‘Sixteen Candles’ turns 40: Molly Ringwald, John Cusack, Anthony Michael Hall then and now

“Sixteen Candles” is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The movie follows Samantha Baker on her 16th birthday, starting with her parents forgetting her big day, as they are busy preparing for her older sister’s wedding. Audiences then watched as Sam pined for the popular boy in school, while also dodging the advances of a classmate.

Originally released in 1984, the movie was the third Brat Pack movie made, as it starred two of the infamous club members, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall. The two of them would go on to star in a string of successful movies throughout the ’80s, along with Demi Moore, Rob Lowe and Emilio Estevez.

Here is what the rest of the cast has been up to since the release of the film.

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Ringwald was already a Golden Globe-nominated actress for her role in “The Tempest” when she signed on to play Samantha Baker in “Sixteen Candles,” quickly following that role with another Brat Pack classic, “The Breakfast Club.”

She would go on to star in “Pretty In Pink,” “The Pick-up Artist,” with her final Brat Pack films being “Fresh Horses” and “Betsy’s Wedding.” Later, she moved to France and starred in various French films, returning to America to star in “Townies” and “Not Another Teen Movie,” not to mention her starring roles in the Broadway plays, “Cabaret,” “Enchanted April,” “Modern Orthodox” and “Sweet Charity.”

From 2008 to 2013, Ringwald introduced herself to a younger audience, by starring as Anne Juergens in “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” for 96 episodes. Following the end of the show, she starred in “Jem and the Holograms,” as well as the three “The Kissing Booth” movies. Most recently, she starred in “Dahmer,” “Riverdale” and “Feud: Capote vs. The Swans.”

Ringwald was married to Valéry Lameignère from 1999 to 2002. She then married Panio Gianopoulos in 2007, and they have three children: Mathilda, Adele and Roman.

The role of Jake in “Sixteen Candles” was Michael Schoeffling’s big break.

He went on to star in “Vision Quest,” “Let’s Get Harry,” “Slaves of New York,” “Mermaids” and “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.”

Following his final film role, Schoeffling retired from Hollywood and pursued a career as a carpenter, and he is currently the CEO of a company which focuses on hand-crafted items.

Schoeffling is married and shares two children with his wife.

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Hall began appearing in commercials at the age of 7, later landing a role in “National Lampoon’s Family Vacation,” which put him on the radar of director John Hughs, who later cast him as The Geek in “Sixteen Candles.”

The actor continued to act steadily throughout the ‘80s and ’90s, starring in “The Breakfast Club,” “Weird Science,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Six Degrees of Separation,” and even became the youngest person to join the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” when he joined the show in 1985 at the age of 17. 

Following a series of minor roles throughout the ’90s, he began starring as Johnny Smith in “The Dead Zone,” for 81 episodes, from 2002 to 2007. He later starred in “The Dark Knight,” “Awkward,” “Foxcatcher,” and most recently, “The Goldbergs” and “Air Force One Down.”

Hall married Lucia Oskerova in 2020, and they have one child together, son Michael Anthony Hall II.

The role of Bryce in “Sixteen Candles” was only John Cusack’s second big role in Hollywood, with his big break coming a year later in “The Sure Thing,” “Stand By Me” and “Say Anything.”

He later starred in “The Grifters,” “Bullets Over Broadway” and “Grosse Pointe Blank,” which he also wrote. The actor then lent his voice to the animated movie, “Anastasia,” and starred in “Pushing Tin,” “Being Jon Malkovich” and “High Fidelity,” which he also wrote.

He went on to play the main love interest in “Serendipity,” opposite Kate Beckinsale, “Must Love Dogs,” voiced a character in “Igor” and starred in “Hot Tub Time Machine.” A few years later, he appeared alongside Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron in “The Paperboy,” later starring in “The Butler” and “Distorted.”

He most recently starred in “Utopia” and “Pursuit.”

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The part of Caroline in “Sixteen Candles” was one of Haviland Morris’ first roles in Hollywood, which she followed up with Madonna’s film, “Who’s That Girl?” and “Gremlins 2: The New Batch.”

After appearing as a guest on a number of television shows, Morris starred in “Home Alone 3,” before landing the part of Claire Baxter on “One Life to Live” from 1999 to 2003. Later, she made appearances on “One Tree Hill,” “As the World Turns,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “The Good Wife.” 

Most recently, she made appearances on “Quarry,” “City on a Hill,” “Bull” and “Gremlins: Secrets of Mogwai.”

Morris and her husband share two children together.

As a comedian and a veteran in Hollywood, Paul Dooley was known for his roles in “Breaking Away” and “Popeye” before playing Jim Baker in “Sixteen Candles.” Following a number of guest appearances on various shows, he starred in “Coming of Age,” “Flashback” and “Grace Under Fire.” 

He went on to star in a handful of Christopher Guest movies, including “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Death Wish,” “Waiting for Guffman,” “A Mighty Wind” and “For Your Consideration.”

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He spent the next few years making guest appearances on TV shows such as “The Practice,” and starred in films, including “Runaway Bride,” “A Mighty Wind,” “Hairspray” and, most recently, “Saving Paradise” and “Boy Makes Girl.”

Dooley married Donna Lee Wasser in 1958, before they divorced. They share three children; Peter, Adam and Robin. He then married Winnie Holzman in 1984, and they have one daughter, Savannah.

Carlin Glynn was already a Tony Award-winning actress for her role in the Broadway play “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” playing Mona Stangley, before landing the role of Brenda Baker in “Sixteen Candles.”

She continued appearing in films such as “The Trip to Bountiful,” “Gardens of Stone,” “Night Games” and “Convicts,” as well as the shows “Mr. President,” “A Woman Named Jackie” and “Strange Luck.”

Her final film roles included “Judy Berlin,” “West of Here,” “Lost Junction,” “The Exonerated” and “Whiskey School.”

Glynn was married to Peter Masterson from 1960 until his death in 2018. They had three children;: Mary, Alexandra and Peter. Glynn died in July 2023 at the age of 83.

Blanche Baker had already won an Emmy Award for her first role in Hollywood in the mini-series, “Holocaust,” and appeared in a few films, before starring as Ginny in “Sixteen Candles.”

She continued to act in smaller roles throughout the ‘80s and ’90s, later appearing in “The Girl Next Door,” “Whisper Me a Lullaby,” “Chasing Yesterday” and “Coin Heist.” Most recently, she starred in “My Daughter Vanished” and “Alice Fades Away.”

Baker was married to Bruce vanDusen from 1983 to 2002. They had three children: Dara, Wynn and Zane. She then married Mark McGill in 2003, and they have one son, James.

Gedde Watanabe was a stage actor who appeared in Stephen Sondheim’s “Pacific Overtures” before playing Long Duk Dong in “Sixteen Candles.” He went on to have a successful screen acting career, starring in “Gung Ho” and “Gremlins 2: The New Batch.”

In addition to appearing as a guest in various shows, he also starred in “Down Home” and “Sesame Street,” before landing the role of Nurse Yosh Takata on “ER” from 1997 to 2003. During that time, he also voiced a character in “Mulan” and its sequel.

He also continued acting on the stage, starring in “Pippin,” “Poor Little Lambs” and “Ixnay,” among others.

For the next few years, he primarily pursued voice acting in both video games and guest spots on animated shows, later starring in “Not Forgotten,” “47 Ronin” and “The Last Word.” Most recently, he has appeared in episodes of “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” “Blue Eye Samuri” and “Kung Fu Panda 4.”


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