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 80's "Brat Pack" and has been called the greatest teen star of all time.[1][2][3] She currently plays Anne Juergens in the ABC Family show The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Early life[edit]Edit

Molly Kathleen Ringwald was born in Roseville, California, just outside of Sacramento, the daughter of Adele Edith (née Frembd), a housewife and chef, and Robert Scott "Bob" Ringwald, a blind jazz pianist.[4][5] Ringwald has two siblings, Elizabeth and Kelly. 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.[6]

Acting career[edit]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.[7]

In 1979, Ringwald appeared in the TV series Diff'rent Strokes and was selected to become a cast member of the spin-off Facts of Life. She played "Molly Parker," a perky, fun-loving student at Eastland Girls School. Although she had essentially a supporting role, one entire episode, "Molly's Holiday" revolved around her character dealing with the effects of her parents' divorce.

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.[8] Turning toward motion pictures, she was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her role in the 1982 film Tempest.[9] She then found her breakout role in Sixteen Candles (1984). Ringwald was a member of the so-called Brat Pack of 1980s teen actors.[10] Among Ringwald's 1980s films were The Breakfast ClubPretty in PinkSixteen CandlesThe Pick-up Artist and Fresh Horses. She was considered to be the muse of writer/director John Hughes.[11]

In the early 1990s, Ringwald reportedly turned down the female lead roles in Pretty Woman and Ghost.[12] In the mid-1990s, Ringwald, who had been educated at a French high school in Los Angeles and was fluent in French, moved to Paris and starred in several French movies.[13] 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 2000, she appeared in an episode of Showtime's The Outer Limits.

[1][2]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 Orthodoxon Broadway, opposite Jason Biggs and Craig Bierko.[14] In 2006, she starred in the television film The Wives He Forgot.

Ringwald has appeared in Cabarettick, tick... BOOM!,[15] 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.[16]

Ringwald is starring in the ABC Family network's series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which debuted on July 1, 2008,[17] playing the title teenager's mother.

Music career[edit]Edit

Universal Music will release the first Molly Ringwald solo album Except Sometimes on April 5, 2013 through Concord Records.

Except Sometimes 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.[18]

The closing track of the album is a cover version of Simple Minds "Don't You (Forget About Me)" which was part of the soundtrack of the movie The Breakfast Club which starred Ringwald.


[3][4]Ringwald at the WeHo Book Fair in 2010

Ringwald has written two books:

  • Molly Ringwald (2010). Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect LipstickIt BooksISBN 0-06-180944-6., a "memoir and girlfriend-y guide to girlfriend-y things — style, food, relationships, motherhood."[19]
  • Molly Ringwald (2012). When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories. It Books. ISBN 0-06-180946-2., "a novel told in stories centered around Phillip and Greta, a couple whose marriage is floundering."[20]

Personal life[edit]Edit

Ringwald was married to Valery Lameignère, a French writer, in Bordeaux, France, on July 28, 1999; they divorced in 2002.[21] She married Panio Gianopoulos, a Greek-American writer and book editor, in 2007. They have a daughter, Mathilda Ereni (born October 22, 2003), and twins, Adele Georgiana and Roman Stylianos (born July 10, 2009). Her pregnancy was written into the storyline of The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

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