If you were around when the cult classic film The Breakfast Club hit the big screen, get ready to feel really old. The iconic 80s teen movie celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. In fact, Universal Pictures will soon be re-releasing The Breakfast Club 30 years later at select cinemas, so a new generation can enjoy the insights of the cliquey detention group and the old generation can reminisce about the bygone Brat Pack era. Let’s catch up with what the Brain, Athlete, Basket Case, Princess and Criminal plus others involved in the coming-of-age flick have been up to since 1985. Sadly, not all are still with us.
1. Anthony Michael Hall – The Brain
Hall played Brian Johnson, the nerdy brainiac of “the club” sent to detention because he had a flair gun in his locker. The actor starred in several other 80s hits like Sixteen Candles and Weird Science. Did you know he turned down playing Ferris Bueller because he didn’t want to be type cast? He went on to join the cast of Saturday Night Live, the youngest cast member in the show’s history. He also had roles in films like The Pirates of Silicon Valley, The Dark Knight and Foxcatcher and starred in USA Network’s The Dead Zone for five years. The Brain did okay for himself.
2. Emilio Estevez – The Althlete
Estevez played Andrew Clark, the sporty jock pressured by his dad and friends to tape a geek’s butt-cheeks together as a prank. He was part of the Brat Pack, starring in films like St. Elmo’s Fire and Young Guns. He also worked on The Mighty Ducks franchise. Emilio has kind of dropped out of the spotlight in recent years, somewhat eclipsed by his father and brother’s (Martin and Charlie’s) careers. His most critically acclaimed project to date has been Bobby, an ensemble film he wrote and directed back in 2006.
3. Ally Sheedy – The Basket Case
Sheedy played Alison Reynolds, the freaky weirdo who came to detention just because she was bored. She was a fixture in a lot of 80s films like WarGames, Short Circuit and St. Elmo’s Fire. She has continued to have parts in independent films, television and on Broadway throughout the years. She also authored two books. Sheedy is divorced and has one daughter.
4. Molly Ringwald – The Princess
Ringwald played the the sushi-eating, lipstick wearing rich girl, Claire Standish, who was in detention for ditching class to go shopping. The actress was a fixture on film in the 80s, starring in classics like Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink. Flash forward a few years and the former teen-queen was cast in the “mom” role on The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She also released a jazz album in 2013. Who knew the Princess could sing? Ringwald is married with three children.
5. Judd Nelson – The Criminal
Nelson played bad boy John Bender, a repeat offender at the Saturday detention, this time in for pulling the fire alarm. You couldn’t help but feel sorry for this character after he revealed he had an abusive dad. Nelson went on to star in the big Brat Pack hit St. Elmo’s Fire. He’s continued to have steady work, but hasn’t really played many notable roles since the 80s. He worked on the television sitcom Suddenly Susan in the late 1990s, and recently was seen in Empire. Perhaps his biggest post-Breakfast Club claim to fame is that he (or his character) was the inspiration for the bully, Nelson, on The Simpsons.
6. Paul Gleason – The Principal
Gleason played the Richard “Dick” Vernon, the gruff authority figure we all loved to hate. He appeared in other notable 80s films like Trading Places and Die Hard. He reprised variations of his iconic Breakfast Club role several times, like in the spoof Not Another Teen Movie and Boy Meets World. Sadly, Gleason died of lung cancer in 2006.
7. John Kapelos – The Janitor
Kapelos played Carl Reed, the affable janitor who has a bit part in the film. He worked on a few other John Hughes films, including Weird Science and Sixteen Candles. The Canadian improv actor has continued to get steady work in film and television throughout the years, appearing on Desperate Housewives, Modern Family, Legally Blond and more.
8. Simple Minds – The Song You Can’t Forget
Although not a character in The Breakfast Club, the soundtrack’s signature song, Don’t You Forget About Me, became the anthem of the 80s. The Scottish band, Simple Minds, is still Alive and Kicking, and lead singer Jim Kerr has dabbled in solo projects throughout the decades as well. The song featured prominently in the hit film Pitch Perfect back in 2012.
9. John Hughes – The Writer/Director/Producer
John Hughes was the genius behind such 80s megahits as Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as well as later hits like Home Alone and Flubber. The Breakfast Club is considered by many to be the best teen flick of all time. Sadly, he died of a heart attack at age 59 in 2009, leaving behind a wife and two sons. His legacy lives on through his films which helped define a generation.
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