The Stars of 'Sixteen Candles': Where Are They Now?

8:07 PM 5/4/2019

by Katherine Schaffstall

It's been 35 years since Samatha Baker turned 16.

Universal Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection

It's been 35 years since Sixteen Candles was released in theaters on May 4, 1984.

The film, which was written and directed by John Hughes, follows high school student Samantha (Molly Ringwald) on her 16th birthday. As Samantha's family prepares for her older sister's wedding, they forget to acknowledge her milestone birthday.

Michael Schoeffling, Anthony Michael Hall, Paul Dooley, Carlin Glynn, Haviland Morris, Blanche Baker, Gedde Wantanabe and John Cusack round out the cast.

While the film is beloved by many, Ringwald penned an essay for The New Yorker in 2018 in which she reevaluated problematic aspects of the movie.  In the essay, Ringwald questioned a scene when Ted (Hall) takes photos with Caroline (Morris) that imply they hooked up. The following morning, Caroline wakes up with no recollection of the night before.

"In her mind, Caroline bears some responsibility for what happens, because of how drunk she gets at the party." Ringwald wrote.

The film has also been criticized for its racist portrayal of Long Duk Dong, a Chinese foreign exchange student who stays with the Bakers over the wedding weekend.

Read on to see what the cast of Sixteen Candles has been up to since the film's debut.

  • Molly Ringwald (Samantha Baker)

    Universal Pictures/Photofest; John Lamparski/Getty Images

    Ringwald starred as high school sophomore Samantha Baker. The film follows the teenager on her 16th birthday as she tries to navigate high school, all while her family forgets to celebrate her big day. Sixteen Candles marked Ringwald's first major role, though she went on to become one of the biggest stars of the '80s. She collaborated with Hughes again on The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, as well as starred in the films The Pick-up Artist, Fresh Horses, For Keeps, Something to Live For: The Alison Gertz Story, The Stand, Jem and the Holograms, King Cobra, SPF-18 and The Kissing Booth. Ringwald starred as Anne Jurgens on ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager from 2008 to 2013 and currently plays the recurring role of Mary Andrews on The CW's Riverdale. In addition to her acting roles, Ringwald released the jazz album Expect Sometimes in 2013.

  • Michael Schoeffling (Jake Ryan)

    Universal Pictures/Photofest

    Schoeffling portrayed high school heartthrob and Sam's crush Jake Ryan. While he doesn’t know Sam at the beginning of the film, he eventually develops a crush on her. He went on to act in the films Sylvester, Vision Quest, Let's Get Harry, Belizaire the Cajun, Longtime Companion, Slaves of New York and Mermaids. Schoeffling's final acting credit was as Al Carver in the 1991 film Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken. He has since retired from acting and now resides in Pennsylvania with his wife. Not much is known about his life now, but he does own a woodworking shop.

  • Anthony Michael Hall (Ted)

    Universal Pictures/Photofest; Bennett Raglin/WireImage

    Hall played Ted, also known as the school nerd and "Farmer Ted." His mission in the film is to prove to his friends that he can hook up with Sam, though his night doesn't go according to plan and he ends up waking up next to Caroline (Haviland Morris). Following his role as the nerd, Hall went on to collaborate with Hughes again in The Breakfast Club and Weird Science. His other film credits include Out of Bounds, Johnny Be Good, Edward Scissorhands, Six Degrees of Separation, The Photographer, The Dark Knight, Foxcatcher, Natural Selection, Live By Night, War Machine and Bodied. His television credits include a short stint as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1986, as well as guest appearances on The Jamie Foxx Show, Diagnosis: Murder, Entourage, Community, Z Nation, Murder in the First and Riverdale. Hall also starred on the USA Network's The Dead Zone as Johnny Smith from 2002 to 2007.

  • Haviland Morris (Caroline Mulford)

    Universal/Photofest; Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com/Newscom

    Morris portrayed Caroline, the most popular girl at school and Jake's girlfriend. After the two break up, she ends up spending the night with Ted. Since her role in Sixteen Candles, Morris has appeared in movies, on television and in Broadway productions. Her film credits include roles in Who's That Girl, A Shock to the System, Home Alone 3, The Baxter, Cherry Crush and Burning Blue. Morris has had guest starring roles on Law & Order, Diagnosis: Murder, Sex and the City, One Tree Hill, The Good Wife and Blue Bloods. She also played the role of Claire Baxter on One Life to Live from 2001 to 2003. Additionally, she has acted in Broadway productions of Arcadia, Tartuffe: Born Again and Ring Round the Moon. Morris retired from acting in 2014 and currently works in real estate.

  • Paul Dooley (Jim Baker)

    Universal Pictures/Photofest; Bennett Raglin/WireImage

    Dooley played Sam's kindhearted father Jim. Since then, Dooley has gone on to act in the films Last Rites, Lip Service, Flashback, My Boyfriend's Back, Evolver, Telling Lies in America, Angels in the Endzone and Hairspray. He also voiced the character of Sarge in Cars, Cars 2 and Cars 3. Dooley has guest starred on a number of television shows including The Golden Girls, ALF, The Wonder Years, Chicago Hope, My So-Called Life, Grace Under Fire, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, ER, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Ally McBeal, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, The Good Doctor and The Kids Are Alright.

  • Carlin Glynn (Brenda Baker)

    Universal Pictures/Photofest; Getty Images

    Glynn played Sam's mother Brenda. Since starring in Sixteen Candles, the actress has appeared in the films The Trip to Bountiful, Resurrection, Continental Divide, The Escape Artist, Gardens of Stone, Blood Red, Night Game, Convicts, Judy Berlin and Whiskey School. Glynn retired from acting in 2006. She was married to actor, director, producer and writer Peter Masterson, who died in 2018. The two shared three children, including actress Mary Stuart Masterson.

  • Blanche Baker (Ginny Baker)

    Universal Pictures/Photofest; Getty Images

    Baker played Sam's older sister Ginny, who prepares for her wedding throughout the film. Chaos ensues when she gets her period on the day of the ceremony. Since her wedding day, Baker has appeared in the films Raw Deal, Shakedown, The Handmaid's Tale, Dead Funny, The Girl Next Door and Hypothermia. She has also guest starred on the television shows The Equalizer, Nobody's Child, Law & Order, Clarissa Explains It All, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and The Chris Gethard Show.

  • Gedde Wantanabe (Long Duk Dong)

    Universal/Photofest; Getty Images

    Wantanabe played Long Duk Dong, a Chinese foreign exchange student who stays with the Bakers as they prepare for Ginny's wedding. Wantanabe has gone on to appear in the films Gung Ho, Vamp, Perfect Alibi, Mulan, Mulan II, Two for the Money, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Parental Guidance and 47 Ronin. The actor has also appeared in a number of television shows including Murphy Brown, Newhart, Seinfeld, Home Improvement and Everwood. He played the recurring role of Nurse Yoshi Takata on ER from 1997 to 2003.

  • John Cusack (Bryce)

    Universal Pictures/Photofest; Getty Images

    Cusack had a brief appearance in the film as Bryce, a nerdy high school student who's friends with Ted. After his role in Sixteen Candles, Cusack starred in the films One Crazy Summer, Hot Pursuit, Tapeheads, Eight Men Out, Say Anything…, Grosse Point Blank, Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity, Serendipity, Must Love Dogs, 1408, Igor, 2012 and The Raven. He most recently starred in the film Never Grow Old, which hit theaters in March. The actor's next film, Distorted, will be released in June. Cusack co-wrote the films Grosse Point Blank, High Fidelity and War, Inc. and has produced the films Grace Is Gone, Hot Tub Time Machine and Cell.