Many people only recognize Molly Ringwald for her charismatic presence in multiple 1980s rom-coms, while younger generations only recognize her as Archie’s mom on Riverdale. This talented redhead starred in many iconic roles, from The Breakfast Club to Pretty In Pink. Today, we’re here to see what happened to the charming Molly Ringwald, and where she is today.
Molly might have a cult fan-base even decades after her films, wasn’t she wasn’t born into fame. In fact, the actress was born to a blind jazz pianist and a female chef. Still, she was destined to be famous from a very young age. At only five years old she starred in her first role, playing Alice in a local stage production of Alice in Wonderland.
Three consecutive 80s hits
Moly Ringwald was born on February 18, 1968. She was an idol for many teens, and represented a coming-of-age for many generations. Her breakout role was in 1984, where she starred in Sixteen Candles. The director actually wrote the entire screenplay with Molly in mind, after meeting her and being inspired. She would continue to be his muse for years.
A year later, she starred in The Breakfast Club, and in 1986, she featured in Pretty in Pink. All of these happened to be directed by John Hughes, and the themes in all three deal with the issues of upper middle class high schoolers around the United States.
Her love life
The love of her life is Panio Gianopoulos, who she met in 2004. He is a Greek book editor and writer who is seven years younger than Ringwald. Way to level up with this cougar, Panio! In 2004, they got married. The couple shares three children, including a pair of twins. Funnily enough, Gianopoulos has a published essay about romancing older ladies, called “Confessions of a Boy Toy.”
Why Molly Ringwald left Hollywood
Although Molly Ringwald disappears from our screens for a few years, not too many people knew why. After all, she had such a huge following, her fans had their own name: The “Ringlets”. But just as quickly as she rose to fame, she left Hollywood. Some thought it was just because Molly wanted out of the spotlight, but the reason is much more serious. She was sexually harassed by a crew member on set when she was only 13 years old, and again by a director when she was 14.
Additionally, when she was in her 20s, she experienced a traumatizing audition experience where a fellow actor was instructed to put a dog collar around her neck, blindsiding her and forcing her to rethink her career. Her agent even laughed at her when she confided in him later. As a result, she fired him and moved to Paris.
In Paris, she could breathe without being recognized as a celebrity and heal from her past. After a hiatus from acting, she came back to the US and resumed her career.
She has mixed feelings over her films
Although Ringwald doesn’t regret participating in the films that brought her to these dizzying heights of fame. She says that aspects of many John Hughes films were problematic and troubling — especially after the #metoo era came to be.
With misogynistic and sexist themes in his writing, she called much of his writing “inappropriate” in an interview with NME, and expanded, “It’s hard for me to understand how John was able to write with so much sensitivity, and also have such a glaring blind spot.” Perhaps this is another reason that the enchanting starlet consciously took some space from Hollywood and its toxic environment.
What is she up to today?
Throughout her sabbaticals from Hollywood and various transitions, this famous redhead stayed present on social media, where her fans can always catch up with her. In 2013, she released a successful jazz record called Except Sometimes, inspired by her father who was a jazz musician.
In terms of her career, she decided to unpause it and star in several new roles. Molly Ringwald is most famous for playing Archie’s mom on Riverdale, a Netflix show based on the comic series Archie. Her recent roles include 2017’s King Cobra, and the thriller Siberia with Keanu Reeves. She’ll also be starring in The Kissing Booth 2. She’s re-entered the world of acting with a vengeance, and without a doubt still has those impressive acting chops. Molly Ringwald’d comeback story is one that we love, and we can’t wait until her next chapter.