Molly Ringwald

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Molly Ringwald
File:Molly Ringwald on red carpet.jpg
Molly on a red carpet.
BornMolly Kathleen Ringwald
(1968-02-18) February 18, 1968 (age 46)
Roseville, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, singer, dancer, writer
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Valery Lameignère (1999–2002)
Panio Gianopoulos (m. 2007)
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Molly Ringwald
File:Molly Ringwald on red carpet.jpg
Molly on a red carpet.
BornMolly Kathleen Ringwald
(1968-02-18) February 18, 1968 (age 46)
Roseville, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, singer, dancer, writer
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Valery Lameignère (1999–2002)
Panio Gianopoulos (m. 2007)

Molly Kathleen Ringwald (born February 18, 1968) is an American actress, singer, dancer, and author. Having appeared in the John Hughes films Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986), 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 also played Anne Juergens in the ABC Family show The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Early life[edit]

Molly Kathleen 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, Elizabeth 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 in Wonderland 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[edit]

1978-83: Career beginnings[edit]

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. One entire episode, "Molly's Holiday" revolved around her character dealing with the effects of her parents' divorce. 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]

1984-88: Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, and early success[edit]

She then rose to prominence with her breakout role in Sixteen Candles (1984). Following Sixteen Candles Ringwald became a member of the so-called Brat Pack of 1980s teen actors.[12] Ringwald was later cast in another John Hughes film called The Breakfast Club which was a commercial and critical success. The following year she was in another Hughes film called Pretty In Pink which was another success. Ringwald was offered a role in another John Hughes film called Some Kind of Wonderful but she turned down the role as she felt it was to similar to her other films she made with John.[13] In 1987 she was cast in The Pick-up Artist which was met with mixed reviews while being moderate commercial success. The following year she starred in For Keeps and it was a commercial success but was met with rather mixed reviews, it is also considered Ringwald's final teen movie. The same year she was in Fresh Horses which was met with generally negative reviews and under performed.

1989-99: Commercial decline[edit]

In the early 1990s, Ringwald reportedly turned down the female lead roles in Pretty Woman and Ghost.[14] 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.[15] She returned home to the US intermittently to appear in American movies and television.

In 1994, she starred in the TV adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand. In 1996, she played a leading role in the film Malicious as Melissa Nelson, a disturbed woman who has an affair with a college star baseball player. 1996 saw her return to television, starring on 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: Television roles[edit]

Ringwald in April 2013

In 2000, Ringwald appeared in the ensemble restaurant-themed film, In the Weeds; in 2001, she had a cameo in Not Another Teen Movie. In late 2004, she starred in the play Modern Orthodox on Broadway, opposite Jason Biggs and Craig Bierko.[16] In 2006, she starred in the television film The Wives He Forgot.

Ringwald has appeared in Cabaret; Tick, tick... BOOM!;[17] 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.[18]

Ringwald starred in the ABC Family network's series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which debuted on July 1, 2008,[19] playing the title teenager's mother.

Ringwald read the audiobook edition of the 2012 novel The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg.

2013-present: Except Sometimes and future roles[edit]

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 [pianist Bob Ringwald]. 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.[20] It has been confirmed that Ringwald will have a role in the upcoming movie Jem: The Movie.[21]


Ringwald at the WeHo Book Fair in 2010

Ringwald has written two books:

Personal life[edit]

Ringwald was married to Valéry Lameignère, a French writer, in Bordeaux, France, on July 28, 1999; they divorced in 2002.[24] 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.[25]


Molly has been called the greatest teen star of all time.[26] The three films she made with John Hughes became critical and commercial successes and became modern classics, they have influenced many modern teen movies. Ringwald's roles in Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty In Pink have been praised by critics and audiences a like. It has been said that she will always be an influence on teens because of these roles.[27] She has influenced many people including, Ariana Grande,[28] Debby Ryan,[29] and Shailene Woodley.


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
1996Bastard ChildrenSusan
MaliciousMelissa Nelson
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
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



  1. ^ "50 Greatest Teen Stars of All Time". Extra. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  2. ^ Davis, Laura (December 4, 2009). "Child stars: where are they now?". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  3. ^ 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. ^ Lurie, Karen. "Brat Pack". St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture (Gale Group). 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Monica Corcoran (29 June 2008). "Molly Ringwald: Pretty in Pucci". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Austerlitz, Saul (December 13, 2004). "A comic Jewish duel". Haaretz. Retrieved May 24, 2011. 
  17. ^ Melissa Rose Bernardo (November 2, 2001). "Tick, Tick...Boom (2001)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  18. ^ AP. "Molly Ringwald to take 'Sweet Charity' on the road this fall", USA Today, February 27, 2006.
  19. ^ "Molly Ringwald's Not A Teenager Anymore!", TV Guide, July 1, 2008.
  20. ^ "Molly Ringwald Covers The Movie Theme That Made Her Famous",, March 11, 2013.
  21. ^,,20818485,00.html
  22. ^ Melena Ryzik (May 12, 2010). "With 42 Candles, Grown-Up Advice". New York Times. 
  23. ^ John Williams (August 15, 2012). "Leaning Toward the Light: Molly Ringwald Talks About Her New Novel". New York Times. 
  24. ^ Agger, Michael (May 21, 2005). "Don’t You Forget About Me". Retrieved May 24, 2011. 
  25. ^ Molly Ringwald Expecting Twins People, January 23, 2009
  26. ^
  27. ^,5029279
  28. ^
  29. ^

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