Molly began acting at the age of three...
She first toddled on stage in the role of one of Baby-love’s illegitimate children in Truman Capote’s The Grass Harp. She continued to act in other community theater productions in her hometown of Sacramento, inhabiting such roles as the Dormouse in Alice Through the Looking Glass and the only girl in the boy’s chorus of Oliver (where every night she trumpeted “Food, glorious food! Hot sausage and mustard!”). At the age of ten, she wascast in her first professional role as one of the orphans in the West Coast production of the Broadway show Annie at the Curran Theater in San Francisco and the Schubert Theater in Los Angeles. True to the chorus of “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” she had to leave the production after fifteen months when she had grown too tall.
After a brief stint in The Facts of Life, her first television role, Molly was cast at the age of thirteen in Paul Mazursky’s film Tempest. Her performance as Miranda, the daughter of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands, earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She went on to star in numerous films, including The Pick-Up Artist, For Keeps, Fresh Horses, Betsy’s Wedding, Cindy Sherman’s directorial debut Office Killer, Billy Bob Thornton’s short film Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade, Jean-Luc Godard’s King Lear, and the now-iconic John Hughes’ movies Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink.
In 1992, a lifelong Francophile, Ms. Ringwald moved to Paris where she acted in such foreign films as Jean-Charles Tacchella’s Tous Les Jours Dimanche and Toni Marshal’s Enfants de Salaud, which she performed entirely in French (and never tires talking about!). She frequently returned to the U.S. to star in television projects, including the critically acclaimed comedy series Townies, Stephen King’s The Stand, and the Emmy-nominated Allison Gertz Story.
In 1997, Ms. Ringwald returned to the theater in New York City to star in Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize winning How I Learned to Drive, a role she reprised at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. (Prior theater credits include creating the role of Horton Foote’s Lily Dale in the NY off-Broadway production and the role of Salome, with Al Pacino). She went on to play the legendary “Sally Bowles” in the Broadway production of Cabaret, and to star in the Tony-nominated Broadway production of Enchanted April, the London production of When Harry Met Sally, Jonathan Larson’s musical Tick Tick Boom! and the hit comedy Modern Orthodox, directed by James Lapine. She also danced her way through a successful national tour of Sweet Charity—and has the messed-up feet to show for it.
After starring in the breakout hit The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family, her most recent TV projects include the series Raising Expectations, appearances on Odd Mom Out, and a recurring role as “Mary Andrews” in the hit CW series Riverdale. Recent films include Wishin’ and Hopin’, Bad Night, Jem and the Holograms, King Cobra, Siberia, All These Small Moments, and Netflix’s The Kissing Booth.
The short version
Molly Ringwald is an actor, singer, and author. Her extensive film credits include Paul Mazursky's Tempest, the iconic John Hughes’ films, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club, and most recently, the indie film All These Small Moments and Netflix’s The Kissing Booth. On stage, Ringwald has starred in numerous Broadway productions, including Cabaret, Enchanted April, and Sweet Charity, and her television credits include the current hit series Riverdale. She is the author of two books, Getting the Pretty Back and When It Happens to You, and the translator of the award-winning, bestselling French novel, Lie With Me, by Philippe Besson. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue, Marie-Claire, and The Guardian. Her most recent New Yorker essay, "What About the Breakfast Club?" revisits the movies of her youth in the age of #MeToo.