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Death of John Hughes

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Farewell, Hughes. You will be missed.

John Wilden Hughes Jr. was an American filmmaker. Beginning as an author of humorous essays and stories for National Lampoon, he went on to write, produce and sometimes direct some of the most successful live-action comedy films of the 1980s and 1990s such as National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) and its sequels National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), Mr. Mom (1983), Sixteen Candles (1984), Weird Science (1985), The Breakfast Club (1985), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Pretty in Pink (1986), Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), She's Having a Baby (1988), Uncle Buck (1989), Dutch (1991), Dennis the Menace (1993), Baby's Day Out (1994), the Beethoven franchise (co-written under a pseudonym with Amy Holden-Jones) and Home Alone (1990) and its sequels Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) and Home Alone 3 (1997).

What Happened?

On August 5, 2009, Hughes and his wife traveled to New York City to visit their son James and their new grandson. James said his father appeared to be in good health that night and that the family had made plans for the next day. On the morning of August 6, Hughes was taking a walk near his hotel on West 55th Street in Manhattan when he suffered a heart attack. He was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at age 59. Hughes' funeral was held on August 11 in Chicago; he was buried at Lake Forest Cemetery. He was survived by his wife, two children, and his grandchildren.

Aftermath and Reactions

After Hughes' death, many of those who knew him commented on the impact Hughes had on them and the film industry. Kevin Smith said, "Basically, my stuff is just John Hughes films with four-letter words." Judd Apatow commented "I feel like a part of my childhood has died. Nobody made me laugh harder or more often than John Hughes." Molly Ringwald said, "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 also released his own statement, saying, "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."

The 82nd Academy Awards (2010) included a tribute to Hughes' work. A retrospective of clips from Hughes' films was followed by cast members from several of them, including Molly Ringwald, Matthew Broderick, Macaulay Culkin, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall, and Jon Cryer, gathering on stage to commemorate the man and his contributions to the film industry.

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