Molly Ringwald

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Molly Ringwald
Molly Ringwald in Greece.jpg
Ringwald in Greece 2010
Born Molly Kathleen Ringwald
(1968-02-18) February 18, 1968 (age 46)
Roseville, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer, dancer, writer
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Valery Lameignère (1999–2002)
Panio Gianopoulos (m. 2007)
Children 3

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 has been called the greatest teen star of all time.[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][6] 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.[7]

Acting career[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] She then found her breakout role in Sixteen Candles (1984). Ringwald was a member of the so-called Brat Pack of 1980s teen actors.[12] Among Ringwald's 1980s films were The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Pick-up Artist and Fresh Horses. She was considered to be the muse of writer/director John Hughes.[13]

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.

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.

Music career[edit]

2013: Except Sometimes[edit]

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.[20]

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. Ringwald dedicated this track "to the memory of J.H.".[21] This refers to John Hughes, Ringwald's director in The Breakfast Club and many of her other films.[22]


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 Lipstick. It Books. ISBN 0-06-180944-6. , a "memoir and girlfriend-y guide to girlfriend-y things — style, food, relationships, motherhood."[23]
  • 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."[24]

Personal life[edit]

Ringwald was married to Valéry Lameignère, a French writer, in Bordeaux, France, on July 28, 1999; they divorced in 2002.[25] 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.[26]


Year Film Role Notes
1982 Tempest Miranda Dimitrius Nominated—Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
1983 Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone Niki
Packin' It In Melissa Webber
1984 Sixteen Candles Samantha Baker Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film
1985 Surviving: A Family in Crisis Lonnie
The Breakfast Club Claire Standish
1986 Pretty in Pink Andie Walsh
1987 P.K. and the Kid P.K. Bayette
King Lear Cordelia
The Pick-up Artist Randy Jensen
1988 For Keeps Darcy Elliot Bobrucz Paris Film Festival Award for Best Actress (tied with Elisabeth Shue)
Fresh Horses Jewel
1990 Strike It Rich Cary
Betsy's Wedding Betsy Hopper Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1992 Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story Alison Gertz
1993 Face the Music Lisa Hunter
1995 Baja Bebe Stone
Seven Sundays Janet Gifford
1996 Bastard Children Susan
Malicious Melissa Nelson
1997 Office Killer Kim Poole
1998 Twice upon a Life Beth Sager
1999 Requiem for Murder Anne Winslow
Teaching Mrs. Tingle Miss Banks
Kimberly Nancy
2000 Cut Vanessa Turnbill/Chloe
The Brutal Truth
In the Weeds Chloe
2001 Cowboy Up Connie
Not Another Teen Movie Flight Attendant Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Cameo
2003 The Tulse Luper Suitcases
2006 The Wives He Forgot Charlotte Saint John Television film
Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front Helen McIntire Television film
2008 Guest of Cindy Sherman Documentary
Year Title Role Notes
1994 Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade Theresa Tatum
1998 Titey voice
2000 The Translator
Year Title Role Notes
1979–1980 The Facts of Life Molly Parker Nominated—TV Land Award for Favorite Character(s) Who "Went Missing"
1986 Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales & Legends: Johnny Appleseed Jenny Smith
1994 The Stand Frannie Goldsmith
1996 Townies Carrie Donovan
2006 Medium Kathleen Walsh 1 episode “The Darkness is Light Enough”
2008–2013 The Secret Life of the American Teenager Anne Juergens Main cast
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Parental Unit (shared with Mark Derwin)
2011 Psych Nurse McElroy 1 episode
RuPaul's Drag U Herself


  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. ^ Ancestry of Molly Ringwald (1968–). Both of German descent. Retrieved on 2011-05-29.
  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. ^,3
  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. ^ Gora, Susannah (2010). You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried. Three Rivers Press. p. 39.
  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. ^ Except Sometimes liner notes.
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ Melena Ryzik (May 12, 2010). "With 42 Candles, Grown-Up Advice". New York Times. 
  24. ^ John Williams (August 15, 2012). "Leaning Toward the Light: Molly Ringwald Talks About Her New Novel". New York Times. 
  25. ^ Agger, Michael (May 21, 2005). "Don’t You Forget About Me". Retrieved May 24, 2011. 
  26. ^ Molly Ringwald Expecting Twins People, January 23, 2009

External links[edit]