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. Her first major role was in The Facts of Life (1979-80) before making her motion picture debut in the independent film Tempest (1982) that earned her a Golden Globe nomination. After subsequently appearing in the successful John Hughes films Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986), Ringwald became a teen icon. She later starred in The Pick-up Artist (1987), and For Keeps (1988). She starred in many films in the 1990s, most notably Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story (1992) and The Stand (1994). Ringwald is part of the "Brat Pack" and she was ranked number 1 on VH1's 100 Greatest Teen Stars.[1][2][3] She has played Anne Juergens in the ABC Family show The Secret Life of the American Teenager and released her debut album Except Sometimes in early 2013.

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] Ringwald has two siblings, Elizabeth and Kelly, and an older brother who died before she was born.[6] 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]

Life and career[edit]

1978-83: Career beginnings[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. 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]

1984-89: Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, and early success[edit]

She then rose to prominence with her breakout role in Sixteen Candles (1984). Ringwald became a member of the so-called Brat Pack of 1980s teen actors.[12] Ringwald was later cast in another John Hughes film called The Breakfast Club (1985) which was a commercial and critical success. The following year she was in another successful Hughes film called Pretty In Pink (1986). Ringwald was offered a role in another John Hughes film called Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) but she turned down the role as she felt it was too similar to her other films she made with John.[13] In 1987 she was cast in The Pick-up Artist which was met with mixed reviews while being a commercially moderate success. The following year she starred in For Keeps which was a commercial success which was met with rather mixed to positive reviews. It is also considered Ringwald's final teen movie. The same year she was in Fresh Horses which was met with generally negative reviews and under performed at the box office.

1990-99: The Stand and continued acting[edit]

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.

2000-12: Not Another Teen Movie and television roles[edit]

In 2000, Ringwald appeared in the ensemble restaurant-themed film, In the Weeds; in 2001, she had a cameo in the commercially successful Not Another Teen Movie that earned her an MTV Movie Award nomination. 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] She also played a supporting role as Molly McIntire's mother Helen in Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front.[19]

Ringwald starred in the ABC Family network's series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which debuted on July 1, 2008,[20] playing the title teenager's mother.

Ringwald read the audiobook edition of the 2012 novel The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg.

2013-present: Except Sometimes, Wishin' and Hopin' and future roles[edit]

Ringwald in April 2013

In early 2013, Ringwald released Except Sometimes. The album 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.[21] Ringwald is currently[when?] filming for Wishin' and Hopin' and is set to have a role in the upcoming movie Jem: The Movie.[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 (born 2003), and twins, Adele and Roman (born 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
2014 Wishin' and Hopin' Madame Frechette
2015 Jem: The Movie
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


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1983 Golden Globes New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture - Female Tempest Nominated
1983 Young Artist Award Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Tempest Nominated
1985 Young Artist Award Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical, Comedy, Adventure or Drama Sixteen Candles Won
1988 Paris Film Festival Best Actress For Keeps Won
1989 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actress Nominated
1991 Razzie Awards Worst Actress Betsy's Wedding Nominated
2002 MTV Movie Award Best Cameo Not Another Teen Movie Nominated
2005 MTV Movie Awards Silver Bucket of Excellence Award The Breakfast Club Won
2008 TV Land Awards Favorite Character(s) Who "Went Missing" The Facts of Life Nominated
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Parental Unit The Secret Life of the American Teenager Nominated


  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. ^ [1]. This American Life Episode 526, Transcript.
  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. ^ Voss, Brandon (2010-04-26). "Molly Ringwald: Pretty in Print". Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  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. ^
  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. ^ Rouvalis, Cristina (23 November 2006). "TV Preview: 'Molly' is the best 'American Girl' yet". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  20. ^ "Molly Ringwald's Not A Teenager Anymore!", TV Guide, July 1, 2008.
  21. ^ "Molly Ringwald Covers The Movie Theme That Made Her Famous",, March 11, 2013.
  22. ^,,20818485,00.html
  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]