Minnie Driver has said becoming a mother made her want to find out more about the father she never knew.
The Riches actress' parents split up when she was six and her late father Ronnie was an enigma to her.
But Minnie - who had son Henry in 2008 - decided to explore her dad's background in BBC TV show Who Do You Think You Are?
She told the TV Times: "Henry made me want to connect with who I really am, I suppose. I think it's powerful to know where you come from."
Minnie learned that her father won a medal for bravery in World War II which he threw in the River Thames. Exploring her father's history further she discovered her father was just 18 when he survived 1939's Battle of Heligoland Bight, but his best friend in the RAF died in the battle. Her dad was hailed a hero, but the grief and pressure was too much for him and he spent time in a psychiatric ward.
Minnie said: "I know what it's like to be singled out when you've asked for it and to have a lot of media attention. When you haven't asked for it and you don't know what to do with it - I'm not surprised he ended up in hospital."
Ronnie met Henry, but died just 15 months after he was born.
Minnie, 43, said: "It would have been nice to talk to Dad about it all, but I'm glad I can fill in the blanks for Henry."