John Hughes - RIP

Legendary filmmaker John Hughes has died at the age of 59.

The man best known for his '80s movies such as Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Planes, Trains And Automobiles , suffered a heart attack while on a trip to New York.

Hughes got his start as an advertising copywriter before selling jokes to the likes of Joan Rivers and Rodney Dangerfield.

The young writer won a place on staff at National Lampoon Magazine, which propelled him into screenwriting and, later, directing and producing.

As an astute chronicler of the teen experience, he made his name with The Breakfast Club (below) and Ferris Bueller's Day Off , but proved himself capable of deeper work in sweet, smart comedies like Planes, Trains And Automobiles and She's Having A Baby .

Hughes had a sharp eye for nurturing young, talented actors and, in the mid-'80s, helped build what became known as The Brat Pack, a group of emerging stars including Rob Lowe, Demi Moore and Emilio Estevez.

While his later directed films didn't meet with quite the same level of success, Hughes' writing/producing efforts yielded huge hits like the Home Alone and Beethoven franchises.

His last director gig was 1991's Curly Sue , though he also continued to write, sometimes using the pseudonym Edmond Dantes, who remains credited with the story for 2008's Drillbit Taylor .

In 1994 he stepped back from filmmaking to run the family farm in Illinois while remaining linked to entertainment through his sponsorship of independent artists.

He's survived by wife Nancy, two sons and four grandchildren.

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Freelance Journalist

James White is a freelance journalist who has been covering film and TV for over two decades. In that time, James has written for a wide variety of publications including Total Film and SFX. He has also worked for BAFTA and on ODEON's in-cinema magazine.