Molly Ringwald

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Molly Ringwald
Molly Ringwald in Greece.jpg
Ringwald in Greece, 2010
BornMolly Kathleen Ringwald
(1968-02-18) February 18, 1968 (age 46)
Roseville, California
OccupationActress, singer, dancer, writer
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Valery Lameignère (m. 1999; div. 2002)
Panio Gianopoulos (m. 2007)
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Molly Ringwald
Molly Ringwald in Greece.jpg
Ringwald in Greece, 2010
BornMolly Kathleen Ringwald
(1968-02-18) February 18, 1968 (age 46)
Roseville, California
OccupationActress, singer, dancer, writer
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Valery Lameignère (m. 1999; div. 2002)
Panio Gianopoulos (m. 2007)

Molly Kathleen Ringwald (born February 18, 1968) is an American actress, singer, dancer, and author. Her first major role was in The Facts of Life (1979–80) before making her motion picture debut in the independent film Tempest (1982) that earned her a Golden Globe nomination. After subsequently appearing in the successful John Hughes films Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986), Ringwald became a teen icon. She later starred in The Pick-up Artist (1987), and For Keeps (1988). She starred in many films in the 1990s, most notably Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story (1992) and The Stand (1994). Ringwald is part of the "Brat Pack" and she was ranked number 1 on VH1's 100 Greatest Teen Stars.[1][2][3] She has played Anne Juergens in the ABC Family show The Secret Life of the American Teenager and released her debut album Except Sometimes in early 2013.

Early life

Ringwald was born in Roseville, California, just outside of Sacramento,[4] the daughter of Adele Edith (née Frembd), a housewife and chef, and Robert Scott "Bob" Ringwald, a blind jazz pianist.[5] Ringwald has two siblings, Beth and Kelly, and an older brother who died before she was born.[6] She started her acting career at age five, starring in a stage production of Alice Through the Looking Glass as the Dormouse. The next year, she recorded "I Wanna Be Loved by You," a music album of Dixieland jazz with her father and his group, the Fulton Street Jazz Band.[7]

Life and career

1978-83: Career beginnings

In 1978, at the age of 10, Ringwald was chosen to play Kate in the West Coast production of Annie, performing in Los Angeles.[8]

In 1979, Ringwald appeared in the TV series Diff'rent Strokes and was selected to become part of a very large cast of the spin-off Facts of Life. She played "Molly Parker," a perky, feminist student at Eastland Girls School. At the beginning of the second season, the show underwent a major revamp and most of the cast, including Ringwald, were fired. Ringwald later said that Nancy McKeon replaced her to play a new character named Jo.[9]

In 1980, Ringwald performed as a lead vocalist on two Disney albums. On the patriotic album Yankee Doodle Mickey, Ringwald sang "This Is My Country", "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America". She later performed one track on a Disney Christmas album.[10] Turning toward motion pictures, she was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her role in the 1982 film Tempest.[11]

1984-89: Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, and early success

Ringwald rose to prominence with her breakout role in Sixteen Candles (1984). She was cast as Samantha Baker, a girl whose sixteenth birthday is forgotten. Ringwald's performance gained critical acclaim; many called her acting engaging.[12] Ringwald said, "It is not a good idea to do remakes of great classic films." when asked if there would be a remake to Sixteen Candles.[13] Ringwald became a member of the so-called Brat Pack of 1980s teen actors.[14] Ringwald gained more success when she was cast in another John Hughes film called The Breakfast Club (1985) which was a commercial and critical success. Ringwald was cast as Claire Standish, a spoiled rich, so-called-sophisticate that is in detention for skipping class. Ringwald's performance gained strong reviews.

The following year she was cast as Andie Walsh in another successful Hughes film called Pretty In Pink (1986). Ringwald's role as Andie went on to become one of her most recognizable performances. When first asked to be in Pretty in Pink, Ringwald was reluctant, but after seeing how hard it was for the producers to find a replacement for her, she decided she would portray Andie in the film. Ringwald was offered a role in another John Hughes film called Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) but she turned down the role as she felt it was too similar to her other films she worked on with Hughes. After Pretty In Pink, Ringwald planned to star in more mature roles. Ringwald was later featured on the cover of Time on May 26, 1986.[15]

Ringwald was set to star in another Hughes film called, Oil and Vinegar; the film was scrapped when John refused to rewrite the script. The film would have been about a soon-to-be-married man and a hitchhiking girl talking about their lives during the length of the car ride.[16][17] In 1987, she was cast as Randy Jensen in The Pick-up Artist, opposite Robert Downey, Jr. in one of his first lead roles.[18] The film was met with mixed reviews while being a moderate commercial success. The Pick-up Artist focused on a womanizer who meets his match when he falls for a woman in debt to the mafia.[19]

The following year she starred in For Keeps which was a commercial success that received mixed reviews by critics but was well received by audiences. It is considered Ringwald's final teen movie. Ringwald portrayed Darcy Elliot, the editor at her high school paper, who gets pregnant by her long term boyfriend Stan, who was portrayed by Randall Batinkoff. Ringwald's performance received positive reviews. The film was praised by some critics for showing the struggles of teen pregnancy. She was later cast in Fresh Horses. The film was met with generally negative reviews and under performed at the box office. The film also starred Andrew McCarthy, who previously worked with Ringwald in Pretty in Pink.[20]

1990-99: The Stand and continued acting

In the early 1990s, Ringwald reportedly turned down the female lead roles in Pretty Woman and Ghost.[21] In the mid-1990s, Ringwald, who had been educated at a French high school in Los Angeles called Lycée Français de Los Angeles and was fluent in French, moved to Paris and starred in several French movies.[22] She returned home to the US intermittently to appear in American movies and television. In 1990, starred in Betsy's Wedding as Betsy Hopper. This film gained generally mixed reviews despite being a commercial success. Ringwald later starred in Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story (1992). The film was based on the life of Alison Gertz.

In 1994, she was cast as Frannie Goldsmith, in the TV adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand. Ringwald's performance was generally well received. She later played the leading role in the film Malicious (1995) as Melissa Nelson, a disturbed woman who has an affair with a college star baseball player. She later starred in the ABC sitcom Townies. She also made one appearance as a blind woman on the critically acclaimed cable series Remember WENN. She starred with Lara Flynn Boyle and Teri Hatcher in the 1998 made for television film Since You've Been Gone. In 1999, she played the starring role of "Li'l Bit" in Paula Vogel's play How I Learned to Drive at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. In 2000, she appeared in an episode of Showtime's The Outer Limits.

2000-12: Not Another Teen Movie and television roles

Ringwald at the WeHo Book Fair in 2010

In 2000, Ringwald appeared in the ensemble restaurant-themed film, In the Weeds; in 2001, she had a cameo in the commercially successful Not Another Teen Movie that earned her an MTV Movie Award nomination. In late 2004, she starred in the play Modern Orthodox on Broadway, opposite Jason Biggs and Craig Bierko.[23] In 2006, she starred in the television film The Wives He Forgot. Ringwald appeared in Cabaret; Tick, tick... BOOM!;[24] and Enchanted April on Broadway, and in the fall and winter of 2006, she starred as Charity Hope Valentine in the national tour of the Broadway revival of the musical Sweet Charity.[25] She also played a supporting role as Molly McIntire's mother Helen in Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front.[26]

Ringwald starred in the ABC Family network's series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which debuted on July 1, 2008,[27] playing the title teenager's mother. Ringwald read the audiobook edition of the 2012 novel The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg.

2013-present: Except Sometimes, Wishin' and Hopin' and future roles

In early 2013, Ringwald released Except Sometimes. The album is a jazz record. It follows a tradition in jazz for the Ringwald family set by her father. “I grew up in a home filled with music and had an early appreciation of jazz since my dad was a jazz musician. Beginning at around age three I started singing with his band and jazz music has continued to be one of my three passions along with acting and writing. I like to say jazz music is my musical equivalent of comfort food. It’s always where I go back to when I want to feel grounded,” Ringwald said in a statement.[28] Ringwald was cast as Madame Frechette in the upcoming film, Wishin' and Hopin' (2014). It has been announced that Molly is set to have a role in the upcoming movie Jem: The Movie.[29]

Ringwald in April 2013

In September 2014, Ringwald beegan writing an advice column for the Guardian, answering questions about "love, family, or life in general".[30]


Personal life

Ringwald was married to Valéry Lameignère, a French writer, in Bordeaux, France, on July 28, 1999; they divorced in 2002.[31] She married Panio Gianopoulos, a Greek-American writer and book editor, in 2007. They have a daughter, Mathilda (born 2003), and twins, Adele and Roman (born 2009). Her pregnancy was written into the storyline of The Secret Life of the American Teenager.[32]

Public image

Ringwald has stated that she was very aware of her public image during her teen years and stated that she tried to be a good role model for her fans. When asked about For Keeps (1988) Ringwald said, "I didn't want to give the wrong message to teenagers. I sort of felt a certain responsibility -– I mean, I was a very, very famous teenager and I thought a lot of teenagers were looking up to me and emulating me, and I really didn't want to make a movie that said in any way that having a baby at that age was going to be easy.".[33] She has been regarded as one of the greatest teen stars on numerous occasions.[1][2][3]


1982TempestMiranda DimitriusNominated—Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
1983Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden ZoneNiki
Packin' It InMelissa Webber
1984Sixteen CandlesSamantha BakerYoung Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film
1985Surviving: A Family in CrisisLonnie
The Breakfast ClubClaire Standish
1986Pretty in PinkAndie Walsh
1987P.K. and the KidP.K. Bayette
King LearCordelia
The Pick-up ArtistRandy Jensen
1988For KeepsDarcy Elliot BobruczParis Film Festival Award for Best Actress (tied with Elisabeth Shue)
Fresh HorsesJewel
1990Strike It RichCary
Betsy's WeddingBetsy HopperNominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1992Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz StoryAlison Gertz
1993Face the MusicLisa Hunter
1995BajaBebe Stone
Seven SundaysJanet Gifford
MaliciousMelissa Nelson
1996Bastard ChildrenSusan
1997Office KillerKim Poole
1998Twice upon a LifeBeth Sager
1999Requiem for MurderAnne Winslow
Teaching Mrs. TingleMiss Banks
2000CutVanessa Turnbill/Chloe
The Brutal Truth
In the WeedsChloe
2001Cowboy UpConnie
Not Another Teen MovieFlight AttendantNominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Cameo
2003The Tulse Luper Suitcases
2006The Wives He ForgotCharlotte Saint JohnTelevision film
Molly: An American Girl on the Home FrontHelen McIntireTelevision film
2008Guest of Cindy ShermanDocumentary
2014Wishin' and Hopin'Madame Frechette
2015Jem: The Movie
1994Some Folks Call it a Sling BladeTheresa Tatum
2000The Translator
1979–1980The Facts of LifeMolly ParkerNominated—TV Land Award for Favorite Character(s) Who "Went Missing"
1986Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales & Legends: Johnny AppleseedJenny Smith
1994The StandFrannie Goldsmith
1996TowniesCarrie Donovan
2006MediumKathleen Walsh1 episode “The Darkness is Light Enough”
2008–2013The Secret Life of the American TeenagerAnne JuergensMain cast
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Parental Unit (shared with Mark Derwin)
2011PsychNurse McElroy1 episode
RuPaul's Drag UHerself


Awards and nominations

1983Golden GlobesNew Star of the Year in a Motion Picture - FemaleTempestNominated
1983Young Artist AwardBest Young Supporting Actress in a Motion PictureTempestNominated
1985Young Artist AwardBest Young Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical, Comedy, Adventure or DramaSixteen CandlesWon
1988Paris Film FestivalBest ActressFor KeepsWon
1989Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite Movie ActressNominated
1991Razzie AwardsWorst ActressBetsy's WeddingNominated
2002MTV Movie AwardBest CameoNot Another Teen MovieNominated
2005MTV Movie AwardsSilver Bucket of Excellence AwardThe Breakfast ClubWon
2008TV Land AwardsFavorite Character(s) Who "Went Missing"The Facts of LifeNominated
2009Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV Parental UnitThe Secret Life of the American TeenagerNominated


  1. ^ a b "50 Greatest Teen Stars of All Time". Extra. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  2. ^ a b Davis, Laura (December 4, 2009). "Child stars: where are they now?". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  3. ^ a b 50 Greatest Teen Stars of All Time. Retrieved on 2011-05-29.
  4. ^ Sweetbriar, BeBe (April 18, 2013). "Molly Ringwald Swings on New CD". EDGE Boston. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
    • a "BeBe: I’m from the Sacramento, California area as are you, and we did a production of ’Oliver’ together (as apart of Fagin’s gang) at Sacramento State University once upon a time." — ¶ 14.
    • b "BeBe: With my experience in knowing you from way back when in the theaters of our hometown of Sacramento, I was not of course surprised with this release from you knowing your roots in jazz with your Dad...— ¶ 34.
  5. ^ Molly Ringwald Biography (1968–). Retrieved on 2011-05-29.
  6. ^ [1]. This American Life Episode 526, Transcript.
  7. ^ Sacramento's Fulton Street Jazz Band's Recordings. Retrieved on 2011-05-29.
  8. ^ Karlyn, Kathleen Rowe, "'Too Close for Comfort': American Beauty and the Incest Motif", Cinema Journal, 44, Number 1, Fall 2004, pp. 69–93. University of Texas Press.
  9. ^ Voss, Brandon (2010-04-26). "Molly Ringwald: Pretty in Print". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  10. ^ Disney Family Christmas: Various Artists, Molly Ringwald, Larry Groce: Music. Retrieved on 2011-05-29.
  11. ^ Gora, Susannah (2010). You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried. Three Rivers Press. p. 26.
  12. ^ Jump up ^ Staff (1984-01-01). "Sixteen Candles". Variety. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  13. ^ ^ Miles Bradford (2010). "Molly Ringwald not a fan of remaking one of her classic 80's movies". KABC-TV. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
  14. ^ Lurie, Karen. "Brat Pack". St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture (Gale Group). 
  15. ^ "Molly Ringwald on the cover of Time". Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  16. ^ Jump up ^ "The Lost Projects of John Hughes | Splitsider". Retrieved 2014-09-18.
  17. ^ ^ "Howard Deutch on True Blood and John Hughes -- Vulture". Retrieved 2014-09-18.
  18. ^ ^ "'The Pick-Up Artist' (PG-13)". 1987-09-18. Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  19. ^ "The Pick-up Artist". Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  20. ^ "Fresh Horses reception". Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  21. ^ Monica Corcoran (29 June 2008). "Molly Ringwald: Pretty in Pucci". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Austerlitz, Saul (December 13, 2004). "A comic Jewish duel". Haaretz. Retrieved May 24, 2011. 
  24. ^ Melissa Rose Bernardo (November 2, 2001). "Tick, Tick...Boom (2001)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  25. ^ AP. "Molly Ringwald to take 'Sweet Charity' on the road this fall", USA Today, February 27, 2006.
  26. ^ Rouvalis, Cristina (23 November 2006). "TV Preview: 'Molly' is the best 'American Girl' yet". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  27. ^ "Molly Ringwald's Not A Teenager Anymore!", TV Guide, July 1, 2008.
  28. ^ "Molly Ringwald Covers The Movie Theme That Made Her Famous",, March 11, 2013.
  29. ^,,20818485,00.html
  30. ^
  31. ^ Agger, Michael (May 21, 2005). "Don’t You Forget About Me". Retrieved May 24, 2011. 
  32. ^ Molly Ringwald Expecting Twins People, January 23, 2009
  33. ^

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