Molly Kathleen Ringwald
February 18, 1968
(m. 1999; div. 2002)
Molly Kathleen Ringwald (born February 18, 1968) is an American actress, singer, dancer, and author. She was cast in her first major role as Molly in the NBC sitcom The Facts of Life (1979–80) after a casting director saw her playing an orphan in a stage production of the musical Annie. She and several other members of the original Facts of Life cast were let go when the show was reworked by the network. She subsequently made her motion-picture debut as Miranda in the independent film Tempest (1982), which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year.
Ringwald is known for her collaborations with filmmaker John Hughes. She established herself as a teen icon after appearing in the successful Hughes films Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986). She later starred in The Pick-up Artist (1987), Fresh Horses (1988), and For Keeps (1988). She starred in many films in the 1990s, most notably Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story (1992), The Stand (1994), and Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade (1994 short film - precursor to Sling Blade).
Ringwald was born in Roseville, California, the daughter of Adele Edith (née Frembd), a chef, and Robert Scott "Bob" Ringwald, a blind jazz pianist. Ringwald has two siblings, Beth and Kelly, and an older brother, who died before she was born. She is partly of Swedish descent. She started her acting career at age five, appearing 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. Ringwald graduated from the Lycée Français de Los Angeles.
1978–1983: Career beginnings
In 1978 at the age of 10, Ringwald was chosen to play Kate in the West Coast production of Annie, performing in Los Angeles. In 1979, Ringwald appeared on the TV series Diff'rent Strokes and was selected to become part of a very large cast of that show's spin-off The 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 cut from the show. Ringwald later said that Nancy McKeon replaced her to play a new character named Jo.
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, "The First Noel", on a Disney Christmas album, "Disney's Merry Christmas Carols." Turning toward motion pictures, she got a key supporting role in the 1982 film Tempest, directed by Paul Mazursky with top casting director Juliet Taylor, and was nominated for a Golden Globe award for the role.
1984–1989: "Brat Pack" and film stardom
Ringwald rose to prominence with her breakout role in Sixteen Candles (1984). She was cast as Samantha Baker, a girl whose sixteenth birthday is forgotten by her family. Ringwald's performance gained critical acclaim; many called her acting engaging. Ringwald would later say, "It is not a good idea to do remakes of great classic films" when asked if there would be a remake to Sixteen Candles. Ringwald was regarded as a member of the Brat Pack of 1980s teen actors but has said she was not really part of that group. Ringwald gained more success when she was cast in another John Hughes film, The Breakfast Club (1985), which was a commercial and critical success. Ringwald was cast as Claire Standish, a spoiled, wealthy beauty who is in detention for skipping class to go to the mall. Ringwald's performance gained strong reviews.
The following year, still in high school, she was cast as Andie Walsh in another successful Hughes film, Pretty In Pink (1986). When first asked to be in Pretty in Pink, Ringwald was reluctant, but after seeing how hard it was for the producers to find a replacement for her, she decided she would portray Andie in the film. Ringwald was offered a role in another John Hughes film, Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), but turned down the role as she felt it was too similar to the other films she worked on with Hughes. After Pretty In Pink, she wanted to act in more mature roles. Ringwald was featured on the cover of the May 26, 1986, issue of Time.
Ringwald was set to star in another Hughes film, Oil and Vinegar, but the film was scrapped when Hughes refused to rewrite the script. The film would have been about a soon-to-be-married man and a hitchhiking girl talking about their lives during the length of a car ride. In 1987, she was cast as Randy Jensen in The Pick-up Artist, opposite Robert Downey, Jr. in one of his first lead roles. It focused on a womanizer who meets his match when he falls for a woman in debt to the Mafia. The film was met with mixed reviews while being a moderate commercial success.
The following year, she starred in For Keeps, a commercial success that received mixed reviews from critics but was well received by audiences. It is considered Ringwald's final teen movie. Ringwald portrayed Darcy Elliot, the editor at her high school paper, who becomes pregnant by her long-term boyfriend Stan, portrayed by Randall Batinkoff. Her performance received positive reviews. The film was praised by some critics for showing the struggles of teen pregnancy. She was later cast in Fresh Horses. The film was met with generally negative reviews and underperformed at the box office. The film also starred Andrew McCarthy, who previously worked with Ringwald in Pretty in Pink.
1990s–2010s: The Stand and continued acting
In the early 1990s, Ringwald reportedly turned down the female lead roles in Pretty Woman and Ghost. In the mid-1990s, Ringwald, who had been educated at the Lycée Français de Los Angeles and is fluent in French, moved to Paris and starred in several French movies. She returned to the United States intermittently to appear in American movies and television. In 1990, Ringwald appeared in the James Scott-directed Strike It Rich alongside Robert Lindsay and John Gielgud. That same year she starred in Betsy's Wedding as Betsy Hopper. This film gained generally mixed reviews despite being a commercial success. Ringwald later starred in Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story (1992).
In 1994, she was cast as Frannie Goldsmith in the TV miniseries The Stand, an adaptation of Stephen King's 1978 novel of the same name. Ringwald's performance was generally well received. She next played the leading role in the film Malicious (1995) as Melissa Nelson, a disturbed woman who has an affair with a college star baseball player who is attracted to her major league yabos. It features her only nude scene to date. She later starred in the ABC sitcom Townies. She appeared 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, "Judgment Day".
In 2000, Ringwald appeared in the ensemble restaurant-themed film In the Weeds, and in 2001 she had a cameo in the commercially successful Not Another Teen Movie that earned her a MTV Movie Award nomination. In theater, she wore a "Green, Green Dress" in Jonathan Larson's Off-Broadway musical tick, tick... BOOM!, and headlined as Sally Bowles in Broadway's long-running revival of Cabaret from December 18, 2001, until April 28, 2002. In 2003, Ringwald appeared in Enchanted April on Broadway beginning April 8, but left after the performance of June 15 due to her pregnancy with her daughter.
In late 2004, she starred in the play Modern Orthodox on Broadway, opposite Jason Biggs and Craig Bierko. In 2006 she starred in the television film The Wives He Forgot, and that fall and winter starred as Charity Hope Valentine in the national tour of the Broadway revival of the musical Sweet Charity. She also played a supporting role as Molly McIntire's mother Helen in Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front. Ringwald starred in the ABC Family network's series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which debuted on July 1, 2008, and ran for five seasons and 121 episodes, before ending on June 3, 2013. She played Anne Juergens, the title teenager's mother. Ringwald read the audiobook edition of the 2012 novel The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg.
2013–present: Except Sometimes and Riverdale
In early 2013, Ringwald released Except Sometimes, 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. 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.
Ringwald played Madame Frechette in the 2014 Lifetime Christmas film Wishin' and Hopin'. Ringwald plays Aunt Bailey in Jem and the Holograms, raising Jerrica, her sister Kimber, and adopted daughters. In September 2014, Ringwald began writing an advice column for The Guardian, answering questions about "love, family, or life in general". In 2016, she was cast as Amy in the crime-drama film King Cobra. Ringwald currently has a recurring role as main character Archie Andrews' mother Mary Andrews on The CW television series Riverdale. After initially only appearing as a guest, Ringwald has taken a more prominent role in the series following the death of Luke Perry who played Archie's father.
Ringwald married Valéry Lameignère, a French writer, in Bordeaux, France, on July 28, 1999; they divorced in 2002. She married Panio Gianopoulos, a Greek-American writer and book editor, in 2007. They have a daughter, born in 2003 and fraternal boy-girl twins, born in July 2009. Her pregnancy was written into the storyline of The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She was the subject of an episode in season 7 of the genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?.
Ringwald has stated that she was very aware of her public image during her teen years and that she tried to be a good role model for her fans. When asked about For Keeps (1988), Ringwald said, "I didn't want to give the wrong message to teenagers. I sort of felt a certain responsibility – I mean, I was a very, very famous teenager and I thought a lot of teenagers were looking up to me and emulating me, and I really didn't want to make a movie that said in any way that having a baby at that age was going to be easy."
- Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick (2010)
- When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories (2012)
- Lie With Me (novel) (2019) by Philippe Besson, as translator
|1983||Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone||Niki|
|1984||Sixteen Candles||Samantha "Sam" Baker|
|1985||The Breakfast Club||Claire Standish|
|1986||Pretty in Pink||Andie Walsh|
|1987||P.K. and the Kid||P.K. Bayette|
|The Pick-up Artist||Randy Jensen|
|1988||For Keeps||Darcy Bobrucz|
|1990||Strike It Rich||Cary Porter|
|Betsy's Wedding||Betsy Hopper|
|1993||Face the Music||Lisa Hunter|
|1994||Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade||Theresa Tatum||Short|
|Seven Sundays||Janet Gifford|
|1997||Office Killer||Kim Poole|
|1999||Requiem for Murder||Anne Winslow|
|Teaching Mrs. Tingle||Miss Banks|
|The Brutal Truth||Penelope|
|In the Weeds||Chloe|
|The Translator||Julie Newman||Short|
|Not Another Teen Movie||Flight Attendant|
|2008||Guest of Cindy Sherman||Herself||Documentary|
|2010||Wax On, F*ck Off||Herself||Short film|
|2014||Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films||Herself||Documentary|
|2015||Jem and the Holograms||Aunt Bailey|
|2015||Bad Night||The Collector|
|2016||King Cobra||Amy Kocis|
|2018||All These Small Moments||Carla Sheffield|
|2018||The Kissing Booth||Mrs. Flynn|
|2020||The Kissing Booth 2||Mrs. Flynn|
|2021||The Kissing Booth 3||Mrs. Flynn|
|1979–1980||Diff'rent Strokes||Molly Parker||2 episodes|
|1979–1980||The Facts of Life||Molly Parker||Main role (Season 1–2); 14 episodes|
|1983||Packin' It In||Melissa Webber||Television film|
|1985||Surviving: A Family in Crisis||Lonnie Carson||Television film|
|1986||Tall Tales & Legends||Jenny Smith||Episode: "Johnny Appleseed"|
|1990||Women & Men: Stories of Seduction||Kit||Television film|
|1992||Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story||Alison Gertz||Television film|
|1994||The Stand||Frannie Goldsmith||Lead role|
|1996||Townies||Carrie Donovan||Lead role|
|1996||Remember WENN||Angela Colton||Episode: "Sight Unseen"|
|1998||Saturday Night Live||Anne Frank (voice)||Episode: "Steve Buscemi/Third Eye Blind"|
|1998||Twice Upon a Time||Beth Sager||Television film|
|2000||The $treet||Devyn Alden||Episode: "Propheting on Losses"|
|2000||The Outer Limits||Allison Channing||Episode: "Judgment Day"|
|2006||Medium||Kathleen Walsh||Episode: "The Darkness is Light Enough"|
|2006||The Wives He Forgot||Charlotte Saint John||Television film|
|2006||Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front||Helen McIntire||Television film|
|2008–2013||The Secret Life of the American Teenager||Anne Juergens||Main cast|
|2011||Psych||Nurse McElroy||Episode: "Shawn, Interrupted"|
|2011||RuPaul's Drag U||Herself||Episode: "Like a Virgin"|
|2014||Rainbow Brite||Dark Princess (voice)||3 episodes|
|2014||Wishin' & Hopin'||Madame Frechette||Television film|
|2016||Raising Expectations||Paige Wayney||Series lead|
|2016||Doc McStuffins||Darla||Episode: "Stuffy's ambulance ride"|
|2017–present||Riverdale||Mary Andrews||Recurring role; 25 episodes|
|2018||Drop the Mic||Herself||Episode: "Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Shawn Mendes / Molly Ringwald vs. Jon Cryer"|
|2019||Tales of the City||Mrs. Duncan||2 episodes|
|2021||Creepshow||Mrs. Porter||Episode: "Sibling Rivalry"|
- Except Sometimes (2013)
- Going Home Alone (2013)
Awards and nominations
|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||For Keeps||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|
- "Molly Ringwald Biography: Theater Actress, Film Actress, Television Actress (1968–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Retrieved December 15, 2016.
- "50 Greatest Teen Stars of All Time". Extra. Retrieved April 17, 2011.
- Davis, Laura (December 4, 2009). "Child stars: where are they now?". The Independent. Retrieved April 17, 2011.
- 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 a part 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.
- "Bob Ringwald, jazz ambassador and actor's father, dies at 80". AP NEWS. August 8, 2021. Retrieved August 8, 2021.
- . This American Life Episode 526, Transcript.
- "Molly Ringwald". Who Do You Think You Are?. Season 7. Episode 4. TLC. April 24, 2016.
- Sacramento's Fulton Street Jazz Band's Recordings. Fultonstreetjazz.com. Retrieved on May 29, 2011.
- Belk, Melissa (December 4, 2012). "New Again: Molly Ringwald". Interview. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
- 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.
- Voss, Brandon (April 26, 2010). "Molly Ringwald: Pretty in Print". Advocate.com. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- Canby, Vincent (August 13, 1982). "'TEMPEST' OPENS WITH NOD TO SHAKESPEARE". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
- Gora, Susannah (2010). You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried. Three Rivers Press. p. 26.
- Staff (January 1, 1984). "Sixteen Candles". Variety. Retrieved June 17, 2009.
- Miles Bradford (2010). "Molly Ringwald not a fan of remaking one of her classic 80's movies". KABC-TV. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
- Lurie, Karen. "Brat Pack". St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Gale Group. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
- "Not My Job: Molly Ringwald Answers Questions About Senator Byrd".
- "Molly Ringwald on the cover of Time". Time.com. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- "The Lost Projects of John Hughes". Vulture. July 12, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
- "Howard Deutch on John Hughes, Shooting Sex Scenes, and How Pretty in Pink Prepared Him for True Blood". Vulture. August 18, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
- Hinson, Hal. "'The Pick-Up Artist' (PG-13)". www.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
- "Fresh Horses reception". RottenTomatoes.com. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Monica Corcoran (June 29, 2008). "Molly Ringwald: Pretty in Pucci". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 6, 2009.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 10, 2011. Retrieved March 12, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Bernardo, Melissa Rose (November 2, 2001). "Tick, Tick...Boom". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Simonson, Robert (April 28, 2002). "Molly Ringwald Leaves Cabaret April 28". Playbill. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Hernandez, Ernio (April 28, 2003). "Expecting Molly Ringwald Exits Broadway's Enchanted April, June 15". Playbill. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Austerlitz, Saul (December 13, 2004). "A comic Jewish duel". Haaretz. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- AP. "Molly Ringwald to take 'Sweet Charity' on the road this fall", USA Today, February 27, 2006.
- Rouvalis, Cristina (November 23, 2006). "TV Preview: 'Molly' is the best 'American Girl' yet". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
- "Molly Ringwald's Not A Teenager Anymore!" Archived July 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, TV Guide, July 1, 2008.
- "Molly Ringwald Covers The Movie Theme That Made Her Famous", Noise11.com, March 11, 2013.
- Wishin' and Hopin' Archived December 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, MyLifetime.com
- Corriston, Michele (May 21, 2014). "Molly Ringwald Joins Jem and the Holograms Cast". People. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Reynolds, John (September 12, 2014). "Guardian revamps weekday and weekend editions" – via The Guardian.
- BRYANT, KENZIE. "Molly Ringwald, Teen Whisperer, on Translating a French Love Story". Retrieved January 14, 2020.
- Agger, Michael (May 21, 2005). "Don't You Forget About Me". nymag.com. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- Wang, Cynthia; Michaud, Sarah (July 13, 2009). "Molly Ringwald Welcomes Twins!". People. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Warrick, Pamela (January 23, 2009). "Molly Ringwald Expecting Twins!". People. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Carmon, Irin. "Molly Ringwald On Teen Pregnancy, Bristol Palin, And For Keeps".
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