In a tribute to the late John Hughes, Molly Ringwald - who rose to fame after appearing in his 1984 teen flick Sixteen Candles - reveals she hadn't spoken to the famed 80s director "in more than 20 years."
The 41-year-old actress, who also starred Hughes' 1985 classic The Breakfast Club and 1986's Pretty in Pink, admits that she'll "always be the girl whose 16th birthday is forgotten" thanks to her breakout role in Candles. But she didn't always feel that way.
"John saw something in me that I didn't even see in myself," she writes in Wednesday's New York Times. "Eventually, though, I felt that I needed to work with other people as well. I wanted to grow up, something I felt (rightly or wrongly) I couldn't do while working with John."
Declining roles in Hughes' subsequent projects created friction, she says. ("Sometimes I wonder if that was what he found so unforgivable," she writes, adding that he held grudges that "were almost supernatural things.") As a result, she says she and Hughes -- who died of a heart attack on Aug. 6 -- didn't talk for "more than 20 years."
But 15 years ago, she wrote and told him "how important he was to me."
"A week after I sent my letter, I received a bouquet of flowers as big as my apartment from John, thanking me for writing," says Ringwald, who now stars on ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager. "I was so relieved to know that I had gotten through to him, and I feel grateful now for that sense of closure."