Pretty in Pink recently celebrated its 30th anniversary — that’s right, it’s been 30 years since Duckie and Andie shook up their high school social scene and made DIY prom outfits cool.
The romantic drama, about outsider Andie (Molly Ringwald) who starts dating the most popular boy in school, is probably best known for being written by ‘80s teen movie god John Hughes. It’s also the last in the Holy Trinity of Ringwald-Hughes collaborations, following Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. And, though it might not have an iconic song and dance sequence, or Anthony Michael Hall playing the resident geek, Pretty in Pink is still iconic as hell.
Unlike Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink was not directed by John Hughes. That said, it still has everything you’d expect from a Hughes film: a coming-of-age story, great jokes, and a freakishly awesome cast. Check out how the cast has done since, Where Are They Now? The Cast of Pretty in Pink.
11. Molly Ringwald — Andie
Since her time as a teen idol, Molly Ringwald has worked consistently in both film and television, with varying degrees of acclaim. Though she made the transition from child star to adult actress (minds out of the gutters, folks), Ringwald isn’t afraid to poke fun at her famous past. In 2001, she appeared in Not Another Teen Movie (2001), a movie parody of teen romantic comedies. Modern teens might recognize her as Anne Juergens, the mom on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
Up next, she’ll star alongside fellow former teen star, Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills 90210) in the Canadian sitcom Raising Expectations, and appear with James Franco in the porn drama King Cobra (minds back into the gutters, folks). Outside of acting, Ringwald has also dabbled with a career as a jazz singer, which included singing a sultry cover of The Breakfast Club’s theme song “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”
10. Jon Cryer — Duckie
After winning hearts as Duckie, the geeky best buddy forever stuck in the zone of friends, Cryer starred in a few films before finding a home on television in the ‘90s, starring in a few short-lived series, including Getting Personal (1998) and Partners (1995-1996). In 2003, Cryer hit it big, booking the role of Alan Harper in Two and a Half Men, earning him a spot on what will probably be known as television’s most volatile sitcom. For eight seasons, Cryer played the straight-laced brother to Charlie Sheen’s womanizing bachelor. The actor famously got a front-row seat to Sheen’s 2011, Tiger blood-fueled breakdown, which he wrote about in his memoir, So That Happened.
Despite being on one of the biggest sitcoms in recent TV history, Cryer still has fond memories of being Duckie. Just last year, he put on Duckie’s white boots to perform his famous “Try a Little Tenderness” dance with James Corden on The Late Late Show.
9. James Spader — Steff
Since playing the high school jerk of jerks, Steff, James Spader emerged as a sex symbol and beloved actor with his role in Steven Soderbergh’s explosive Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989). Spader stuck to roles on the big screen — Wolf (1994), Secretary (2002) — until the early 2000s when he traded in movies for television. Spader starred as lawyer Alan Shore on The Practice for one season before launching his own spinoff, Boston Legal. He currently stars as the lead character on the NBC thriller hit The Blacklist, where he plays the anti-heroic FBI informant, Raymond “Red” Reddington. Of course, Screen Rant readers may know Spader best for his motion capture/voice performance as the eponymous android villain of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Spader is also currently the object of affection from Saturday Night Live‘s Leslie Jones. Jones was so vocal about her love for the actor, she ended up booking a guest spot on The Blacklist. Her role? Jones played a woman who mistakenly thinks Reddington (Spader) is a guy in her spin class. She also hits on him — hard.
8. Andrew McCarthy — Blaine
Andrew McCarthy was a hot commodity in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, following up Pretty in Pink with other leading heartthrob roles in Mannequin (1987), which also co-starred James Spader, and the beloved cult classic, Weekend at Bernie’s. McCarthy has been in and out of the spotlight ever since, consistently working in Hollywood, though not appearing in anything particularly notable. In the early 2000s, McCarthy began doing a string of guest spots on television shows. To date, he has appeared on three Law & Order series, and he starred in a few one-season television shows.
During his time as a regular on Lipstick Jungle, McCarthy transitioned behind the camera, kick starting a successful career directing television. He has directed episodes of Hart of Dixie, White Collar, Gossip Girl, Alpha House, The Blacklist, Orange Is the New Black, and more. But, don’t worry, McCarthy hasn’t quit acting quite yet. Fans can still see him play a friendly neighborhood sex offender on ABC’s The Family.
7. Harry Dean Stanton — Jack
Harry Dean Stanton had a career long before Pretty in Pink and continues to have one long after. Stanton has had a very eclectic career, starring in David Lynch projects like Wild at Heart and Twin Peaks, as well as mainstream films like Twister. Stanton has also appeared in various television shows, including, funnily enough, an episode of Two and a Half Men in which he played himself. HBO fans might know him as the creepy prophet, Roman Grant, from Big Love, and Screen Ranters might recognize him from his Avengers (2012) cameo. Stanton is also one of the many actors returning to Twin Peaks in the upcoming revival.
Though Stanton doesn’t do interviews often, he did tell Vulture a few years ago that he had fond memories of his time working on Pretty in Pink. “That was a good one. Molly Ringwald, she’s a natural talent. Every girl in this country related to that girl,” he said. Amen to that.
6. Annie Potts — Iona
Annie Potts has had more than her fair share of memorable roles. Not only did she play the charming, quirky record-store owner Iona in Pretty in Pink, she is also known as Janine Melnitz from Ghostbusters II, Mary Jo Shively in Designing Women and M.E. Sims from Any Day Now. It’s no surprise she ended up starring in one of television’s hottest soaps about women in a design firm — Potts has said that she signed on to do Pretty in Pink because of all the crazy clothes she got to wear for the part. “I love to dress up in other people’s clothes. Iona’s clothes were so foreign to me that they were very appealing,” she said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.
Potts is also the voice of Bo Peep in the Toy Story movies — yes, she’s coming back for Toy Story 4 — and she recently has enjoyed a few guest stints on The Fosters and Chicago Med. Though the exact nature of her role is unknown, Potts is said to be making a cameo in the new Ghostbusters reboot.
5. Kate Vernon — Benny
As Benny, the typical mean girl who belittles Andie in Pretty in Pink, Kate Vernon didn’t make a huge impression, but that hasn’t stopped her from being a prolific film and television actress. After Pretty in Pink, Vernon appeared on countless television shows, including Murder, She Wrote and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Probably her best known television appearance was a four-episode stint on Who’s The Boss? in 1990, during which she played Kathleen Sawyer. In the ’90s, Vernon continued her successful television career with roles on L.A. Law, and Nash Bridges. Most recently, Vernon starred as Ellen Tigh on SyFy’s hit show Battlestar Galactica, earning her some serious science-fiction/fantasy cred. She still pops up on television now and again, but fans might also recognize her as Liam Hemsworth’s mom in The Last Song.
4. Andrew Dice Clay — Bouncer
Before he became a famous stand-up comedian, Andrew Dice Clay cameoed as the bouncer in Pretty in Pink. Though he only had a few minutes of screen time, Clay made an impression as the bouncer in front of CATS, the club where Andie takes Blaine on their first date. Fans of the movie probably remember him for going head-to-head with Jon Cryer’s Duckie onscreen after refusing to let him in.
The role didn’t do too much to showcase his comedic skills, but it sure is funny to look back on. After Pretty in Pink, Clay starred in television’s Crime Story (1986-1988), put out multiple comedy albums, stand-up specials and even had a role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. He’s currently starring in his own Showtime show, Dice.
3. Gina Gershon — Trombley
Pretty in Pink was one of Gershon’s first major roles in Hollywood. The actress wouldn’t get her big break until a few years later, when she landed a role opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Red Heat. She followed that up with parts in films like Cocktail, Showgirls and Face/Off. Gershon has gone on to appear on a long list of television shows, like HBO’s How to Make It in America and Glee. She’s the kind of actress you recognize immediately when you see her, but you’re not sure from where.
2. Howard Deutch (Director)
After making his directorial debut with Pretty in Pink, Howard Deutch teamed up with John Hughes for two more films — Some Kind of Wonderful and The Great Outdoors. In the ’90s, Deutch switched gears, and, like McCarthy, made a home for himself directing television. Not only did he helm the pilot of ’90s soap Melrose Place, recently he’s worked on Big Love, True Blood, American Horror Story and Jane the Virgin.
Deutch may have moved on from Pretty in Pink, but he and his wife are certainly an ’80s power couple. Deutch is married to actress Lea Thompson (aka the mom in Back to the Future and one of the stars of Some Kind of Wonderful). They have two daughters together, Madelyn and Zoey Deutch, who are both actresses.
1. John Hughes (Writer)
After Pretty in Pink, John Hughes continued to write hit films, securing his place as one of America’s most beloved screenwriters — his first script after Pretty in Pink was the widely beloved Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Even if you don’t know his name, if you were a child who loved movies, then you know John Hughes. Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Home Alone, and Curly Sue are just a few of his credits. Though he is mostly remembered as a writer, Hughes also directed a handful of his films, including Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club.
After the insane success of 1990’s Home Alone, Hughes’ career shifted to more child-friendly fare. Gone were the young adult, coming-of-age dramedies and the wild comedic fare. Instead, Hughes focused on kid-friendly movies, writing the screenplays for Flubber and 101 Dalmations. By the late ‘90s, Hughes had left Hollywood to enjoy a more low-key life in Chicago. He died in August of 2009.
Which Pretty in Pink star do you want to see more of? Sound off in the comments section.
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