‘Blue Bloods’: Donnie Wahlberg Worked with a ‘Happy Days’ Legend on a 1990s Thriller

by Madison Miller

Before he was solving crime as Detective Danny Reagan in a law enforcement family on “Blue Bloods,” Donnie Wahlberg was working his way through Hollywood.

Wahlberg has had his role on “Blue Bloods” since 2010. Before that, he was famous for his widely popular boy band called New Kids on the Block that he’s the founding member of.

Donnie Wahlberg in Ron Howard Film

Eventually, Wahlberg got started in the acting industry as well.

According to IMDb, his very first film role was in”Bullet” alongside Mickey Rourke and Tupac Shakur in 1996. His second role would allow him to work alongside an iconic sitcom legend, Ron Howard.

The movie is called “Ransom” and was released in 1996. The film is a crime thriller starring Mel Gibson, Gary Sinise, Rene Russo, and Brawley Nolte. In the film, Wahlberg landed a role as Cubby Barnes, a kidnapper. Mel Gibson was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion picture at the Golden Globes in 1997 for his role in the film.

Ron Howard is most known for his roles as a child actor. Fans likely recognize him for his iconic role as Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show” when he was just a kid. However, he moved on to star in several other productions as an adult. One of which was the very popular ’70s sitcom, “Happy Days,” where he played Richie Cunningham. He would subsequently become a household name.

Ron Howard Directing Career

However, Howard really found his most recent passion in the directing world. Howard has also produced, as well as written, a variety of TV shows and movies. He has been the man behind films like “Night Shift,” “Splash,” “Cocoon,” “Willow,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Apollo 13,” “Cinderella Man,” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

Ron Howard’s films are widely popular. He’s transitioned between comedies, fantasies, dramas, historical docudramas, sports films, adventure movies, children’s fantasy, and documentary films. Howard has proven his extreme worth as a director on set. His first experience with a thriller is something that still stands out to him.

“That was a very intense experience. I had never done a thriller like that and I was exploring as a director. Of course, it was something that was very emotional for all of us who are father, Mel and I, because its a story of a child being kidnapped … I think the emotions ran deep in actually telling the story and I think that resonated for audiences as well,” Howard said in a 2018 interview with Access.

As for Donnie Wahlberg, it wasn’t his last foray into horror, thrillers, or dramas. He also has a role in the popular 1999 film “The Sixth Sense” with Bruce Willis. His other roles would include “Band of Brothers,” “Dreamcatcher,” “Saw II,” and “Annapolis.”

From kidnapper to detective, Donnie Wahlberg has made the rounds.