Famed '80s Director John Hughes Dies

Entertainment Aug. 6, 2009 AT 10:18PM
John Hughes John Hughes in Chicago, Il. on November 28, 1990. Credit: Paul Natkin/Wierimage.com

John Hughes, who directed iconic 1980s films Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, died today. He was 59.

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A spokesman for the filmmaker says he suffered a heart attack during a morning walk while in New York City visiting relatives.

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Hughes' directorial debut, 1984's Sixteen Candles, became a teen cult classic and started Molly Ringwald's career. She went on to star in his movie Pretty in Pink.

"I was stunned and incredibly sad to hear about the death of John Hughes," Ringwald told Usmagazine.com in a statement. "He was and will always be such an important part of my life. He will be missed -- by me and by everyone that he has touched. My heart and all my thoughts are with his family now."

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The Chicago native also directed Ferris Bueller's Day Off and all the Home Alone movies, which made Macaulay Culkin a star.

"I was a fan of both his work and a fan of him as a person," Culkin tells Us in a statement. "The world has lost not only a quintessential filmmaker whose influence will be felt for generations, but a great and decent man."

Steve Martin, who starred in Hughes' 1987 film Planes, Trains & Automobiles alongside the late John Candy, told Us the late director was an even better writer.

"John Hughes was a great director, but his gift was in screenwriting," Martin told Us in a statement. "He created deep and complex characters, rich in humanity and humor."

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