15John Hughes and Molly Ringwald
John Hughes may be better known for his work as a writer, having penned 47(!) movies, including the likes of Home Alone, National Lampoon's Vacation, and Plains, Trains & Automobiles. Hughes did direct eight films, working with some comedic heavyweights and discovering fresh faces who he turned into major stars (most members of
the infamous "Brat Pack"). But it's a redhead with infamously pouty lips, Molly Ringwald, who headlined two of his most popular and enduring films.
Sixteen Candles (1984) wasn't Ringwald's film début, but it was her first starring role. It was also Hughes first foray into the angst-y world of coming-of-age films that would become his seminal work. Hughes chose Ringwald over Ally Sheedy to play the role of Samantha "Sam" Baker, whose family forgets her 16th birthday. The film's budget was $6.5 million, and it generated over $23 million. Hughes and Ringwald's next film, The Breakfast Club (1985), which Hughes shot for roughly $1 million dollars, garnered a domestic gross of over $45 million. The movie has been recognized by The New York Times and Empire magazine as one of the best movies ever made. It was the last time Hughes directed Ringwald, but later that year, she went on to star in Pretty in Pink (1986) which was written by Hughes. This role solidified her standing as a teen icon.
While Hughes continued to have a prolific career, Ringwald never found another vehicle as well-suited to her talents as her movies with Hughes.