Mark William Calaway (born March 24, 1965), better known by his ring name The Undertaker, is an American professional wrestler and actor. He is currently signed to WWE, where he has worked since 1990, making him the company’s longest-tenured in-ring performer.
Calaway began his wrestling career with World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) in 1984. After wrestling for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as “Mean” Mark Callous from 1989 to 1990, he signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) in 1990. As The Undertaker, his gimmick is a horror-themed, dynamically dark, macabre entity who employs scare tactics and holds links to the supernatural. He won the Wrestling Observer Newsletter best gimmick award a record five times (more times than any other professional wrestler), all of which he won continuously. The Undertaker is the storyline half-brother of fellow WWE wrestler Kane, with whom he has alternately feuded and teamed with as The Brothers of Destruction. Since unseating Hulk Hogan as WWF Champion in 1991, The Undertaker has been involved in numerous pivotal storylines within WWE history.
The Undertaker is well known for The Streak, an unprecedented run of 21 straight victories at WWE’s leading pay-per-view (PPV), WrestleMania (including main event bouts at WrestleMania 13, WrestleMania XXIV, and WrestleMania XXVI); he sustained his first loss at WrestleMania XXX to Brock Lesnar. He was also winner of the 2007 Royal Rumble. Among other championship accolades, Calaway is an eight-time world champion, having held the WWF/E Championship four times, the World Heavyweight Championship three times and the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship once. He has cultivated a legacy within pro wrestling, being highly regarded by fellow veteran WWE personnel and fans alike as he is considered to be one of the best professional wrestlers of all time.
Calaway was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Frank Compton Calaway (died July 22, 2003) and Betty Catherine Truby. He has four older brothers: David, Michael, Paul, and Timothy. He is of Irish and Native American descent. He graduated from Waltrip High School in 1983, where he was a member of the basketball team. He also played college basketball at Texas Wesleyan University during the 1985–1986 season.
Calaway married his first wife, Jodi Lynn, in 1989. They had a son, Gunner Vincent (born 1993). The marriage ended in 1999. Calaway married his second wife, Sara, in St. Petersburg, Florida on July 21, 2000. In 2001, Sara made televised appearances with the WWE (then known as the WWF) as part of a feud between Calaway and Diamond Dallas Page, in which she was acknowledged as being Calaway’s wife. The couple had two daughters together: Chasey (born November 21, 2002) and Gracie (born May 15, 2005). In 2007, he and Sara were divorced, and he became romantically linked to former wrestler Michelle McCool, whom he married on June 26, 2010 in Houston, Texas. On August 1, 2012, it was announced that they were expecting the couple’s first child. Kaia Faith Calaway was born on August 29, 2012.
Calaway invests in real estate with business partner Scott Everhart. Calaway and Everhart finished construction on a $2.7m building in Loveland, Colorado, called “The Calahart” (a portmanteau of their last names). Calaway and his ex-wife Sara established The Zeus Compton Calaway Save the Animals fund at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences to help pay for lifesaving treatments for large-breed dogs.
According to Kurt Angle’s book, (It’s true, It’s true!) Calaway was once involved in a backstage fight with Kurt Angle. On a previous date before the fight, Vince McMahon once jokingly took Angle down and constantly bragged about being the only person in WWE to take down Angle. A few months later, when both Vince and Angle were on the plane, the latter took Vince McMahon down. For the rest of the duration of the flight, McMahon also constantly tried to take Angle down in retaliation, however, one of their friendly scuffles woke up Calaway, who was sleeping. Calaway then immediately locked in a chokehold on Angle and managed to choke him out. However, once he realised what was actually going on he apologised to Angle, and Angle never retaliated since he respected Calaway’s loyalty to Vince.
Calaway was once also involved in a backstage controversy with Shawn Michaels. Calaway had threatened Michaels that he would get beat up by Calaway if he didn’t put Stone Cold Steve Austin over cleanly, in their match at Wrestlemania XIV. Following the threat, Michaels did lose cleanly to Austin.
In addition, according to a blog by Dutch Mantel, Calaway was also the subject of a bar fight when he knocked a man out cold with one blow.