Guest Author - Lorna London
He was the one who pioneered teen cult classics, the one who wrote, produced, and directed timeless films that are watched over and over again, the one who re-invigorated cinema with colourful characters and relatable plots. John Hughes, American film director, producer, and writer died on August 6, 2009 while taking a walk in Manhattan, New York.
Born February 18, 1950, Hughes made some of the most commercially successful films in the 1980s and 1990s, including Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Some Kind of Wonderful.
He was born in Lansing, Michigan and grew up in Illinois, met Nancy Ludwig in high school who became his wife in 1970 until his death. Together, they had two sons: John Hughes III born in 1976 and James Hughes born in 1979.
In his early career, Hughes wrote comedy and sold jokes to well-known performers like Rodney Dangerfield. He later began writing for National Lampoon Magazine, refining his storytelling, especially that of teenage life.
His 1983 screenplay, National Lampoon Vacation marked the beginning of his successful film career. His directorial debut, Sixteen Candles was an enormous hit, making stars of Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall who also starred together in another Hughes film, The Breakfast Club.
To be a more versatile filmmaker, Hughes branched out from teen flicks and directed other films such as Planes, Trains and Automobiles starring John Candy and Steve Martin. He later wrote and produced Home Alone and its sequel, enjoying its immense commercial success.
In 1994, only a few years after the Home Alone movies, Hughes wanted to step out of the public eye and retreated to Wisconsin, where he hardly talked to media or gave interviews. Later in life, he resided in Illinois where he became a farmer.
John Hughes' great accomplishments, memorable characters, and powerful storytelling have impacted the film industry and audiences worldwide.
Molly Ringwald, an actress who credits Hughes in having a huge role in her success, stated, "I was stunned and incredibly sad to hear about the death of John Hughes. He was and will always be such an important part of my life."
Matthew Broderick, star of Ferris Bueller's Day Off said, "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."
John Hughes was a true visionary, leaving behind classics that will be cherished forever. And somehow, he was quite modest and refreshingly honest. "I stumbled into this business," Hughes said. "I didn't train for it. I yelled "Action!" on my first two movies before the camera was turned on."