New York Writer-director John Hughes, Hollywood’s youth impresario of the 1980s and ’90s, who captured the teen and preteen market with such favorites as “The Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Home Alone,” died Thursday, a spokeswoman said. He was 59.
Hughes died of a heart attack during a morning walk in Manhattan, Michelle Bega said. He was in New York to visit family.
Jake Bloom, Hughes’ longtime attorney, said he was “deeply saddened and in shock” to learn of the director’s death.
A native of Lansing, Mich., who later moved to suburban Chicago and set much of his work there, Hughes rose from ad writer to comedy writer to silver screen champ with his affectionate and idealized portraits of teens, whether the romantic and sexual insecurity of “Sixteen Candles,” or the J.D. Salinger-esque rebellion against conformity in “The Breakfast Club.”
Hughes’ ensemble comedies helped make stars out of Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and many other young performers. He also scripted the phenomenally popular “Home Alone,” which made little-known Macaulay Culkin a sensation as the 8-year-old accidentally abandoned by his vacationing family, and wrote or directed such hits as “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” and “Uncle Buck.”
“I was a fan of both his work and a fan of him as a person,” Culkin said. “The world has lost not only a quintessential filmmaker whose influence will be felt for generations, but a great and decent man.”