Molly Ringwald Biography

Actress, Theater Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress, Film Actress, Television Actress(1968–)
Molly Ringwald is an American actress known for the series of teen films she did with directer John Hughes in the 1980s, including Sixteen Candles.

Synopsis

Molly Ringwald was born on February 18, 1968, in Roseville, California. She was a Mouseketeer on The New Mickey Mouse Club and, in 1984, director John Hughes cast her in Sixteen Candles. The film was a huge success and Hughes followed up with two more teen films featuring her. In recent years she's played in "Cabaret" and "Enchanted April" on Broadway, as well as in numerous television roles.

Early Life

Actress. Born Molly Kathleen Ringwald on February 18, 1968, in Roseville, California, to parents Adele and Bob Ringwald. Adele worked as a pastry chef while Bob, a blind jazz musician, served as the frontman and banjo player for the Great Pacific Jazz Band. Molly was the youngest of three sisters.

Inheriting a familial love for entertainment, 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.

Breakthrough Role

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. The movie was another instant success, opening at the No. 3 position at the box office, grossing more than $5 million its first weekend.

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.

In Hughes' original script, Ringwald's character ends up with her best friend, Duckie (played by Jon Cryer), but producers worried that the ending might come across as elitist. Ringwald also objected to scripted ending, stating that she felt no chemistry with Cryer. The actress won out in the end, but some sources note that Ringwald's outspoken criticism of the script marked a decline in Ringwald's film career.

Move to France

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.

For several years Ringwald worked on French language films and theatre productions. During this time, Ringwald met French writer Valery Lameignvère. The couple married on July 28, 1999. Their relationship was short-lived, however, and they divorced in 2002 after only three years of marriage.

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.

Ringwald is now married to writer Panio Gianopoulos. They have one daughter, Mathilda Ereni, and twins, Adele Georgiana and Roman Stylianos.

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