John Hughes, the director of some of the most iconic movies of the '80s and '90s, has died at age 59. According to TMZ, Hughes had a heart attack "while taking a morning walk during a trip to NYC to visit family." Hughes directed hit films such as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Sixteen Candles, and produced Home Alone, giving voice to disgruntled teens (in the Greater Chicago area, of course) and shedding light on high-school angst without trivializing it. Superbad producer Judd Apatow says Hughes invented the niche he now occupies: "His great film characters … were big inspirations,” Apatow told the Los Angeles Times' Patrick Goldstein last year. “When we were growing up, we were all like [ Sixteen Candles’ Anthony Michael Hall]—the goofy skinny kid who thinks he’s cool, even if nobody else does. Superbad has that same attitude, that mix of total cockiness and insecurity.” Hughes’ style of filming also broke the mold, Goldstein writes: Oftentimes he’d allow the camera to continue rolling for four or five takes in order to get the proper “tone and rhythm” for a scene, and would ask his actors to stray from the script based on on-the-spot edits. In recent years, Goldstein says Hughes had strayed toward being "a Howard Hughes-style recluse," refusing interviews and professional representation, preferring instead to live quietly at home in Chicago. Director Kevin Smith described Hughes as "our generation's J.D. Salinger... He touched a generation and then dude checked out." He is survived by his wife Nancy, sons John and James, and four grandchildren.
Obituary Paul Natkin, WireImage / Getty Images