The Tragedy That Once Left Mark Ruffalo Partially Deaf And Temporarily Paralyzed

The timing of Mark Ruffalo’s brain tumor diagnosis was particularly inauspicious, as his surgery was scheduled just weeks after his wife, Sunrise Coigney, had given birth to their first child. He withheld his medical issue until a week had elapsed after the delivery of their son, Keen. “When I told Sunny about it, first she thought I was joking. And then she just burst into tears and said, ‘I always knew you were gonna die young,'” Ruffalo said on the SmartLess podcast.

Together, the couple planned his treatment and then saw the actor through it. He and Coigney had two more children since his surgery, and he’s had no major health issues of note. Still, he joked on SmartLess about his past diagnosis. “Take my hearing, but let me keep the face and just let me be the father to these kids,”¬†Ruffalo quipped.

The diagnosis also put his career in difficult straits. On the upswing after the release of “You Can Count on Me,” he had to take time off to recover from his surgery. The actor told New York Magazine that his facial paralysis had him working overtime to keep a part in an M. Night Shyamalan movie, only for his doctors to bar him from acting.

Fortunately for Ruffalo, everything worked out well in the end. In the years that followed, he entered into the superhero pantheon forever by snagging the role of Bruce Banner/The Hulk, though he did¬†find out he was cast in the “Avengers” in a rather weird way.

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