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James Spader and Molly Ringwald | Source: Getty Images
James Spader and Molly Ringwald | Source: Getty Images

What Happened to the Teen Idols from 'Pretty in Pink' 38 Years Later

Milly Wanjiku Ndirangu
Jun 20, 2024
09:35 A.M.
  • Thirty-eight years after "Pretty in Pink" hit the screens, the teen idols who brought this iconic film to life have taken different paths.
  • From Hollywood fame to personal struggles and family life, their experiences have been anything but ordinary.
  • Let's catch up with Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Annie Potts, James Spader, and Andrew McCarthy to see where they are now.
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"Pretty in Pink," released in 1986, became an iconic movie of the '80s. The film tells the story of Andie Walsh, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and her romantic entanglements. The movie was a cultural phenomenon, making stars out of its young cast and leaving a lasting legacy in pop culture.

Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, and Andrew McCarthy on the set of "Pretty In Pink" in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, and Andrew McCarthy on the set of "Pretty In Pink" in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

As we revisit this beloved film, it's natural to wonder what happened to its stars. How have their lives and careers evolved over the past decades? We explore the highs and lows of the actors who played Andie, Duckie, Iona, Steff, and Blane, since their "Pretty in Pink" days.

Jon Cryer, Molly Ringwald, and Andrew McCarthy on the set of "Pretty In Pink" in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

Jon Cryer, Molly Ringwald, and Andrew McCarthy on the set of "Pretty In Pink" in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

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Molly Ringwald: From Overcoming Harassment in Hollywood to a Quiet Family Life

In the '80s, Molly Ringwald won over audiences as Andie Walsh in "Pretty in Pink." Starting young in the industry, she quickly became famous for her roles in teen movies. But away from the cameras, she faced tough challenges that made her leave the spotlight.

Molly Ringwald in Los Angeles, California on January 30, 1985 | Source: Getty Images

Molly Ringwald in Los Angeles, California on January 30, 1985 | Source: Getty Images

Ringwald has shared her struggles with harassment in the movie business. At 13, a crew member took advantage of her under the guise of teaching her to dance. Sometime later, a director crossed boundaries on set, leaving her feeling violated and confused.

Molly Ringwald in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

Molly Ringwald in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

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These painful events went on into her adult years, leading to a shocking moment when she was expected to wear a dog collar, a scene that wasn't in the script. Feeling unsupported by her agent, she left Hollywood for Paris, seeking a quieter life.

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Now at 56, Ringwald is a loving mom to three kids. With her husband, Panio Gianopoulus, she has two daughters, Mathilda and Adele, and a son, Roman. Though she's not in the limelight as much, she still acts sometimes and is cherished by her fans.

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They see her as more than an actress. Some of her fans confess she was a role model for redheads and fair-skinned teens from the '80s. One admirer revealed how she hated her red hair as a child. She decided to dye it back to red after seeing Ringwald's photo.

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Her social media is filled with lovely family moments, showing her life now is all about family.

Moving on to Duckie's story, we find another "Pretty in Pink" star who's thrived in and out of show business.

Jon Cryer: From Duckie to Devoted Family Man

Jon Cryer, 59, became a memorable part of "Pretty in Pink" as the quirky and lovable Duckie. His portrayal in the film won him many admirers.

Jon Cryer as Duckie Dale in "Pretty in Pink" in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

Jon Cryer as Duckie Dale in "Pretty in Pink" in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

Cryer's family's involvement in show business influenced his entry into the entertainment industry. He started acting in films as a teenager and "Pretty in Pink" marked a significant milestone in his career.

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Jon Cryer attends the "Pretty in Pink" premiere on January 29, 1986 | Source: Getty Images

Jon Cryer attends the "Pretty in Pink" premiere on January 29, 1986 | Source: Getty Images

Yet, it was his portrayal of Alan Harper in "Two and a Half Men" that truly made him a household name, earning him two Primetime Emmy Awards for his performance as a comical and sympathetic divorced dad.

Jon Cryer as Alan Harper in "Two and a Half Men" in 2014 | Source: Getty Images

Jon Cryer as Alan Harper in "Two and a Half Men" in 2014 | Source: Getty Images

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Beyond his professional achievements, Cryer is deeply committed to his family. He has a son named Charlie from his previous marriage with Sarah Trigger. In 2009, he and his wife Lisa Joyner welcomed an adopted daughter, Daisy, into their family.

Jon Cryer, wife Lisa Joyner, and daughter Daisy Cryer at the premiere of "Paddington 2" on January 6, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Jon Cryer, wife Lisa Joyner, and daughter Daisy Cryer at the premiere of "Paddington 2" on January 6, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Known for his family-oriented lifestyle, Cryer enjoys spending time with his loved ones. While he tends to keep his personal life private, he occasionally offers a peek into his home life through social media.

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Next, we'll explore the journey of the "Pretty in Pink" alum who portrayed Iona, and see how she navigated her successful career alongside her personal life and family commitments.

Annie Potts: Overcoming Physical Challenges and Embracing Grandmotherhood

Annie Potts brought a quirky charm to "Pretty in Pink" as Iona, Andie's eccentric and supportive boss. Her unique style and memorable performance made Iona a beloved character. Beyond this iconic role, Potts has had a prolific career in film, television, and stage.

Annie Potts attends the "Pretty In Pink" premiere on January 29, 1986 | Source: Getty Images

Annie Potts attends the "Pretty In Pink" premiere on January 29, 1986 | Source: Getty Images

Potts first garnered attention with her performance in the comedy film "Corvette Summer." She then shone in "Ghostbusters" and "Designing Women," and more recently, appeared in hits like "The Big Bang Theory" and "Young Sheldon."

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Annie Potts on the set of "Designing Women" on January 1, 1987 | Source: Getty Images

Annie Potts on the set of "Designing Women" on January 1, 1987 | Source: Getty Images

Despite her career highs, Potts overcame tough times, including a car crash in her twenties that left her with lasting injuries. In 2022, she had her 23rd operation, receiving a bionic ankle that allowed her to walk again.

Annie Potts attends the premiere of the 100th Episode of "Young Sheldon" on March 18, 2022 | Source: Getty Images

Annie Potts attends the premiere of the 100th Episode of "Young Sheldon" on March 18, 2022 | Source: Getty Images

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Now 71, Potts is a dedicated mother and grandmother. She and her husband, James Hayman, have three sons: Clay (from a previous marriage), Doc, and Harry. Potts loves being a grandma and enjoys time with her grandkids. She's happy to be moving freely again, which lets her dance with her grandchildren.

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Now, let's look at Steff McKee, a captivating member of the "Pretty in Pink" family. In real life, he is known for his mysterious charm and impressive acting career.

James Spader as Steff McKee in "Pretty in Pink" in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

James Spader as Steff McKee in "Pretty in Pink" in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

James Spader: Balancing Obsessions and Privacy

James Spader, 64, is best known for portraying the rich and arrogant Steff McKee in "Pretty in Pink." His ability to bring complex characters to life has made him a standout actor in Hollywood.

James Spader as Steff McKee in "Pretty in Pink" in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

James Spader as Steff McKee in "Pretty in Pink" in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

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Following his role in the film, Spader continued to build an impressive career in movies and television. His acting in movies like "Wall Street," "Sex, Lies, and Videotape," and "Crash" revealed his range and depth. On TV, he became well-known for "Boston Legal" and "The Blacklist," winning awards and nominations.

James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington in season 6 of "The Blacklist" in 2019 | Source: Getty Images

James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington in season 6 of "The Blacklist" in 2019 | Source: Getty Images

Despite his professional success, Spader is known for his private and somewhat enigmatic personality. He has openly discussed his obsessive-compulsive tendencies, which influence his personal life and meticulous acting approach.

James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington in "The Blacklist" season 9 in 2022 | Source: Getty Images

James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington in "The Blacklist" season 9 in 2022 | Source: Getty Images

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Spader keeps his work and family life separate. He was married to Victoria Spader, and they have two sons, Sebastian and Elijah. After they split, he and actress Leslie Stefanson had a son, Nathaneal. Spader values his family's privacy and strives to keep his fame from impacting his children.

James Spader in 2021 | Source: Getty Images

James Spader in 2021 | Source: Getty Images

Next, we'll see how the charming Blane McDonagh dealt with fame and carved out his own path in life and work.

Andrew McCarthy: Reinventing Himself After the Spotlight

Andrew McCarthy, 61, played the charming and conflicted Blane McDonagh in "Pretty in Pink." His performance as the rich but kind-hearted teen idol won over many fans. But McCarthy's work went way beyond this famous movie.

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Andrew McCarthy in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

Andrew McCarthy in 1986 | Source: Getty Images

In the '80s, he became well-known with roles in hits like "St. Elmo's Fire" and "Weekend at Bernie's." Even with all the Hollywood excitement, McCarthy faced tough times and used alcohol to cope.

Andrew McCarthy on June 16, 1988 | Source: Getty Images

Andrew McCarthy on June 16, 1988 | Source: Getty Images

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He shares his struggles with addiction and his road to recovery in his 2021 memoir, "Brat: An '80s Story." This time of self-reflection helped him find his love for acting and storytelling again, leading to his work as a director and travel writer.

Andrew McCarthy promotes his book "Just Fly With Me" on April 21, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Andrew McCarthy promotes his book "Just Fly With Me" on April 21, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Today, McCarthy has successfully reinvented himself. He's a dad and husband, juggling his family and career. He's married to Dolores Rice with three kids and has a strong bond with them. He's still in showbiz, directing, and sometimes acting, and he's also a well-regarded travel writer, sharing his travels with a broad audience.

Andrew McCarthy attends the "BRATS" premiere on June 7, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Andrew McCarthy attends the "BRATS" premiere on June 7, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

It's been 38 years since "Pretty in Pink" stole the hearts of viewers, and its stars have all taken their own paths. Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Annie Potts, James Spader, and Andrew McCarthy have all felt the ups and downs of being famous, faced personal hurdles, and discovered new ways forward in their lives.

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