80’s teen star Molly Ringwald turns 51 today

Sixteen Candles star Molly Ringwald is still Pretty in Pink at 51

80’s teen star Molly Ringwald turns 51 today

Molly Ringwald was born on February 18, 1968, in Roseville, California. Ringwald began acting at an early age. She played the role of the dormouse in a stage performance of “Alice in Wonderland” at the age of five. The following year, she released “I Wanna be Loved by You,” a jazz album performed with her father and his band. Ringwald continued to perform throughout the 70s, playing the role of an orphan in a stage performance of “Annie,” as well as being a Mouseketeer on the Disney Channel’s The New Mickey Mouse Club. It wasn’t until Ringwald’s preteen years that her television and film career began to take shape. It began with a brief stint on “The Facts of Life” (1979), where the actress played a supporting role as Molly Parker, a girl dealing with the effects of her parents’ divorce. In 1982, she made her big-screen debut in a film version of the Shakespeare play, “The Tempest.” Her performance as Miranda Dimitrius resulted in a Golden Globe nomination‚ and helped get Ringwald noticed by legendary film director and producer, John Hughes. In 1984, Hughes cast Ringwald in the starring role for the coming of age film, “Sixteen Candles.” Ringwald played the endearingly awkward Samantha Baker, who struggles to cope with unrequited love and the fact her entire family has forgotten her 16th birthday. Her performance made her an instant cultural icon and earned the actress a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture. After Ringwald’s success, Hughes decided to cast her in his next film, “The Breakfast Club” (1985), a film about five high school students who bond through a Saturday detention. In 1986, Ringwald earned another leading role in the Hughes film, “Pretty in Pink.” As a “wrong side of the tracks” variety love story, Ringwald’s character Andie Walsh and love interest Blane McDonnagh (played by Andrew McCarthy) wrestle against socioeconomic disparities in their burgeoning relationship. In the end of the film, the couple comes to terms with their financial differences. The actress turned down Hughes’ offer of a leading role in his 1987 film, “Some Kind of Wonderful,” as well as leading roles in the blockbuster hits, “Pretty Woman” (1990) and “Ghost” (1990). In 1992, after a series of unsuccessful movies and television roles sans Hughes, Ringwald decided to leave the United States for Paris, France. Since returning to America, Ringwald has performed in several Broadway shows such as “Cabaret,” “Enchanted April,” and “Lilly Dale”, as well as making numerous guest appearances in television shows and movies including a brief role in the spoof, “Not Another Teen Movie” (2002). The role earned her an MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Cameo. Currently, Ringwald stars in the ABC television drama, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” where she plays the mother of a pregnant teen.

Watch Molly Ringwald the 1984 trailer for “Sixteen Candles”

By Ken Warren, 2018

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