It’s no surprise that celebrities have been committing cri*mes and (mostly) getting away with it since the dawn of Hollywood. Whether it be from mur*der, hate cri*me hoaxes or college admissions scandals, it can sometimes be hard to remember that they, like us regular folk, can also suffer from a tragedy and be left with unanswered questions.
Mark Ruffalo was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin to Marie Rose (née Hébert), a hairdresser and stylist and Frank Lawrence Ruffalo, who worked 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 attended both Catholic and progressive schools through his education and had described himself as a “happy kid” during those years, despite struggling with undiagnosed dyslexia and ADD both as a child and a young adult. Having spent his teen years in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where his father worked; Mark competed in wrestling in junior high and high school in both Wisconsin and Virginia. Ruffalo first got into acting when he acted for the Patriot Playhouse taught by Nancy P. Curtis, from where he graduated from First Colonial High School. His family later moved 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 starred in many plays and worked as a bartender for close to a decade.
While in their late teens, Mark and his brother Scott, moved to Los Angeles, where they scraped by in a $600-a-month apartment by MacArthur Park, sharing a full-size bed.
At one point, Mark recalled how he and his brother got by during those times while he auditioned for roles and Scott just getting started as a hairdresser.
“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 on how he and his brother got by early on into their careers.
No matter the situation, Mark and his brother always knew had to make the best of every situation, no matter how bad and, like with the rest of their family, still had each other’s back
However, tragedy eventually befell Ruffalo and the family, of which unanswered questions remain and are unlikely ever to get answers. On December 1, 2008, Scott, a married hairdresser, was found with a shot to his head, and a gun in his left hand, at his Beverly Hills condominium and immediately rushed to a hospital. A week later he di*ed. He was 39.
The investigation into his d*eath led police to two “persons of interest,” both of whom were with Ruffalo at the time of the shooting, Shaha Adham, 26, a wealthy Saudi businesswoman, and her boyfriend, Brian B. Scofield, 29. The detectives knew Adham had been at Ruffalo’s because his home surveillance caught her at his condominium.
Both she and Scofield were taken in for questioning. Afterward, they were released but later booked on suspicion of attempted mu*rder before ultimately being released again. As stated 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, 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) decided to play a game of Russian Roulette. He further added that the gun used in the shooting belonged to Ruffalo and that he was a known cocaine user with a history of using and playing with firearms in front of witnesses. Indeed, Ruffalo did have one brush with the law in April of 2002 where he was convicted of a felony charge for possession of a controlled substance for sale. A second charge, possession of a controlled narcotic substance, was dismissed.
That said, the Beverly Hills Police Department eventually proclaimed Ruffalo’s de*ath a result of suicide by Russian Roulette, but then later backtracked after the coroner’s report came out showing that the angle of the entry of the bullet proved he could not possibly have shot himself (specifically, it was to the back of his head). Consequently, they relabeled the de*ath as a homicide.
With no other leads in the case, and the only two known witnesses to his de*ath now “off the hook,” his de*ath remains unsolved to this day, and since been closed by the Beverly Hills Police Department. Years later, Adham di*ed of an apparent drug overdose in January of 2012, which did not get reported until the following month.
Ruffalo might have had his flaws and vices, as we all do, he, described as a well-known and well-liked guy, was a successful hairdresser, who held a license in cosmetology since 1991, set up his corporation in 2001 — Ruff Inc. — and who worked at salons in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and the Giuseppe Franco Salon in the latter location.
While it is sad to think that it appears that Ruffalo’s de*ath may never get fully resolved, Mark and his family decided to carry on by keeping in mind the best memories of Scott. At the time of his brother’s passing, Mark was set to star in Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg, a 2010 comedy-drama, but dropped out to deal with his grief (the film ultimately bombed at the box office). After taking a hiatus, Mark returned to acting and went on to star as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the widely-successful film Marvel film, The Avengers and its sequels in the MCU.
Scott Ruffalo may be gone, but his memory lives on through those who loved him most.