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Brett Shai Ratner

Current Location:: Beverly Hills, CA, United States
Birthplace: Miami, FL, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Ronald Michael Ratner and Marsha Ratner-Pratts
Half brother of Private and Private

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Brett Ratner

Brett Ratner (born March 28, 1969) is an American director and producer. He directed the Rush Hour film series, The Family Man, Red Dragon, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Tower Heist. He was also a producer of the films Black Mass, The Revenant, War Dogs, The Lego Ninjago Movie, and the Horrible Bosses series.

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Ratner grew up in Miami Beach, the only child of a famous Jewish socialite mother. He attended Miami Beach Senior High and was President of the Leo Club in 1986. He was also a member of the "fraternity" Royal Palm. He attended NYU film school currently lives in a $3.6 M house in Beverly Hills. Ratner is also a good friend of Def Jam mogul Russell Simmons, and has directed music videos for many rap stars.

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“I had this birthday party for my grandmother, and Salma Hayek shows up, Penelope Cruz shows up,Sofia Vergara shows up. My grandparents are living the life.” Says Ratner, who keeps the house on Sheridan Avenue where he grew up and stays there when he’s in town.Back in Hollywood, Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan and that crew are so enamored of Grandma they come around to visit and take her shopping. “The girls love my grandmother,” Ratner says. “She’s a character. You know, she’s Cuban. They don’t know other Cuban people in LA.” But doesn’t he have to keep things sort of clean with his grandparents, who are in their 80s also in the house? And isn’t that sort of a drag?

“It’s OK. I’ve never done drugs, and I’ve never had alcohol. Never tasted it. No interest. We’re Cuban and Jewish. And whether you’re Cuban or Jewish, it’s all the same. You’re gonna be close to your family.” Says Ratner, whose mom Marsha Pratts lives “between Miami and New York.”

Maybe it’s that good-Jewish-boy thing that compelled Ratner to hop a flight from the Paris filming of Rush Hour 3 to visit his high-school drama teacher Jay Jensen in the hospital shortly before he died of cancer in February. “He was important to me. He was amazing. Totally inspiring.”

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Ratner was born in Miami Beach, Florida. His mother, Marcia Presman, was the daughter of Eastern European Jews who lived in Cuba before moving to Florida in the 1960s.His father was Ronny Ratner, the son of a wealthy Miami businessman. Ratner's parents married when he was in his senior year of high school, and his father died in 2006.

Ratner attended high school in Israel and is a 1990 graduate of New York University. He cites the 1980 film "Raging Bull" as his inspiration to enter the world of film.

The only child to Jewish parents in Miami, FL, Brett Ratner was accepted to N.Y.U. at the age of 16. Attending the Tisch School for the Arts, he received funding from Steven_Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment for his senior project Whatever Happened to Mason Reese, a documentary about a child star. After forming a friendship with Def Jam producer Russell_Simmons, Ratner began directing music videos for stars such as Jay-Z, Mariah_Carey, and Madonna. It was Simmons who helped him get his first big break, directing Money_Talks with Chris_Tucker and Charlie Sheen. Ratner worked with Tucker again for his sophomore effort, Rush_Hour, a Jackie_Chan comedy that broke box-office records for New Line Cinema. A brief departure into romantic comedy with The_Family_Man was not very well received, but the wild success of Rush_Hour_2 brought him back into the limelight, and he soon landed the director's chair for The Silence of the Lambs prequel Red_Dragon.

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Ratner grew up on Miami Beach, where, beginning in preschool, he attended RASG Hebrew Academy until he was expelled in the eighth grade for touching a female classmate. He proudly claims he was kicked out for "negiyah." During his youth, Ratner's young mother was more like a sister to him, while his Cuban Jewish maternal grandparents, Mario and Fanita Pressman, raised him. Since Ratner didn't meet his biological father until he was 16, he called high-powered Miami attorney Al Malnik (a multimillionaire entrepreneur best known for having represented mobster Meyer Lansky) his father. Malnik had a formidable influence on Ratner: "If I wasn't a director, I'd definitely be a gangster. I'd have to use my street smarts. But with gangsters, money is their God, and I don't know if I would kill people," Ratner said.

The well-known story that follows is: After sweet-talking his way onto the "Scarface" set, Ratner dropped out of high school to attend NYU film school, where he was initially rejected for poor grades but eventually managed to charm the dean, who admitted him. Desperate for cash to finish his student film, he sent request letters to many Hollywood directors but only one responded -- Steven Spielberg, with a check for $1,000.

"I always knew he would be famous," his mother, Marsha Ratner-Pratts, tells me, gleaming.

...Ratner probably knows himself better than we think.

"I never thought about being rich, having a big house -- all I thought about was making movies. The cars -- all this s---, all this s--- can go. If I can still make movies, I don't give a s---, all this s---, all my books, all my art, I don't care. I just have it because it's the benefit of being successful."

"If you're in it for the wrong reasons," he added. "You won't last."


How Brett got into film-making:

My mom had me when she was 16, and I was an only child, which is probably why I received a lot of love and didn't miss that my father wasn't around. My father, on the other hand, grew up in an upper-class Jewish home. I finally met him on my 16th birthday when he accidentally bumped into my mom. He was an older, much better-looking version of me. He was charming, smart and had a kind spirit. I told him of my dream since I was 8 to be a filmmaker, and he was there the day I got into NYU film school. He loved movies, and that became our bond, so we went to see films whenever he came around.

One day, I asked him if I could make a short film with him playing himself. It was my first pitch, a story about a father coming to see his son after abandoning him and his mother … and how difficult it was for him to see his son after missing the first 16 years of his life. He said yes, and I cherish that film to this day.

Brett Ratner (born March 28, 1969) is an American film director, film producer, and music video director. He is known for directing the Rush Hour film series, The Family Man, Red Dragon, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Tower Heist. He was also a producer on the Fox drama series, Prison Break, as well as the black comedy Horrible Bosses and its upcoming sequel.


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Brett Ratner's Timeline

March 28, 1969
Miami, FL, United States