Date of Birth: March 28, 1969
Native to the shores of Miami Beach, Ratner filmed different scenarios with
a camcorder as a boy. His friends would play hustlers, gangsters and pimps.
At age 16, his talents were quickly acknowledged after being enrolled in New
York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, becoming the
department's youngest film major.
While attending university, he became acquainted with Russell Simmons,
who had just formed Def Jam Records. Simmons became Ratner's mentor, and
hired the aspiring director to helm his first music video for the rap group,
Public Enemy. For the next few years, Ratner would direct videos for
artists such as Mariah Carey, Madonna, Dru Hill, Heavy D, D'Angelo and Foxy
Brown & Jay-Z.
He has been honored with an MTV music award nomination, as well as an NAACP
award for Best Director. He has also won a variety of awards for his short
films, PSAs and commercial work.
This experience led Ratner to form his own record company in 1997, Rat
Records, which would handle soundtracks for all the director's future film
Ratner made his feature film debut in 1997 with the film Money Talks,
starring Chris Tucker, Charlie Sheen and Heather Locklear. This light-paced
comedy was soon followed by Rush Hour (1998), starring Jackie Chan and Chris
Tucker. Following the success of Rush Hour, Ratner decided to take on a
drama, The Family Man (2000), with Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni, before
taking on a Rush Hour sequel in which he worked once again with Chan and Tucker. In 2002, he directed Red Dragon, which was nominated for Best Film at Spain's Catalonian Film Festival.
He took over as director on the blockbuster X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) when Bryan Singer, who'd directed the first two, dropped out to helm Superman Returns (2006).
Ratner was engaged to actress Rebecca Gayheart in 1997 but the engagement fell through and he has since dated tennis champ Serena Williams.