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Mark Wahlberg launches nutrition products

| Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, 9:20 p.m.
Joe Fortunato, Mark Wahlberg and Tom Dowd during MARKED - A benefit concert with Three Doors Down and hosted by Mark Wahlberg and GNC at Stage AE on Tuesday, September 20, 1012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Three Doors Down guitarist Chet Roberts perform during MARKED - A benefit concert with Three Doors Down and hosted by Mark Wahlberg and GNC at Stage AE on Tuesday, September 20, 1012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review

It's unlikely that actor-producer Mark Wahlberg will ever be able to escape his past life as the Icon of Abs, an appropriate moniker derived from those infamous Calvin Klein underwear billboards that graced our world in the early 1990s, when he was better known as the face of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. On Thursday, however, his body of work became available to the masses with the official launch of MARKED, a line of science-based performance nutrition products developed in partnership with GNC that was kicked off with a benefit concert at Stage AE featuring rockers3 Doors Down.

“This isn't just something I'm throwing out there. ... It's something I'm very passionate about,” he said on the red carpet as a line of 1,900 ticket-holders snaked its way around the venue.

“We met in New York and started talking. ... He was interested in doing something, and his passion was off the charts immediately,” shared GNC CEO Joe Fortunato. “We've been working on this for two-and-a-half years. He expressed a strong passion to help people live a better life.”

“Mark shamed me into losing fifty pounds,” quipped executive VP Tom Dowd. “He really is one of those folks who wants to have a positive impact on people beyond the movies.”

The one-time-only concert benefited the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and Pressley Ridge.

— K.B.

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