By EW Staff
Updated August 06, 2009 at 10:52 PM EDT

Reacting to the sudden death of writer/director/producer John Hughes at age 59, his colleagues and friends pay tribute:

Molly Ringwald (star of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink): “I was stunned and incredibly sad to hear about the death of John Hughes. He was and will always be such an important part of my life. He will be missed — by me and by everyone that he has touched. My heart and all my thoughts are with his family now.”

Matthew Broderick (star of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off): “I am truly shocked and saddened by the news about my old friend John Hughes. He was a wonderful, very talented guy and my heart goes out to his family.”

Steve Martin (star of Planes, Trains and Automobiles): “John Hughes was a great director, but his gift was in screenwriting. He created deep and complex characters, rich in humanity and humor.”

Macaulay Culkin (star of Home Alone): “I was a fan of both his work and a fan of him as a person. The world has lost not only a quintessential filmmaker whose influence will be felt for generations, but a great and decent man.”

Bruce Berman (former Universal and Warner Bros. executive who worked with Hughes): “He was a singular talent. I wish he was around today to talk to. The idea of him being out here making movies… There would have been better movies today if he had stayed. He’s a real roots writer-director-producer for everyone who’s doing comedy today, just like certain rock-n-rollers are for every band that’s making music today. He’s immortal.”

Chris Columbus (director of Home Alone): “John’s films — although they were a product of the ’80s — I still truly believe that the reason people watch those films over and over again, and will continue to watch them for the next several decades is because they deal with feelings and emotions that are never going to change between human beings. And I think those are the cornerstones of movies that last forever. And I think that’s what John’s done. He’s created a body of work that people are going to watch again and again and again. And that is a true legacy.”

Jake Bloom (Hughes’s attorney for more than 20 years): “My family and I are deeply saddened and in shock. Our only goal is to support his family and make sure they’re fine.”

Jeffrey Jones (played Dean Edward R. Rooney in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off): “I’m just shocked and surprised and really sad that John is gone, because I know that he had more in him.”

Judd Nelson (star of The Breakfast Club): “I am shocked and saddened by the unexpected death of John Hughes… Though I worked with him but one time, he had a profoundly meaningful and lasting affect on my life as an actor, and as a young man… John’s desire for the truth of the spoken word aligned perfectly with his gift for treating young people not as children, but as developing adults… John always treated me with respect and consideration… he encouraged a real and active collaboration… he was most generous with his insight… and John was patient… John Hughes was a giant… and under his great shadow we remain… My heart breaks for his family… I know many people whose lives were touched by John will be saddened today… I know I am…”

Kevin Bacon (starred in She’s Having a Baby): “I will always cherish the time I spent with John Hughes. I was so grateful for the opportunity to walk around in his shoes and try to see the world through his brilliant eyes.”

Howard Deutch (director of Pretty in Pink): “The world of film has lost a giant, but I have lost a mentor and a friend.”

Steve Martin (star of Planes, Trains and Automobiles): “John Hughes was a great director, but his gift was in screenwriting. He created deep and complex characters, rich in humanity and humor.”

Alan Ruck (who played Cameron Frye in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off): “He was an advocate for teenagers as complete human beings, and he honored their hopes and their dreams. That’s what you see in his movies — yeah, they’re crazy kids and

they’re obsessed with whatever they’re obsessed with, but you realize that

they have hearts and minds and they have some dreams and plans for the

future and they’re going to go somewhere. They’re works in progress. John

honored that. I think that’s what he found fascinating.”