Chances are, when you look back at your favorite ‘80s film, it was likely written, directed, or produced by John Hughes. He has created some of the biggest classics in teen dramas and comedies, that have changed the way we view our high school years, and created huge stars in the process. Let’s find out what happened to the likes of Molly Ringwald and Macaulay Culkin to name a few.
Kevin in Home Alone (Macaulay Culkin)
Who can forget actor Macaulay Culkin’s memorable performance as the young Kevin in Home Alone? When Kevin’s family forgets him at home before take off on vacation, he is forced to manage on his own. When a group of thieves attempt to break in and rob his family’s home blind, Kevin uses his wit and humor to torture the bandits and the results are hilarious. Always will be a Christmas classic.
For years after his star-making performance in Home Alone, Culkin was Hollywood’s go-to young actor to play wiser-than-his-years characters. He appeared in the romantic drama My Girl, the family comedy Richie Rich, and the anticipated sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. He took some time off in 2004. Culkin is back and will star with girlfriend Brenda Song in the upcoming Seth Green-directed comedy Changeland.
Tia Russell in Uncle Buck (Jean Louisa Kelly)
15-year-old Tia isn’t exactly the biggest fan of Uncle Buck when he arrives at her family’s home following her father’s heart attack. Eventually she breaks her barriers and she embraces her uncle and connects with him on a deeper level.
Jean Louisa Kelly – Now
Following her breakout role in Uncle Buck, Jean Louisa Kelly appeared in the music drama Mr. Holland’s Opus, in TV’s Ally McBeal, and Law & Order, just to name a few. She starred in the CBS family sitcom Yes, Dear as devoted wife Kim for six seasons of the popular show until it was cancelled in 2006. Her most recent role was as Pastor Nicole in the family drama The Fosters. She has been married to executive and attorney James Pitaro since 1997.
Sloane Peterson in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Mia Sara)
The popular, beautiful, and dry-humored Sloane Peterson is always up for an adventure. When her boyfriend Ferris Bueller invites her to skip school she eagerly obliges. She lies about her grandma’s passing and the couple and, along with best friend Cameron, take off on their biggest adventure yet.
Mia Sara – Now
Sara lives her life outside of Hollywood and has announced that she is retired from acting. She told AOL that her kids (with director and chairman of The Jim Henson Company, Brian Henson) have seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the movie is “really embarrassing” for them. Following her memorable day off with Matthew Broderick, Sara starred in one more hit film as Melissa Walker in the sci-fi action thriller Timecop. She played the resourceful and intelligent love interest to Jean-Claude Van Damme’s tough cop character, Max Walker.
Curly Sue in Curly Sue (Alisan Porter)
In Curly Sue, the title character is a funny young con artist. Together with Bill Dancer, the homeless duo team up to scam poor unsuspecting passersby to make just enough money to eat. After a con goes wrong, a wealthy New York City family host Bill and Curly Sue and she discovers for the first time what it really means to have a family and to live an honest and meaningful life.
Alisan Porter – Now
After Curly Sue, the young Porter appeared in the short-lived ABC sitcom Chicken Soup and The Golden Girls before returning to school and taking a long break from the industry. Years later, Porter surprised audiences with a successful audition on The Voice. She got all the way to the end and was crowned the victor of the 10th season on the hit music competition show. She released her latest single, the folky Revolution, at the end of last year and lives in Los Angeles with her two kids.
Allison Reynolds in The Breakfast Club (Ally Sheedy)
Social outcast Allison Reynolds decides to keep to herself during detention. The introverted high school student prefers to keep quiet for much of the film and at first she appears to be just another angry teenager. As the audience later learns, she has a difficult home life and takes it out on the world by lying compulsively and shutting herself off from real connections. When Claire gives Allison a makeover, her outer beauty is revealed and she peaks the interest of Andrew.
Ally Sheedy – Now
After her performance in The Breakfast Club earned Sheedy critical and commercial acclaim, she starred in another hit teenage coming-of-age film, St. Elmo’s Fire. She also starred in the science fiction Short Circuit, the romantic cult drama High Art, and she even made an appearance in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Sheedy announced her retirement from acting in 2016 to focus more on activism and political work. She has one child, Beckett, with ex-husband, actor David Lansbury.
Keith Nelson in Some Kind of Wonderful (Eric Stoltz)
After Hughes was unsatisfied with how Pretty in Pink director, Howard Deutsch, changed his original ending, he decided to rewrite the film with slightly different characters with the ending he always envisioned. Thus we have the 1987 teen drama Some Kind of Wonderful. Eric Stoltz plays the blue collar, boyish yet ambitious protagonist Keith. Rather than falling for the popular girl as in Pretty in Pink, the rock and roller falls for his tomboyish best friend, Watts.
Eric Stoltz – Now
Stoltz was a bonafide star when he was cast in Some Kind of Wonderful, having already earned a Golden Globe nomination for his dramatic performance in 1985’s Mask. He has appeared in the classic thriller Pulp Fiction as well as the comedy drama hit Jerry Maguire. In the early 2000’s he made his way to directing and is currently a prominent TV director who has helmed episodes for the musical drama Glee and political thriller series Madam Secretary to name a few.
Kate in Home Alone (Catherine O’Hara)
When Kate realizes her son is missing mid-flight on the way to a family vacation, she is immediately riddled with guilt and worry. She does everything she can to return home to Kevin but can only muster a plane ticket to Scranton, Pennsylvania. It’s not good enough for Kate and when a couple overhears her dilemma, they agree to drive her to Chicago. The adoring but strict mother frantically travels the distance to make it home to her abandoned son.
Catherine O’Hara – Now
The reliably hilarious Canadian Catherine O’Hara is a legend in her home country of Canada. She made her breakthrough with the ‘70s sketch comedy show SCTV where she won her first Emmy. She has seamlessly made her mark in both comedy and drama, having starred in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice and Frankenweenie as well. She is also a a top improv actress who has starred in the critically acclaimed comedies Best in Show and A Mighty Wind. She currently stars as the highly quotable, ex-soap opera actress in TV’s Schitt’s Creek.
Iona in Pretty in Pink (Annie Potts)
Annie Potts plays the eccentric and quirky manager of TRAX the record store where Molly Ringwald’s Andie works at after school. She becomes a close confidant to Annie and she encourages her to live her best life and pursue the things (and people) that make her happy. She’s the unlikely source of comfort when Andie has an altercation with Steff and Jack. She gives Andie her old prom dress and encourages her to attend the dance.
Annie Potts – Now
Potts is perhaps most famous for her portrayal of the sarcastic secretary and occasional slayer of ghosts in the Ghostbuster films. These days she can be seen as Sheldon’s patient and loving grandmother in the hit CBS sitcom Young Sheldon. She will also reprise her role as the ditsy Bo Peep in the fourth installment of the hit animated Toy Story. The highly anticipated Pixar film will premiere next year. He has been married to producer and director James Hayman since 1990. She has three sons.
Ellen in National Lampoon’s Vacation (Beverly D’Angelo)
The beautiful Ellen reluctantly agrees to a road trip in the raunchy comedy National Lampoon’s Vacation. Although she would rather travel by airplane, she loves her husband and wants him to enjoy a vacation as much as she does for herself and the kids. Turns out that husband Clark should have listened to his wife when things go awry and they end up stranded in the desert. They fight but can’t stay mad each other for long and eventually have a romantic vacation together.
Beverly D’Angelo – Now
D’Angelo is biggest break came with a Golden Globe Nomination for her memorable performance as Patsy Cline in the 1980 drama Coal Miner’s Daughter. In recent years she has appeared in the screwball comedy Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay and reprised her role as Ellen with Chevy Chase in the hit 2015 family comedy Vacation. She will next appear with up-and-coming comedic actress Lauren Lapkus and Lucy Hale in the romantic comedy The Unicorn. The House Bunny star has two children from her previous marriage to actor Al Pacino.
Maizy Russell In Uncle Buck(Gaby Hoffman)
Hoffmann starred in the John Hughes directed comedy Uncle Buck, alongside John Candy and Macaulay Culkin. When it came to child star cuteness, clearly Hoffmann and Culkin brought their A-game to the set. The film received mixed reviews from the critics, but that didn’t prevent it from reaching the No. 1 position at the box office.
Gaby Hoffman Now-
Currently, Hoffmann stars on the runaway hit Transparent on Amazon Prime. The show revolves around a family’s attempts to adjust their lives after they discover their family patriarch is transgender. Hoffmann stars as the youngest sibling, Ali, who is a little lost. In some ways, Ali’s decision to so unapologetically be herself parallels Hoffmann’s own personal philosophy on life. She even drew from her upbringing in the Chelsea Hotel as a frame of reference for her character. “I grew up in a world where I guess what is considered unusual or abnormal for the rest of America was very much considered the norm,” Hoffmann was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy.
Bryce in Sixteen Candles (John Cusack)
His Sixteen Candles role as the geek sidekick Bryce was only Cusack’s second film role, as a 17 year old actor. Yet, by the following year, he was the lead in such films as The Sure Thing and Better Off Dead. By the end of the decade, with Say Anything, he became one of his generation’s favorite leading men.
John Cusack Now
He followed that up with such indelible films as The Grifters, Bullets Over Broadway, Grosse Pointe Blank, Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity, and 2012. He spoofed his own ’80s teen stardom in 2010’s Hot Tub Time Machine. Watch for the 47-year-old in several 2014 films, including thriller The Bag Man, David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, and Beach Boy Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy.
Sam Baker in Sixteen Candles (Molly Ringwald)
Sam Baker isn’t having the best birthday. The high school sophomore is all loved up with an intense crush on the cool, popular senior Jake Ryan. He doesn’t know she exists and it tortures the poor lovesick young girl. She also manages a crush from the geeky Ted. Audiences related to these daily struggles that come with being a high school student. Things turn out for the better in the end as she shares a romantic and iconic kiss with Jake over a birthday cake with – you guessed it – sixteen candles.
Molly Ringwald – Now
Ringwald was one of John Hughes’s favorite go-to actresses, having starred in three films of his back-to-back: Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink. She currently stars as Archie’s sweetheart mother in the CW teen drama series Riverdale. This year she will appear in four high-profile films including the Keanu Reeves-starring adventure thriller Siberia, the upcoming romantic drama All These Small Moments, and with Liam Aiken in the mystery drama Kingfish. The iconic redhead has been married to writer Panio Gianopoulos since 2007.
Jeanie Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Jennifer Grey)
Jennifer played jealous sister Jeannie Bueller in hit teen comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, opposite Matthew Broderick. Her acting career slowed down by the 1990s but she still had some notable roles including Rachel’s friend Mindy in Friends, and a guest role in House.
Jennifer Grey Now
Jennifer was 27 years old when she took the iconic role of Baby opposite Hollywood hunk Patrick Swayze. She’s now 57, and still looking fresh-faced. But she doesn’t quite look like Jeannie Bueller or Baby Houseman any more. The reason you might struggle to recognise her is because of a controversial nose job in the early 1990s. Jennifer credits the procedure with ruining her career, as it completely changed her face. In 2012 she said: “I went into the operating room a celebrity and came out anonymous. “It was the nose job from hell. I’ll always be this once-famous actress nobody recognizes because of a nose job.” She won US series Dancing With The Stars in 2010, when she was partnered with professional dancer Derek Hough.