"Ferris Bueller" Director John Hughes Dies of Heart Attack

'80s teen flick director was 59

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    John Hughes directed classics such as "The Breakfast Club" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

    Writer-director John Hughes, Hollywood's youth impresario of the 1980s and '90s who captured and cornered the teen and pre-teen market with such favorites as "Home Alone," "The Breakfast Club" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," 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.    

    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."
       
    Other actors who got early breaks from Hughes included John Cusack ("Sixteen Candles"), Judd Nelson ("The Breakfast Club"), Steve Carell ("Curly Sue") and Lili Taylor ("She's Having a Baby").
       
    As Hughes advanced into middle age, his commercial touch faded and, in Salinger style, he increasingly withdrew from public life.

    John Hughes: 1950-2009

    [CHI] John Hughes: 1950-2009
    Film director John Hughes, a man whose career focused on youth, was only 59 when he died.

    His last directing credit was in 1991, for "Curly Sue," and he wrote just a handful of scripts over the past decade. He was rarely interviewed or photographed.