John Hughes, the legendary writer, director and producer, has died of a heart attack. He was 59. Hughes was best known for a string of 1980s teen movies, most notably The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Weird Science. As a writer and producer he was also responsible for the National Lampoon’s Vacation series, the Home Alone series and assorted hits from Planes, Trains and Automobiles to the Miracle on 34th Street remake.

Hughes was born in Michigan, where he set many of his films, and started his career as an advertising copywriter in Chicago, before going to work for National Lampoon magazine. After doing rewrites on several very bad films, he decided that he could do better, and started writing screen comedies. The sixteen films (as writer) and seven (as director) that followed during the 1980s gave him an incredible run of success, but he retired from directing after 1991’s Curly Sue, and spent most of the last 18 years as a farmer in the Midwest. That said, he did still dabble in some screenwriting work for films like Just Visiting, the remake of the French comedy starring Jean Reno, and the Jennifer Lopez-starring Maid In Manhattan.

Hughes is survived by his wife of 39 years, Nancy, and his two sons. If any children of the ’90s out there are wondering why he’ll be so missed by children of the ’70s and ’80s, you should really seek out some of his classics.

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