John Hughes Dies at 59, Molly Ringwald and Other Brat Packers Pay Tribute

"I will always cherish the time I spent with John Hughes. I was so grateful for the opportunity to walk around in his shoes and try to see the world through through his brilliant eyes. Sharing his films with my kids over the years I can see the timelessness of his work," actor Kevin Bacon said.

"I asked John how long it took to write 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles,' [and] he said, 'I wrote it over the weekend.' The weekend. That shows you what he was able to do," actor and director Steve Martin said.

Director and Producer John Hughes Dies of Heart Attack

Born in 1950, Hughes landed on the Hollywood map as a screenwriter, writing the classic 1983 Chevy Chase family road trip film "National Lampoon's Vacation" and the Michael Keaton dad-at-home comedy "Mr. Mom" the same year.

Hughes' ear for teen speak and the minutiae of high school life inspired high critical praise as well as box office gold. In 1984, his first successful film, "Sixteen Candles," honed in on the pubescent humiliations and coming-of-age trials of an offbeat heroine, played by Molly Ringwald, on her 16th birthday.

Hughes, who set most of his films in an upper-middle-class suburb of Chicago, focused on teenage angst and the complex social strata of high school life, themes he developed with great success in "The Breakfast Club" (1985), "Weird Science" (1985) and the wildly successful "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (1986).

He used many of the same actors in his films, launching the careers of members of the "Brat Pack." Later in his writing career, he wrote "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (1987) and "Uncle Buck" (1989) as vehicles for the late comedian John Candy.

He continued to be a prolific screenwriter, writing standout films such as "Some Kind of Wonderful" (1985), "Pretty in Pink" (1986) and the record-smashing "Home Alone" (1990).

Hughes continued writing films in the last two decades but took a step back from the spotlight to spend time with his family and work on his farm in northern Illinois.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Nancy, two sons, John and James, and four grandchildren.

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