After spending more than 30 years in the business, famous actor Mark Ruffalo has gathered an extraordinary résumé. From his blockbuster character as Bruce Banner in Marvel’s Avengers saga to his fascinating role as Matt Flamhaff in 13 Going On 30, the talented actor’s work suit every genre. Beyond his fortune, however, Ruffalo has experienced great adversity throughout his lifetime. Not only did the actor learn he had a brain tumor, but in 2008, the Limelight star lost his brother, Scott Ruffalo, after the 39-year-old hairstylist was “shot in the head at his Beverly Hills condominium,” According to witness.
Scott Ruffalo, a renowned and successful hairdresser, served at salons in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, as well as the Giuseppe Franco Salon in Beverly Hills.
He was granted a license in cosmetology in 1991 and, in 2001, established his own business, Ruff Inc. that took in his profitable income as a hairstylist.
“He is well-liked by everybody and knows everyone in Beverly Hills,” his accountant James Leger explained ABCNews.com, “He was a guy who really wanted to do things right, as far as I was concerned. He is one of the easiest clients I have. He’s 100 percent above board and would go overboard to make sure everything is done right.”
But Scott Ruffalo did have one confrontation with the law which was in April 2002 when he was convicted of a felony charge for ownership of a controlled substance for sale. A second charge, ownership of a narcotic controlled substance, was removed.
According to records, Scott Ruffalo was married to Luzelena Ruffalo, and news reports state he was the stepfather to her daughter Lucinda. But Shekhtman said Scott Ruffalo lived alone, although she did see him occasionally with a woman, she believed was his girlfriend.
Family’s background of Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin to Marie Rose (née Hébert) who was a hairstylist and hairdresser, and Frank Lawrence Ruffalo, who served as a construction painter, who also had two daughters and another son, Mark’s sisters, Tania and Nicole, and his brother Scott. Growing up, Ruffalo went to both Catholic and progressive schools through his education and had defined himself as a “happy kid” during those years, and fighting with undiagnosed dyslexia and ADD in his childhood and as a young adult. He spent his youth in Virginia Beach, where his father worked; Mark played wrestling in junior high and high school in both Wisconsin and Virginia. Ruffalo was first introduced to acting when he performed for the Patriot Playhouse taught by Nancy P. Curtis, from where he graduated from First Colonial High School. His family later migrated to San Diego, California, and then to Los Angeles with his brother, Scott, where Ruffalo took classes at the Stella Adler Conservatory and co-founded the Orpheus Theatre Company. Through the theatre company, he wrote, directed, and performed in many plays and served as a bartender for near to a decade.
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While in their late teens, Mark and his brother Scott, migrated to Los Angeles, where they got an apartment in a $600-a-month by MacArthur Park, sharing a full-size bed.
In some interviews, Mark remembered how he and his brother got by during those times while he auditioned as an actor and Scott just getting started as a hairstylist.
“He’d make a f–king giant bowl of tuna pasta, and we’d eat off that all week long,” he said. “The best of times, the worst of times.” — Mark told this how he and his brother got by early on into their professions.
No matter the circumstances, Mark and his brother always understood they had to make the best of every condition, no matter how critical and, like with the rest of their family, still had each other’s support.
Unexpected Tragedy of Mark Ruffalo Brother Death
The tragedy happened to Ruffalo and the family, of which some questions remain unanswered and no chance of ever getting answers. On December 1, 2008, Scott, a married man who was a hairdresser by profession, was discovered with a bullet in his head, and holding a gun in his left hand, at his Beverly Hills condominium and quickly rushed to a hospital. A week later he died at a medical center in Los Angeles when he was just 39 years old.
When paramedics noticed Scott Ruffalo unresponsive at his home on Dec. 1, 2008, it was not clear whether the gunshot scar was self-inflicted or if he had been assassinated. However, after one week when Scott passed away, the Los Angeles County coroner declared that he was murdered. Shaha Mishaal Adham, who was the eye witness when the gunfire happened, claimed Scott fired himself while playing Russian Roulette, according to the New York Daily News. Deputy medical examiner Juan Carrillo, however, reported the occurrence a killing.
“The injury appears inconsistent with the history provided by witnesses and further police investigation has failed to clear up these inconsistencies,” Carillo said (via LA Weekly). “Therefore the manner of death is homicide until proven otherwise.” Toxicology releases also showed that Scott had only discovered amounts of cocaine, alcohol, and morphine in his system, confirming he was not under the influence at the time.
Adham and her boyfriend, Brian Scofield, were considered persons of interest and turned themselves in a week after the firing, according to the Los Angeles Times. Both of whom were with Ruffalo at the time of the mishap happened, Shaha Adham, 26, a wealthy Saudi businesswoman, and her boyfriend, Brian B. Scofield, 29. The investigators identified Adham had been at Ruffalo’s because his home surveillance discovered her at his condominium.
Both she and Scofield were carried in for interrogation. Afterward, they were released but later booked on doubt of attempted murder before eventually being released again. As declared by one law enforcement source, “I know there was more than one set of prints on the gun. One was Ruffalo’s.”
According to Adham, who was a descendant of the Saudi royal family and the granddaughter of Sheikh Kamal Adham, Ruffalo was shot during a game of Russian Roulette, gone wrong.
As to what her version of events leading up to the shooting was, according to Adham’s lawyer, Ronald Richard, his client was there to pick up some keys when he (Ruffalo) chose to play a game of Russian Roulette. He further continued that the gun used in the shooting belonged to Ruffalo and that he was a known cocaine user with a record of using and playing with guns in front of witnesses. Indeed, Ruffalo did have one encounter with the law in April of 2002 where he was condemned of a felony charge for ownership of a controlled substance for sale. A second charge, ownership of a controlled narcotic substance, was removed.
That said, the Beverly Hills Police Department finally declared Ruffalo’s death a consequence of suicide by Russian Roulette, but then later backed off after the coroner’s statement came out proving that the angle of the entry of the bullet showed he could not possibly have shot himself particularly, it was to the back of his head. Consequently, they created the death as a homicide.
With no other evidence in the case, and the only two known witnesses to his death now “off the hook,” his death remains a mystery to this day, and since been closed by the Beverly Hills Police Department. Years later, Adham died of a clear drug excess in January of 2012, which did not get announced until the following month.
Ruffalo might have had his defects and vices, as we all do, he, defined as a well-known and well-liked guy was a prosperous hairdresser, who owned a license in cosmetology since 1991, set up his business in 2001, and who served at salons in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and the Giuseppe Franco Salon.
While it is unfortunate to discover that it seems that Ruffalo’s death may never get fully concluded, Mark and his family chose to carry on by keeping in remembrance the best memories of Scott. At the time of his brother’s passing, Mark was set to perform in Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg, a 2010 comedy-drama, but lost out to deal with his grief the film eventually rocked at the box office. After taking a hiatus, Mark returned to performing and went on to star as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the widely-famous film Marvel film, The Avengers and its sequels in the MCU.
In 2010, Mark Ruffalo talked to the New York Daily News that police had “barely budged on the investigation.” He added, “I can’t get any answer from them. It’s been a very frustrating experience.”
Mark Ruffalo’s Latest Performance Was Inspired by His Brother’s Death
Mark Ruffalo’s late brother Scott endures the actor’s biggest source of motivation, so when it came time to plan for his role in HBO’s I Know This Much Is True, in which Mark plays twins, it is no shock that Scott was at the center thought of his character growth. As the actor revealed the Daily Telegraph in May 2020, “I’m the type of actor that likes to draw on my experiences, and my brother will always be a big part of that. Scott’s in all this and in all of my work in some way or another.”
In the short series, Mark plays Dominick Birdsey and his schizophrenic twin Thomas. Although the assumption seems difficult for a world fighting the coronavirus pandemic, Mark believes the show’s center on the family will resonate with watchers because it “exposes all our vulnerabilities and our weaknesses.”
“A pandemic like this strips away all of the trappings and busyness of our lives and leaves us with what really is of value, and that’s family…” Mark described. “For me nothing’s more meaningful, more painful, more conflicted, more challenging, and more rewarding than the relationships that I’ve had with my own family members. And that’s particularly apropos for the moment we find ourselves in.”
Mark Ruffalo’s Tragic Real-Life Story
Mark Ruffalo has gained fame as one of Hollywood’s originally good guys. Whether he is showing up gentleman nature as hitchhikers, asking fans to join him on the sets of his movies, or campaigning for the various charities he is associated with, the Wisconsin native is as humble a movie star as you are likely to meet, but life has not always been as sweet and helpful to him as he is to others. In fact, given everything he’s been through.
By his graceful look, it might not reveal, but the friendly Avenger is now into his 50s, and his half-century on this earth has been the unquestioned rollercoaster ride. He is experiencing the climaxes right now, but, before performing Bruce Banner/the Hulk in Hollywood’s biggest franchise, he had to first encounter the lowest of lows, going through things that most of us would try to overcome. From crippling poverty and disease to several brushes with death, this is the tragic real-life story of Mark Ruffalo.
He Suffered from Anxiety
The three-time Academy Award candidate narrated the New York Daily News that he was ultimately able to stop carrying his anger on his sleeve after he understood that he had a lot to be grateful for, but he required some professional help to get it under control. After reaching a level where he was fighting to sleep because his brain wouldn’t “shut off” at night, an old friend suggested that him to try meditation, and it changed his life.
“I had a friend who had been a longtime drug addict,” Ruffalo said Rolling Stone. “He did the [meditation] program, and we hooked up again after a couple years … He had been the angriest man in the world, and he had such a calm demeanor. I had never seen a human being change that much.” The actor found out his own meditation teacher to see if it would help him in the same way, and the outcomes were extraordinary.
“It’s pretty much a daily practice that quiets your brain and oddly enough, actually slows down time, so you’re not so much trapped in your immediate reactions to things,” he described. “And everything changed. My work started to change, my luck started to change. The way the world looked to me changed.” The actor described the music mag that despite “all the crazy s*** going on in the world,” following meditation gave him an “enormous amount of hope” that everything was going to be okay.
Ruffalo had a Brain Tumor
Ruffalo’s huge break came at the turn of the millennium when he was named in the critically acclaimed drama You Can Count on Me, the success of which pointed to a role alongside the legendary Robert Redford in 2001’s The Last Castle. “It was big-time,” he told Men’s Journal. “There I was with one of my heroes, Robert Redford, doing this walk-and-talk. I’m like, ‘What the f*** am I doing here? This is my wildest dream come true!’… And then I found out I had my brain tumor.”
Amazingly, the actor identified a tumor before doctors confirmed it, having had an incredibly strong dream about it. He was all set to start working on M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs (2002) when he had the sign, and he went to the production’s doctor for advice. “Listen, I really had a scary dream last night and you’ll probably think I’m crazy but I think I have a brain tumor and I would really like to get it checked out,” he told her. She went “white as a sheet” when it turned out he was correct.
Ruffalo was told that he had a tumor the size of a golf ball behind his left ear understood as an acoustic neuroma and would need an operation to have it discarded as soon as possible. Surgeons notified him that there was an 80 percent probability he would lose his hearing and a 20 percent risk his facial nerves would be damaged forever.
Ruffalo has gone through so many mishaps in his life, undoubtedly the loss of his brother Scott was one of the greatest.
Ruffalo and Scott were always friendly, even as a friend. The pair went through some of their most difficult times together, forming a relationship that went more than a blood. Though the actor had been set to perform in Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg at the time, he chose to drop out of the indie flick to mourn then he was replaced by Ben Stiller.
Not for the first time in his career, missing a role because of a struggle that turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as when Ruffalo returned to the fold he got Academy recognition and a part in what would become the highest-grossing Hollywood franchise of all time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, all within the range of a few years. “My friends have a term, getting ‘Ruffaloed,'” he said In New York. “It’s when you have what seems to be bad luck that actually turns into good luck later.” Not that he would not improve things if he could.
“You always wonder, ‘What could I have done differently?‘” he said. “But there’s also the healthier part that says, ‘You integrate it, and you get on.’ You never get over it, you just get used to it. You get calloused, a little bit harder maybe, so be on guard for that. But take these tragic things and turn them into something meaningful and worthy of the loss. Make it count. From here on out, do the best you can to make it count.”
Scott Ruffalo may be gone from his life, but his remembrance exists through those who admired him most.