If you're part of the MTV Generation and you went to movies in the 1980s, she's practically a touchstone. Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink, playing Andie Walsh, the redhead from the wrong side of the tracks, in love with a "richie." "If somebody doesn't believe in me," she tells him, "I can't believe in them."
Writer-director John Hughes certainly believed in Ringwald. He put her in that picture and two others, Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, making her a star. By the summer of 1986, she was memorialized on the cover of Time as America's princess and "the exemplary California teen."
After Hughes suddenly passed away a year ago this month at age 58, Ringwald wrote about him on the New York Times op-ed page (and isn't it just like Molly Ringwald to grow up and write a Times op-ed?): "John saw something in me that I didn't even see in myself. He had complete confidence in me as an actor, which was an extraordinary and heady sensation for anyone, let alone a 16-year-old girl."
Today, at age 42, Ringwald is married and has three children. She also plays a mom on the Monday night ABC Family drama, The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She is the author of a new book, Getting the Pretty Back, her guide to style, friendship, romance, and motherhood. On Sept. 19, Ringwald will join her Breakfast Club co-stars Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, and Ally Sheedy in New York for a Film Society of Lincoln Center screening and retrospective of Hughes, to be moderated by writer-director Kevin Smith.