See the Cast of ‘Sixteen Candles’ Then and Now
The 1984 coming-of-age comedy ‘Sixteen Candles’ was the first movie directed by John Hughes, who had already made a name for himself writing screenplays for movies such as ‘Mr. Mom’ and ‘Vacation.’
Among its young stars were Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, both of whom became regular John Hughes players, and were a part of a group of actors that became collectively known as the “Brat Pack.”
See what all the young stars of ‘Sixteen Candles’ are up to now.
Molly Ringwald, Samantha Baker
Then: Ringwald was in fact 15 when she played newly 16 Samantha Baker in ’Sixteen Candles.’ Ringwald got her start on a 1979 episode of ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ and was a recurring character on ‘The Facts of Life.’ But it was ‘Sixteen Candles,’ followed in yearly succession by two more John Hughes films, ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Pretty In Pink,’ that made the redhead into an ’80s icon.
Now: In what is probably her biggest role since her John Hughes days, Ringwald plays Anne on the ABC Family show ‘The Secret Life of an American Teenager.’ The 45-year-old is married and has three young children.
Then: In ‘Sixteen Candles,’ Watanabe was Japanese exchange student Long Duk Dong. It was the then 28-year-old’s big break, and two years later he starred alongside Michael Keaton in ‘Gung Ho.’
Now: Watanabe appeared in the Billy Crystal comedy ‘Parental Guidance.’ While the Utah-born actor still thinks Long Duk Dong was a funny character, he acknowledges that critics who decry it as racist and stereotypical may also have a point.
Anthony Michael Hall, “Farmer” Ted
Then: You surely remember Anthony Michael Hall as “The Geek” who was also mysteriously called “Farmer Ted.” The year before he portrayed Rusty Griswold in ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation.’ In 1985, Hall, who also starred in the Hughes movies ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Weird Science,’ became the youngest cast member in ‘Saturday Night Live’ history at age 17.
Now: Hall is in the upcoming movies ‘Sexy Evil Genius’ and ‘Dead in Tombstone.’ He has also been popping up on TV lately, with guest spots on shows like ‘Community’ and ‘Awkward.’
Haviland Morris, Caroline Mulford
Then: Haviland Morris played Caroline Mulford, Jake’s blonde girlfriend who suffers a drunken hair catastrophe and ultimately ends up with Farmer Ted in ‘Sixteen Candles.’ As a young actress Morris was also in movies such as ‘Who’s That Girl’ and ‘Gremlins 2.’
Now: Sporting her natural red hair, Morris recently appeared on an episode of ‘The Good Wife’ and was in the movie ‘Jack & Diana.’ In addition to acting, she is also a real estate agent.
Justin Henry, Mike Baker
Then: In ‘Sixteen Candles,’ Henry played Samantha’s younger brother Mike. The precocious tyke made his film debut at age seven in 1979′s ‘Kramer vs. Kramer,’ for which he became the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
Now: Although Henry mostly works as a digital media specialist, he still does occasionally act. His last appearance was in a 2010 episode of ‘Brothers & Sisters.’
John Cusack, Bryce
Then: John Cusack played awkward nerd Bryce in ‘Sixteen Candles.’ Stardom came the next year for the 18-year-old when he was the lead in three movies — ‘The Sure Thing,’ ‘Better off Dead’ and ‘The Journey of Natty Gann.’
Now: Cusack has the films ‘The Butler’ and ‘Grand Piano’ upcoming. He’s a vocal political activist, both in the media and on Twitter.
Deborah Pollack, Marlene ”Lumberjack”
Then: Pollack played Marlene, aka “Lumberjack,” a physically fit high school student who makes an unlikely love connection with Long Duk Dong. In 1988, Pollack was a series regular on the soap ‘Santa Barbara.’
Now: Pollack returned to acting in 2007 after a 13-year break in which she raised two daughters. She played a mom on an episode of ‘Desperate Housewives’ in 2012.
Michael Schoeffling, Jake Ryan
Then: Schoeffling played Jake Ryan, a popular jock and Samantha’s crush who turns out to be as nice as he was dreamy. It was his movie debut, and he followed it up the next year with one of the lead roles in ‘Vision Quest.’
Now: Schoeffling had one more memorable role as Joe in 1990′s ‘Mermaids.’ Soon after, he retired from acting, citing a lack of good roles. These days he lives with his wife and two kids in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania where he owns a woodworking shop. He prefers to live a private life, as evidenced by the lack of current photos on the Web.