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We won't forget about you: John Hughes dies of heart attack in NYC

6

August

Johnhughes Iconic '80s teen movie director John Hughes is dead, his spokeswoman has confirmed. He was 59 years old.

Hughes died of a heart attack during a morning walk in New York City. He was in Manhattan to visit family, said Michelle Bega, who confirmed his death to the Associated Press.

His Hollywood career was focused on the '80s, where he transformed the teen movie genre from gutter/nudity-laden B-movie flicks into an art form that rocketed forward the careers of Matthew Broderick, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall. The writer/director's credits include Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Weird Science and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Even beyond his directing work, Hughes wrote many more movies in the '80s that people largely don't associate with him, including Nate & Hayes, Mr. Mom and National Lampoon's Vacation (based largely on a cross-country family trip he endured as a child.)

Despite his phenomenal success with critics and moviegoers, Hughes largely retired from Hollywood in the late '90s. He seldom, if ever, granted interviews with press and only occasionally would welcome visits from actors and friends.

Even the location of his home was considered a secret, with some people theorizing he was living outside his beloved city of Chicago while other reports put him in Wisconsin.

According to Variety, he is survived by his wife of 39 years, Nancy; two sons, John and James; and four grandchildren.

TOP 5 JOHN HUGHES MOVIES OF THE '80s:

5. PRETTY IN PINK (1986): Written by Hughes (but directed by Howard Deutch), the movie had one of the best soundtracks of the '80s, which fueled its appeal beyond the sometimes pedestrian plot. However, it will always be loved most for launching the careers of Jon Cryer and James Spader.

4. SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984): How can a movie this funny be ranked behind three other flicks? If Hughes hadn't made a single movie beyond this one, we'd still be honoring him today. Classic characters -- Farmer Ted, Jake Ryan, Long Duk Dong -- make this a comedy for the ages.

3. PLANES TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES (1987): A rare nonteen movie by Hughes. But Steve Martin and John Candy forge a bromance that would match any in decades to come.

2. FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF (1986): With more quotable lines per minute than any movie but Caddyshack, this remains many '80s fans' favorite movie -- if only because for just one minute in our lives, we all wish we could be as cool as Ferris Bueller.

1. THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985): Though it doesn't maintain a slapstick quality throughout the movie, its appeal remains untarnished nearly 25 years later. A film to show your children and their children at JUST the right age. A film that reminds us all that the pain of growing up is something everyone feels, no matter what clique you're in. It was the "We're here!" shout from a mountaintop for the '80s generation. From the opening quote by David Bowie to John Bender's triumphant exit during Simple Minds' Don't You Forget About Me, it remains Hughes' opus..

Remembering John Hughes
Which was your favorite John Hughes movie?
Vacation
Sixteen Candles
The Breakfast Club
Planes Trains and Automobiles
Pretty in Pink
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Home Alone

[AP photo]

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:49pm]

    

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