Mark Ruffalo Found Out He Had a Brain Tumor After Having a Crazy Dream

Mark Ruffalo poses during a photo call for Thor: Ragnarok on October 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images for Disney

Actor Mark Ruffalo is opening up about an extremely stressful time in his life. Over twenty years ago, he and his wife Sunrise Coigney were expecting their first child. He was also wrapping up filming The Last Castle with Robert Redford and James Gandolfini. Things were very exciting until he had a scary dream that ended up changing his life forever. He said he woke up from a “crazy dream” that was unlike any other dream he had ever had.

Ruffalo explained, “It was just like, ‘You have a brain tumor.’ It wasn’t even a voice. It was just pure knowledge: ‘You have a brain tumor, and you have to deal with it immediately.’” He decided to get it checked out since he had an ear infection anyway. The doctor sent him to get a scan and that is when things got real.

The Last Castle Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, director Rod Lurie on the set, 2001

Everett Collection

He continued, “The nurse calls the doctor out, and I could hear them talking in the other room, and she just comes in, and she’s 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.’” Unfortunately, his wife was just about to give birth so he decided to wait to tell her the bad news until after the birth of their son, Keen.

Ruffalo eventually told his wife because he had to go to the neurologist to figure out the next steps. The tumor was benign but still had to be removed. Unfortunately with that kind of surgery comes great risks and Ruffalo ended up being completely deaf in one ear. At first, he also had facial paralysis on his left side but that resolved within a year.

Actors Sunrise Coigney (L) and Mark Ruffalo attend the 5th Annual Sean Penn & Friends HELP HAITI HOME Gala Benefiting J/P Haitian Relief Organization at Montage Hotel on January 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for J/P HRO

He added, “Take my hearing, but let me keep the face and just let me be the father to these kids.” They now have three children, Keen, Bella, and Odette, who are all teens. Ruffalo was recently praised for his newest film Poor Things, also starring Emma Stone.

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