Mark Wahlberg vs. Mark L. Walberg: Who’s the Actor and Who Hosts ‘Temptation Island’?

In Hollywood, your name is your brand. And for many celebrities, their brands are easily confused with other Hollywood A-listers. For instance, there’s Dawson’s Creek actress Michelle Williams and singer-songwriter Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child fame. There are also celebrities with different names that are still similar enough that fans frequently get confused (e.g., Michael Douglas and Michael Keaton).

And finally, there are on-screen personalities like Temptation Island‘s Mark L. Walberg and actor Mark Wahlberg who share the same name differentiated only by a few small spelling changes. 

Mark Wahlberg starred in movies like ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘The Departed,’ and ‘Ted’

Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg | Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Netflix

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Mark Wahlberg — formerly known by his stage name Marky Mark, under which he released several music albums with his group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch — rose to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s when his brother Donnie Wahlberg became a worldwide pop star as part of the band New Kids on the Block. 

“Donnie used his connections in the music business to help his little brother secure a recording contract, and soon the world was introduced to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, with Wahlberg as a bad-boy rapper who danced in his boxers,” explains IMDB. After a brief stint modeling underwear for Calvin Klein, Wahlberg dropped the Marky Mark moniker and transitioned to TV and film acting. One of his earlier film works was in Danny DeVito’s Renaissance Man.

Today, the Chicago Tribune calls him a “serious actor whose been in films as diverse as Basketball Diaries, The Perfect Storm and I Heart Huckabees,” and Celebrity Net Worth estimates that Wahlberg is worth approximately $300 million. “Don’t be confused with Mark L. Walberg, host of reality show fare,” warns the Chicago Tribune. 

Mark L. Walberg hosts the reality dating show ‘Temptation Island’

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Walberg is a long-time television personality. According to IMDB, some of his earliest works include 2000’s Sunday Dinner and Son of the Beach. In the last few decades, he’s hosted some of television’s most popular reality TV shows.

“I share a name with Mark Wahlberg and I look like Chris Harrison, so I’m lost in the shuffle of their success,” Walberg once quipped, as quoted in Vulture. He is of course referencing Harrison, the host of The Bachelor, who’s worth an estimated $16 million and was accused in 2021 of supporting racism.

And while Harrison might be one of the most well-known reality TV show hosts today, Vulture points out that what many fans “may not remember is that Walberg was once Fox’s go-to host for reality shows.” Since the early ’00s, you would have seen Walberg hosting Bachelor in Paradise predecessor Temptation Island, as well as The Moment of Truth, Joe Millionaire, and Antiques Roadshow.

Vulture says that despite being confused frequently with Wahlberg and Harrison, “Walberg remains a recognizable TV face.” Celebrity Net Worth estimates the reality show host’s wealth at approximately $4 million.

The Mark Wahlberg and Mark L. Walberg crossover in ‘Sneakerheads’

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In an interview on The Real published in YouTube, Walberg says he often gets mistaken for Wahlberg (especially on social media), but makes no mention if the two have ever met in real life. However, there was one moment where there was a deliberate crossover between the two celebrities: the web TV series Sneakerheads.

Netflix viewers follow the story of a stay-at-home dad named Devin who is obsessed with chasing down a very rare pair of collectible shoes. Halfway through the six-episode story arc, Devin and his friends meet up with Hollywood actor Wahlberg (he’s known to collect shoes, with GQ reporting that the actor owns more than $100,000 in collectible sneakers).

There’s just one small problem: The producers of Sneakerheads have Walberg playing Wahlberg.

“Casting Mark L. Walberg as the actor Mark Wahlberg is a stroke of genius from the showrunners as it not only saves a ton of money by not casting the real Hollywood superstar, but it also serves as a cheeky wink to the audience,” reports HITC. The outlet notes that some fans loved it, while others found it confusing and couldn’t figure out who Walberg actually was.