Childhood & Early Life
Devin Ratray was born on January 11, 1977, in New York City, to Peter Ratray and Ann Willis. Both his parents were small-time actors in Hollywood and had appeared together in the film ‘Train Ride to Hollywood.’ After getting an early break in the industry, Devin became interested in acting quite early in his childhood.
While he starred in several films during his childhood years, he also continued his education simultaneously. In 1994, he graduated from New York’s famous ‘Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.’ While in school, he focused on his acting, singing, and writing abilities. One of his classmates during his school years was actor Jose Soto.
Although he bagged steady work in films, he took a break from acting for a while and got enrolled at ‘New York University’ and the ‘School of Visual Arts,’ in order to concentrate on all other aspects of filmmaking. This also had a profound effect on his psyche, as he came out of the university with slightly different sensibilities as an artist.
He was attracted to independent films and did a few of them soon after completing film school. However, most of them remained unreleased, and all Devin’s hard work that he put in promoting those films turned out to be a total waste. Devin’s mind changed once again, and he focused more on his career as an actor in mainstream Hollywood films.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
Owing to his parents’ influence, Devin ventured into screen acting quite early. He made his screen debut at the age of 9, with the film ‘Where Are the Children?,’ in 1986. He had a small role in the film, and his performance went practically unnoticed.
He then starred in the film ‘If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium’ in 1987, which was a comedy film that featured guest appearances from several famous Hollywood actors. It received a straight-to-TV release and was a moderate success.
In 1988, Devin starred in two small-budget films titled ‘Zits’ and ‘The River Pirates’ and played minor roles in them. He was part of the 1989 black comedy ‘Little Monsters.’ Devin played the role of a bully in the film. It was a major commercial disaster. The same year, he appeared in a small supporting role in the film ‘Worth Winning.’
Devin had the first major breakthrough of his career in 1990, when he starred in the Christmas comedy film ‘Home Alone.’ The film that has become a cult classic tells the story of a young mischievous boy tackling two petty criminals who try to enter his house, as he is mistakenly left alone at home by his parents. The film was a huge international success, both critically and commercially. Devin played the role of ‘Buzz McCallister,’ the bully older brother of the central character, ‘Kevin McCallister,’ played by Macaulay Culkin.
In 1991, Devin appeared in the TV film ‘Perfect Harmony’ and portrayed the character of ‘Shelby.’ It was assumed that after the success of ‘Home Alone,’ he would receive better offers, but things did not go that way at all.
In 1992, Devin reprised his role of ‘Buzz’ in the sequel to ‘Home Alone’ titled ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.’ The film was almost as successful as its prequel. Devin then appeared in the film ‘Dennis the Menace,’ before embarking on a brief hiatus from films to focus on his studies.
In 1997, he made a comeback with the film ‘Strong Island Boys,’ in which he appeared as ‘Cal,’ before he took another hiatus of a few years.
In 2001, he appeared in a short film titled ‘The Bill.’ Following this, he appeared in a feature film titled ‘The Prince and Me’ in 2004, in which he played ‘Scotty,’ a small role. Devin’s career did not pick up the pace that he had expected, and he was just playing small roles in low-budget films.
In 2006, he played the role of an unnamed hospital assistant in the film ‘Slippery Slope.’ The next year, he appeared in a film titled ‘Serial.’ In 2007, he appeared in an independent film titled ‘The Cake Eaters.’ The film was featured at many international independent film festivals and was critically lauded after its mainstream release.
In 2009, Devin appeared in small, supporting roles in five films, namely, ‘The 2 Bobs,’ ‘The Winning Season,’ ‘Surrogates,’ ‘The Flying Scissors,’ and ‘Breaking Point.’
In 2011, he turned to TV and played the role of ‘Joe Bannon’ in a TV film titled ‘Odd Jobs.’ It was a small role. The same year, he appeared in the supporting role of ‘Martin Gosling’ in the film ‘Elevator.’ He then made a guest appearance in an episode of ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ titled ‘Possessed.’
In 2013, Devin achieved big success with the release of his film ‘Blue Ruin.’ The film featured him as ‘Ben Gaffney,’ the second lead. Directed by Jeremy Saulnier, the film premiered at the ‘Cannes Film Festival’ and was appreciated by both audiences and critics. The film was also featured at many film festivals and won many awards. Upon its theatrical release, too, the film received a fairly good response.
Following this, Devin appeared in the film ‘Nebraska,’ which was yet another major critical and commercial success.
More recently, Devin has shifted his focus and has begun to concentrate on TV series. In 2015, he appeared in the series ‘Elementary,’ ‘Louie,’ and ‘Agent Carter.’ He was also seen playing the role of ‘Tommy Burke’ in the 2018 series ‘Chicago Med.’
Devin is also the vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter for his band, ‘Little Bill and the Beckleys.’ The band is not too active but performs at different venues in and around New York from time to time.