Tributes from friends and colleagues have been pouring in for cinematic icon John Hughes, after the director of such 80s/90s classics like Home Alone, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off suffered a fatal heart attack at 59 in New York while visiting family Thursday.
“He was a wonderful, very talented guy and my heart goes out to his family,” Ferris star Matthew Broderick said, adding he was “truly shocked and saddened” by the news.
Macaulay Culkin, whose career was launched overnight by Hughes’ 1990 mega-hit Home Alone, said: “The world has lost not only a quintessential film-maker whose influence will be felt for generations, but a great and decent man.”
Steve Martin, who co-starred in Hughes 1987’s Planes, Trains and Automobiles with the late John Candy, shared a touching story about the filmmakers’ extraordinary talents: After seeing the script for the holiday-themed flick — which he called the best he had ever read — he asked Hughes how long it took him to write.
“He said, ‘I wrote it over the weekend.’ The weekend. That shows you what he was able to do,” Martin said.
Born in Ireland, Hughes moved to Illinois and often used his town of Northbrook and the surrounding North Shore area as shooting locations for his films. He began his career as an ad copywriter in Chicago, before embarking on a comedy writing career which opened the door to his illustrious film career. His directorial debut was the hit, Sixteen Candles.