I probably hadn’t spoken with John for 20 years. But he gave me the best part I ever had in a movie, and any success that I’ve had since 1985 is because he took a big chance on me. I’ll be forever grateful.

While we were making the movie, I just knew I had a really good part. My realization of John’s impact on the teen-comedy genre crept in sometime later. Teen comedies tend to dwell on the ridiculous, as a rule. It’s always the preoccupation with sex and the self-involvement, and we kind of hold the kids up for ridicule in a way. Hughes added this element of dignity. 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.

In a way, John was a bigger kid than any of us. He had a great lust for life. He knew all the hip, current bands in 1985. He knew everybody. I didn’t know anything; my development stopped at REM. But John was up to the minute on anything musical. He got such a kick out of it. I remember we went to a record shop on the North Side of Chicago here, and just the glee he got out of going through records and discovering things. He had a great lust for life.

PHOTO CREDIT: Everett Collection

More John Hughes Remembered:

KEVIN BACON (Jake from ‘She’s Having a Baby’)

BILL PAXTON (Chet from ‘Weird Science’)

JEFFREY JONES (Principal Ed Rooney from ‘Ferris Bueller’)

LEA THOMPSON (Amanda from ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’)

KELLY LYNCH (Grey from ‘Curly Sue’)

HAROLD RAMIS: (director of Hughes-penned ‘Vacation’)

BEVERLY D’ANGELO (Ellen Griswold in ‘Vacation’)

DANIEL STERN (burglar in Hughes-penned ‘Home Alone’)

CHRIS COLUMBUS (director of ‘Home Alone’)