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Mark Ruffalo shocked fans everywhere when he revealed that doctors found a brain tumor in his head during the early years of his acting career. The Marvel Cinematic Universe star — who is known for his character, Bruce Banner a.k.a. the Hulk — recently opened up on the “Smartless” podcast about the moment he told his wife, Sunrise, that he had a tumor right after she gave birth to their first child, son Keen, in 2001.
“When I told Sunny about it, at first she thought I was joking, and then she just burst into tears and said, ‘I always knew you were gonna die young,’” Mark said, before adding that he had to meet a neurologist about a “week after the baby” was born and decided to tell Sunrise “the night before” his appointment.
Keep reading for updates on Mark’s health and what happened after doctors discovered a tumor “the size of a golf ball.”
Does Mark Ruffalo Have Brain Cancer?
As it turns out, Mark fortunately does not have brain cancer since it was a benign tumor. However, doctors still rushed to remove the mass, and the Poor Things actor described the aftermath of the procedure during his 2024 “Smartless” podcast interview.
“The nurse calls the doctor up, I could hear them talking in the other room,” Mark began while recalling the moment he found out he had a tumor. “She comes in, she’s kinda like a zombie and she says, ‘You have a mass behind your left ear the size of a golf ball, and we don’t know what it is. We can’t tell until it’s biopsied.’”
He was then diagnosed with a benign vestibular schwannoma. Oddly enough, Mark remembered having an“intense” dream that told him he was living with a brain tumor before he was even diagnosed with one.
“I woke up probably around 3 a.m., and I just had this crazy dream, and it wasn’t like any other dream I ever had,” the Avengers: Endgame star said. “It was just like, you have a brain tumor, and it wasn’t even a voice, it was just pure knowledge –– you have a brain tumor, and you have to deal with it immediately.”
How Is Mark Ruffalo Doing Today?
Following his operation, Mark was left “completely deaf in one ear, and when I woke up, the left side of my face was totally paralyzed.” He then added, “I couldn’t even close my eye. I was talking out the side of my mouth.”
Although the facial paralysis subsided one year later, Mark lives with hearing loss to this day. However, he made light of the situation by joking, “Take my hearing, but let me keep the face and just let me be the father to these kids.”
Today, Mark’s health appears to be in good standing now that the being tumor was removed from him.