fact that the power couple hailed from broken homes was why they were reluctant to get married. Now that they are married, that similar family history makes them strive to get it right.
Rhea Durham Began Modeling When She Was 17
Rhea Durham’s modeling career began in 1995 after she was spotted at a Lakeland mall by a modeling agent of an agency called Model Scout at the age of 17.
Consequently, she signed a $100,000 modeling contract which saw her travel to cities like New York and Paris. Following this breakthrough were advertisement offers from the likes of Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Bloomingdales, Revlon, Tommy Hilfiger, and several others. She also appeared on fashion shows for designer brands like Versace, Gucci, Chanel, Valentino, Carolina Herrera, and Michael Kors.
Between 2000 and 2001, Durham walked twice in The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Since then, she has graced the cover page of several editorials and popular fashion magazines like Vogue, Marie Claire, Mademoiselle, Cosmopolitan, Clara, and Elle. Back in 1998, just three years into her career, she appeared on the VH1 Fashion Awards.
Acting Has Also Contributed to Her $20 Million Net Worth
Although modeling is what she’s best known for, it doesn’t end there. Durham had a brief brush with acting. Of course, what do you expect after being married to one of Hollywood’s finest actors? She starred in one episode of the situation comedy titled The Wedding Scammer.
She has also been seen on several episodes of The Wahlburger’s; a TV show that revolves around the rags-to-riches story of her husband.
The model has much to show for her hard work. For a model in her class, Rhea Durham’s earnings have only increased over the years. The mother of four has amassed so much from her years of active modeling and continues to do so through her extensive portfolio today. Her brief acting career, as well as her business interests, have increased her fortune.
— Rhea Wahlberg (@byrheawahlberg) December 24, 2016
Durham’s net worth is estimated to be around $20 million. While that’s not a trifling figure, it begs for attention when compared to her husband’s $300 million fortune.