Here's What The Cast Of Sixteen Candles Looks Like Now

When it comes to directing teen movies of the 1980s, nobody did it quite like John Hughes. Hughes directed famous high school films like "The Breakfast Club," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Pretty in Pink," and, of course, "Sixteen Candles." 

"Sixteen Candles" followed Samantha Baker's 16th birthday, which was forgotten by her family as they prepared for her older sister's wedding, and her crush on a senior boy whom she believes has zero interest. The movie captured the awkwardness, loneliness, and confusion of teenaged life, and the film has gone down in history as one of the most iconic teen movies of all time. 

Whether you were a teen in the '80s yourself, or you grew up watching this classic in the '90s or 2000s, just about every teen has experienced the comforting relatability of this movie. It's been decades since the release of "Sixteen Candles," and many of the film's stars are now all grown up. Wondering what happened to them? Here is what the cast of "Sixteen Candles" is up to now.

Molly Ringwald went from being an '80s teen star to grown-up actor, writer, musician, and mom

Molly Ringwald shot to fame as the awkward 16-year-old Samantha Baker in "Sixteen Candles." It was her first John Hughes film, but she went on to star in "The Breakfast Club" and "Pretty in Pink." As Ringwald explained to Vogue, she and Hughes worked together to create a new kind of teen movie. "Before John, there was really nothing being marketed to teenagers that actually spoke to me," she said. "Kids were going to see movies more than their parents were, so we wanted to make something that took the content of their lives seriously." They certainly succeeded.

While Ringwald is best known for her roles in Hughes' teen movies, she's had a busy, successful career since then. She has starred in over 70 movies and TV shows over the years, including "Betsy's Wedding," the TV show "Townies," and "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." She has also starred in the Netflix saga "The Kissing Booth," and the show "Riverdale" (via IMDb).

Ringwald has also written several books and essays, and she has a career as a jazz singer. As if all of that weren't enough, she's now the mother to three children.

Anthony Michael Hall was famous in the '80s, and is still acting to this day

Anthony Michael Hall played "the Geek" in "Sixteen Candles." He also starred in John Hughes' next film, "The Breakfast Club." After that, he appeared on "Saturday Night Live" for two years. This was followed by a successful and busy acting career — he had roles in USA's "Dead Zone," "Edward Scissorhands," "Foxcatcher," "The Dark Knight," "Live by Night," "War Machine," and many other well-known films and TV shows (via IMDb).

In an interview with Page Six, Hall revealed that he and his "Sixteen Candles" co-star, Molly Ringwald, had had a little fling after shooting the film. "She didn't have the time of day for me when we made 'Sixteen Candles' ... so it was really funny, it kind of hit me by surprise when we had our little thing there, but it was fun." While the romance didn't last, the pair remained friends. In 2019, Hall announced that he was engaged to Lucia Oskerova. He is also running the production company Manhattan Films, and is set to appear in the upcoming addition to the "Halloween" series and in "The Class," a new high school film.

Justin Henry went onto appear in several films and shows over the years

Justin Henry played Mike, Samantha's younger brother, in "Sixteen Candles." He was already a well-known child star after playing Billy Kramer in "Kramer vs. Kramer," a role that earned him an Oscar nomination when he was just 7 years old, according to the New York Post. After "Sixteen Candles," Henry appeared in "Martin's Day," alongside Richard Harris and "Sweet Hearts Dance," alongside Susan Sarandon and Jeff Daniels. Since the '80s, Henry's acting career has slowed down. He has made occasional TV and movie appearances over the years in shows like "ER," "My Own Worst Enemy," and "Brothers & Sisters," but his roles have been few and far between (via IMDb).

According to LinkedIn, Henry has pursued business ventures since leaving acting behind. "I am a business development and sales executive with over fifteen years of experience developing and managing partnerships between media companies, brands and advertising agencies that drive revenue and build value," his profile reads. As of 2021, Henry is the Vice President of Business Development at engage:BDR, a video marketing agency. He is also a father and a musician.

Michael Schoeffling retired from acting to lead a private life in Pennsylvania

Michael Schoeffling played Jake, the object of Samantha's adoration, in "Sixteen Candles." It was his first real role on screen — he had an uncredited extra role in "Racing with the Moon" the same year — and he quickly shot to fame as an up-and-coming star. As the film's casting director, Jackie Burch, said in an interview on the "Sixteen Candles" Blu-ray, "Schoeffling had been a model. Schoeffling had such a sweetness about him." But, in reality, the life of a Hollywood star wasn't the right fit. "In life, he dropped out of the business. He did a couple more things after that [but] he just wanted a normal life. He didn't want the Hollywood scene," Burch said, according to CheatSheet.

Schoeffling appeared in several other films, including the western "Sylvester," the Bernadette Peters film, "Slaves of New York," a film about AIDS called "Longtime Companion," and the 1990 film "Mermaids," which starred Cher and Winona Ryder (via IMDb). In 1991, Schoeffling quit acting to lead a private life. As his wife, Valerie Robinson, once told People (via 9Honey), "He's very reclusive and private." Schoeffling and Robinson raised two children, Zane and Scarlett. Apparently, he now spends his time making custom furniture. 

Haviland Morris is still acting, but she's also working as a real estate agent

Haviland Morris played Caroline, Jake's soon-to-be-dumped girlfriend, in "Sixteen Candles." After this career-defining role, Morris continued acting. She appeared in "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" as the unlikeable boss, Marla Bloodstone. She also had a stint on the soap opera "One Life to Live" and played Karen in "Home Alone 3." Over the years, she has guest-starred in numerous TV shows, including "One Tree Hill," "As the World Turns," "Law & Order," and many more, according to IMDb.

While Morris is still acting, her roles have begun to slow down. As the star explained to Retro Junk, she took on a job as a real estate agent to make some extra money alongside her acting career. "I just wasn't getting enough acting work any more so it was time to explore something else. Real estate is more dramatic than the entertainment industry, so it fit the bill perfectly," she said.

Gedde Watanabe has had a long career since Sixteen Candles

Gedde Watanabe played Long Duk Dong, the comedic foreign exchange student, in "Sixteen Candles." It was one of Watabe's first roles, but not one of his last. He went on to star in the show "Gung Ho," and play Mr. Katsuji in "Gremlins 2: The New Batch," alongside his "Sixteen Candles" co-star, Haviland Morris. He played Mr. Cheng in "Parental Guidance," and Kuni in "UHF." He also voiced the character of Ling in "Mulan." He had a stint on "Sesame Street" as Hiroshi, the Japanese artist, and on "ER" as Nurse Yosh Takata. In addition to these roles, Watanabe has appeared in dozens of other shows and films, according to IMDb.

Looking back, Watanabe has mixed feelings about his career-defining role, as he is often accused of playing into Asian stereotypes. "I was making people laugh," he told NPR. "I didn't realize how it was going to affect people." But, as Watanabe told Vulture in 2014, his "Sixteen Candles" character might just make a comeback. "I have a friend writing something about the Donger," he said. Who knows, maybe we'll get to see where this character ended up.

Debbie Pollack took a break from acting to raise her kids

Debbie Pollack played Marlene, fondly known as the "Lumberjack" in "Sixteen Candles." You probably remember her as Long Duk Dong's "new-style sexy American girlfriend." It was Pollack's first professional role. The actress continued acting and has had a few significant roles in the past few decades, although she took a long break from acting between 1993 and 2007. She played Sister Agatha in the long-running show "Santa Barbara." She has also guest-starred on shows like "ER," "Criminal Minds," "American Horror Story," "Desperate Housewives," "Hooperman," and "Casual." In 2022, she appeared in the AppleTV series "For All Mankind" (via IMDb).

As Pollack told Rediscover the '80s, her role in "Sixteen Candles" is still her most famous. "To this day, I still get recognized. Thanks to good genes, I really don't look that much different," she said. As Pollack explained, she took a long break from acting between 1993 and 2007 to raise her family as a single mom. "I had to find a way to support my family that provided a more stable income," she said. While she didn't plan on returning to the industry, she was pleased to find that everyone remembered her when she got back to it.

John Cusack went on to become a massive star and a social media activist

"Sixteen Candles" was one of John Cusack's first films. He played Bryce, one of the geeky friends of "the Geek." Soon after his appearance as Bryce, Cusack shot to fame with a series of cult teen films, including "Say Anything" and "The Sure Thing." Throughout the '80s and '90s, Cusack was a Hollywood heartthrob. He starred in "Being John Malkovich," "High Fidelity," and "Grosse Pointe Blank." His career continued throughout the 2000s with roles in "The Raven," "Hot Tub Time Machine," "2012," "Maps to the Stars," and the 2020 Amazon Prime series "Utopia" (via IMDb).

In 2020, Cusack spoke to The Guardian about his career. While he had begun to get into producing, in more recent years, it hasn't been an option, financially. "That could be a function of getting older. Or it could be a function of being cold," he said, explaining that his career had begun to slow down. In addition to his career, Cusack has been focused on speaking his mind about politics on social media. "Maybe being outspoken hurts your career ... I'm just aware it helps me sleep better at night, knowing that I wasn't passive during this time," he explained.

Blanche Baker kept acting with a break to raise her four children

Blanche Baker played Ginny Baker, Samantha's older, impatient, engaged sister in "Sixteen Candles." Her career began with her Emmy-award winning performance in the 1978 mini-series "Holocaust." After "Sixteen Candles," Baker starred in several films, including the 1990 version of "The Handmaid's Tale" as Ofglen and "Raw Deal" alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. After appearing in "Dead Funny" in 1995, Baker took a decade off acting to raise her four children (via Dark Bites), but then returned to the industry in the 2000s with guest roles in "Law & Order" and "Clarissa Explains It All." She also starred as the villain in the horror film "The Girl Next Door," along with numerous other films (via IMDb).

These days, Baker seems to be splitting her time between her career and her growing family. According to Instagram, she spends plenty of time with her children and grandchildren. She has also recently appeared in an off-Broadway play with Food For Thought Productions.

Paul Dooley made a career out of playing father figures

Paul Dooley played Samantha's dad, Jim Baker, in "Sixteen Candles." Dooley had been acting since his 40s in the '60s, with memorable roles in 1979's "Breaking Away" as the dad, and in 1980's "Popeye" as Wimpy. You may also know him as the voice of the parrot on "Sesame Street" from 1974 to 1987 or as the voice of Sarge from "Cars." Since "Sixteen Candles," Dooley appeared in dozens of TV shows in guest roles, including "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "ER," "Ally McBeal," "Grey's Anatomy," "Huge," "The Kids Are Alright," and many, many more (via IMDb). As of 2021, Dooley is 93 years old and is still going strong, with four projects underway and over 200 credits to his name. What a legend!

As AVClub pointed out in an interview with Dooley, the actor made a career out of playing dad roles. To this day, "Breaking Away" remains his most popular film, or his "calling card," as he put it. However, "Sixteen Candles" was another favorite for the actor. "Over 90% of my work has been fathers after [Sixteen Candles]," he said. Dooley has four children and three grandkids.

Carlin Glynn was a stage and screen actress before retiring

Carlin Glynn played Brenda Baker, Samantha's mother in the film "Sixteen Candles." She also appeared in the sit-com "Mr. President," and the mini-series "A Woman Named Jackie" in her career. Her last TV credit was an episode of "Law & Order" in 2006 (via IMDb).

While Glynn's movie and TV career only consisted of 26 projects, she also had success as a stage actress. In 1979, when she was 39 and a mother of three, she played Mona Stangley in the original Broadway production of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." She ended up winning the Tony Award for best featured actress in a musical, according to The Spokesman Review. The musical was incidentally written by her husband, Peter Masterson. Glynn went on to reprise the role in 1982, shortly before landing her role in "Sixteen Candles."

Glynn's three children are Mary Stuart Masterson, the actress known for "Benny & Joon" and "The Stepford Wives," Alexandra Masterson, another actress, and Peter Masterson Jr. who became a cinematographer.

Joan Cusack built a successful career and raised two sons

Joan Cusack played a small cameo role in "Sixteen Candles." You probably remember her as the geeky girl on the bus with the neck brace. Cusack went on to become a huge star. She joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" one year later. She then appeared in several films with her brother, John Cusack. She also provided the voice for Jessie, the cowgirl in the "Toy Story" films and played the uptight principal in "School of Rock," to name just a few roles. Cusack has over 80 credits to her name and is still going strong, with recent roles in the show "A Series of Unfortunate Events" and the show "Homecoming" (via IMDb). Even though Cusack had a long career, she still appreciates getting her start with John Hughes. 

As she told The Guardian, "I was in the right place at the right time." In addition to her career, Cusack has also had a busy personal life with her husband, Richard Burke, and their two sons. As she once explained, "Juggling parental responsibilities with those of being a wife and a career woman ― while also being a member of school and church communities ― is difficult" (via HuffPost).

Max Showalter stopped acting after playing Grandpa Fred

You probably remember Max Showalter as Grandpa Fred in "Sixteen Candles." Prior to playing Samantha's grandfather, Showalter had a long, successful acting career. Also known by the name of Casey Adams, Showalter appeared in over 100 different projects, including "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," "Perry Mason," "Studio 57," and more, according to IMDb. Showalter also had a successful career as a Broadway actor and composer. He appeared in "Hello, Dolly!," "Knights of Song," "Very Warm for May," and others. He had also recorded a series of popular children's stories as musicals (via The Middletown Press).

Showalter died in 2000 at the age of 83. As his Playbill obituary explained, he had purchased a farmhouse in Chester, Connecticut, after filming there in the '50s and had lived there for the rest of his life. In his final years, he had been performing a one-man musical show about his career and he had become a painter.

Carole Cook continued acting after Sixteen Candles

Carole Cook played Helen, Samantha's grandma, in "Sixteen Candles." Cook was already a well-known actress at the time, famous for her work in comedy. She frequently appeared with Lucille Ball on "The Lucy Show" throughout the '60s and "Here's Lucy" in the '70s. She also played Cora in "Dynasty" and Donna in "Cagney & Lacey" in the '80s. Although Cook's acting career slowed down in the '90s and 2000s, she appeared in a few projects such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "A Very Sordid Wedding." As of 2021, Cooke's last project was the 2018 musical movie, "Waiting in the Wings: Still Waiting" (via IMDb).

In a 2021 interview with Catherine Houser, Cook said, "I'm 97, my darling, and it's all in the pace." Age, she explained, had never bothered her. "I never felt that age was important. In my one-woman show I come out and I say, 'Oh, to be 90 again,'" she said. According to Cook, she's the oldest living working actress in the world. Even after all these years, however, Cook is still working on fulfilling her potential. "You're never as good as you want to be," she said.

Cook lives with her husband of 56 years, Tom Troupe.