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Brett Ratner's homeless dad prompts him to aid Los Angeles charity

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Oct 27, 2013 | 2:30pm EDT

Moviemaker Brett Ratner felt compelled to help Los Angeles charity Chrysalis after learning his own father was a disgraced homeless man who felt too much shame to contact his son. The director stumbled upon his dad, Ronald Ratner, in his late teens when his then-girlfriend, actress Rebecca Gayheart, recognised a homeless man from family photos. The son of a multimillionaire, Ronald's family never approved of his romance with Brett's mother and they split shortly after the Rush Hour director was born. He rarely saw his dad growing up, learning he had succumbed to drug abuse and other issues. Recalling his meeting with his dad on the streets of Miami, Ratner tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I said, 'Where are you living?' He said, 'Oh, I don't have a place to live.' And I got him a hotel." Once he made his own fortune in films, Brett became a fervent advocate of his local homeless charity in Los Angeles. He adds, "What was poignant for me and what moved me so much was that these people, because they were ashamed, they never called their kids, they never contacted them, they never reached out. And I was one of those kids." The filmmaker's father died in 2006, aged 62.

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