Teen stars pay tribute to John Hughes
He launched the careers of Molly Ringwald, Macauley Culkin and many others in a string of 1980s hit movies
John Hughes, the Hollywood writer and director who helped launch more teenage stars than probably any other filmmaker, has died of a heart attack at 59 while walking in New York City. He had spent the past decade in relative obscurity, but in the 1980s had so many hit teen films it was hard to keep up.
As a director, Hughes was responsible for Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Breakfast Club. As a writer, he created Home Alone, which made a worldwide star of Macauley Culkin, and Pretty in Pink, one of many star vehicles he provided for Molly Ringwald (pictured above with Hughes and Sixteen Candles co-star Mark Schoeffling).
Other actors whose careers he was instrumental in launching were the 'brat-packers' Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez and Anthony Michael Hall who all appeared with Ringwald and Ally Sheedy in the ensemble The Breakfast Club.
He also helped launch Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller's Day Off), John Cusack (Sixteen Candles), Lili Taylor (She's Having a Baby) and Steve Carell (Curly Sue).
Curly Sue, made in 1991, was the last film he directed, though he continued to write screenplays, often under the pseudonym Edmond Dantes, a character in the Alexandre Dumas novel, The Count of Monte Cristo. Credits included Maid in Manhattan and the Beethoven series - the dog not the composer.
Hughes's secret was to take the teen side. "Many filmmakers portray teenagers as immoral and ignorant, with pursuits that are pretty base," Hughes told the Chicago Tribune in a 1985 interview. "They seem to think that teenagers aren't very bright.
"But I haven't found that to be the case. I listen to kids. I respect them. I don't discount anything they have to say just because they're only 16 years old."
Hughes, who shunned publicity, withdrew from Hollywood in the early 1990s and became a farmer in northern Illinois, where he settled with his wife, Nancy, and their two children.
WHAT HIS FORMER TEENAGE STARS ARE SAYING:Macauley Culkin, star of Home Alone: "The world has lost not only a quintessential filmmaker whose influence will be felt for generations, but a great and decent man."
Molly Ringwald, star of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink: "He was and will always be such an important part of my life. He will be missed by me and by everyone that he has touched. My heart and all my thoughts are with his family now."
Matthew Broderick, star of Ferris Bueller's Day Off: "I am truly shocked and saddened by the news about my old friend John Hughes. He was a wonderful, very talented guy and my heart goes out to his family."
Bill Paxton, who played the bullying older brother Chet in Weird Science: "He took a tremendous chance on me. Like Orson Welles, he was a boy wonder, a director's director, a writer's writer, a filmmaker's filmmaker. He was one of the giants." ·